Should martial art schools accept disabled people

Discussion in 'Disabled Martial Artists' started by kungfu_charlie, Apr 13, 2006.

  1. NaughtyKnight

    NaughtyKnight Has yellow fever!

    Its on thursdays in America I think.
  2. Wolf

    Wolf Totalitarian Dictator

    Yep, Thursdays at 10 p.m. eastern on SpikeTV
  3. OneArmedBandit

    OneArmedBandit Types with one hand...

    Well to be honest, I don't see how being deaf would hinder you that much, maybe you wouldn't be as balanced as other people, but apart from that I can't really see any problem.
  4. NaughtyKnight

    NaughtyKnight Has yellow fever!

    He couldnt hear his corner.
    He couldnt get taught without an interpretor
    He would have bad balance
    wouldnt be able to hear his opponent moving etc
  5. kungfu_charlie

    kungfu_charlie Valued Member

    Another way to look at it would be that his eyesight would be more acute i.e. sharper

    So he would not need to hear the bell, however he would respond to the movement of the opponent and keep his eye on his opponent.

    I would agree on the second point he may have needed help to get the moves correct via a translator

    Please do correct me if am talking rubbish but I thought that the bones in your inner controlled your balance, that and your big toe.

    And the last point is you never take your eye of your opponent.
  6. OneArmedBandit

    OneArmedBandit Types with one hand...

    Yeah, pretty much the longwinded version of what I was trying to get at.

    Anyway, my point was that apart from the possible balance issue, the fact that he is deaf wouldn't really affect his fighting
  7. Jang Bong

    Jang Bong Speak softly....big stick

    Our club had an interesting day on Satuday, as our instructor had been invited to give a demonstration / seminar at a school that specialises in children with Cerebral Palsy.

    We demonstrated all our different skills (Tang Soo Do forms & sparring, weapons, pad work, a bit of BJJ and Tai Chi), and then split into 5 areas to allow access to pad punching / kicking, floor 'rolling' (forward roll, side roll, etc), swinging of escrima sticks, some slow Tai Chi style moves, and me off to one side with a half-dozen foam nunchaku :eek: :D

    In the introduction and talk section, our instructor said that everyone could gain positive benefits from martial arts - you may not be able to learn an art in its totallity (that may be true for any of us), and he would never think of 'watering down' an art, but he does believe in adapting techniques to make the most of what people CAN do.

    With some simple spinning of the nunchaku, and a variety of 'blocks', I had my groups (children AND their parents) moving. One young lad who kept accidently putting a chain lock on the arm of his wheelchair could have been embarrassed, but I got a laugh out of him by having his Father swing a punch at me and blocking & putting a chain wristlock on him :D

    Great dialogue is needed with the teachers who work with these kids every day - but if the aim of the day was to catch their interest, then it was successful.
  8. myki

    myki New Member

    :rolleyes: OOoookay!
  9. Bil Gee

    Bil Gee Thug

    It's pretty much the same story in the UK. The disability discrimination act has been phased in over the last few years, the final part kicking in last October. It's basically illegal for anyone providing a public service to discriminate against people on the grounds of their disability. It covers mental as well as physical disabilities. A few test cases have gone through the courts in the UK, US and Australia and the indication is that the burden of proof is on the service provide to come up with a good reason for their service being inaccessible. The Sydney Olympic Committee and a few multinationals have already been successfully sued for having inaccessible web sites.

    I think there would be legitimate grounds for refusing training to someone on the grounds of their disability whether that would be for clear safety reasons only or would also include the "I've got no idea how to train this person" argument isn't very clear yet. I guess there will have to be a few more test cases.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2006
  10. Davey Bones

    Davey Bones New Member

    I suspect that's correct, Bil. I just hope it's not the ethical businessman who gets hit with the lawsuit!

    Anyway, does anyone know of any major problems dealing with this issue in MA? I have trained at two schools where handicapped students were members, and it didn't seem to present a real problem.
  11. KungFuGrrrl

    KungFuGrrrl Valued Member

    As you may know I work with survivors of domestic violence (women and children)........ who have a myriad of disabilitites ranging from physical to emotional. (the emoitional disabilities ar the most difficult to deal with as you have PTST, post traumatic stress syndrome where one may become violent.......)

    I have a system in place (always tweaking it) I understand mine is not a *regular club* but had to put in my 2 cents!

    I have two phases..... phase one: first they are referred to me.. I do an intake (talk and questions.... as do one of my advisory board members, you can really et a good feel for someone by talking with them)....phase one ALL are welcome.......

    based on participation (showing up AND behavior patterns) and attendance they are graduated into the Shaolin Kung Fu class taught by Master Tang, from Shanghai........

    In phase two,if there are certain prob's such as not being able to perform to an extent....within reason, or not showing up to class occur over too many times student is bumped back down to phase two.......

    this is free to students, my FOCUS pais for the classes....

    In 5 years I have only had to say bye bye to two students, that is not too bad.... one within the first month of first phase and one student that was involved for off and on 5 years...... in second phase both for behavioral problems.... aggression on me and fellow students......

    Can't you put it in the contract somewhere.... word it properly (talk to an attorney) regarding behavior issues that are not acceptable ?

    As far as physical disabilities , I myself have many, and find I rather enjoy working with disabled students..... they enjoy as well and take great pride in their newfound skills! in addition reap many physical and emotional benefits!

  12. Davey Bones

    Davey Bones New Member

    You can make behavioural problems part of the handbook, like my school does.

    The problem comes in when you have a mentally ill youth who has serious MH/MR disorders. I work with kids for a living, and some of them are *bad*. The question is "are they just being bad, or is it a manifestation of their MH/MR disorder?" It's a fine line, but it seems to me that the general consensus is "Instructors, try your best, that's all we can ask."
  13. Existence

    Existence Super Saiyajin :o

    i had one hand, i would put a hook on it.
    no joke, you can really mess someone up with it.
  14. OneArmedBandit

    OneArmedBandit Types with one hand...

    I think you mean "If I had one hand".

    And seeing as i'm missing more than just the hand, having a hook sticking out of my shoulder would not be as cool.
  15. kungfu_charlie

    kungfu_charlie Valued Member

    i heard somewhere, can't remember where that 70% of people that use a weapon in a fight end up having it turned against themselves.
  16. adouglasmhor

    adouglasmhor Not an Objectivist

    I heard they took the word gullible out the dictionary, why don't you go and have a wee look.
  17. kungfu_charlie

    kungfu_charlie Valued Member

    LOL I think we straying from the subject of the thread however… before we return to the point…

    I do of course refer to your common street weapon such as a knife or screw driver, a pole or a chain, I am pretty damn sure if I was attacked by someone using any of these weapons the attacker will have wished he'd chose a different victim. I was learning how to dodge and remove knives from attackers when I was 7 year old using aikido I am now 42, the O’Sensei of Aikido would take on a guy with a katana and I am sure that I’ve seen Stephen Seagal pull a similar stunt in at least one of his films, it would not be first choice to have to deal with such an opponent but because they were armed I would strike to cripple as apposed to humiliate.

    Getting back to the thread…

    It normally the gullible who think that all disabled are easy targets, many are, some are not… its very funny watching the gullible on the deck red in the face.
  18. BentMonk

    BentMonk Valued Member


    When I began my journey into MA practice, I originally wanted to train in Aikido. The instructor at the local Aikido school was polite, and very honest when he refused to take me as a student. He took note of my balance issues, lack of leg strength, and profound lack of hip flexibility. He said that he was fairly certain that I would not be able to execute even basic Aikido movements. He also said that he had absolutely no idea how he could adapt Aikido techniques effectively to my unique needs. I was disappointed, but not defeated. A dear friend introduced me to, Master John Price. He took note of my significant upper body strength, eagerness to learn, as well as the same limitations the Aikido instructor saw. Over the next 12 years he adapted the material in Shaolin Do to suit me. My fighting range is zero distance. I am a striker trapped in a grappler's body. Master Price turned my lack of balance into an asset by using my 30 plus years experience falling down to take my opponents to the ground. All the kicks in the material were changed to a knee or elbow. These adaptations work very well. Ask anyone who has underestimated me before a match. :D I am now training 6 developmentally challenged adults. We focus on developing the mind, body, and spirit. Each of them has their own area that they excel in. They are enjoying their training, and becoming physically and mentally stronger. They are not working on self defense yet. They are currently doing meditation, Tai Chi, and lots of strength and conditioning exercises. We will begin self defense when they are physically strong enough to apply it against a resisting opponent. I was given something real that I could use. I intend to do the same for my students.
  19. In the ITF I used to train with an autistic guy. Truth is, he slowed us down, failed all his exerices and asked stupid questions. [And I do mean stupid questions, as in, talking about payments when we're discussing breaking.] - He shouldn't have been there because it was only hindering the rest of us.

    Nowadays I'm with the GTI and one of my good friends is deaf. [Well, as close as we can be with limited conversation.]

    And he's very good. He manages to work out what he's doing just by observing other people and he is very receptive. If I'm sparring him and the instructor calls us to stop, I'll just take a step back and raise my hands or something. Anything. But he knows when to stop after 3 years of martial arts training and his balance is fine.

    So yeah, don't knock them til you've seen them. I was born without any serious disability. People's strength of character may just suprise you!
  20. Sgt_Major

    Sgt_Major Ex Global Mod Supporter

    Definately an interesting thread.

    I agree whole heartedly with the principles of dont tell me what I cannot do until I try it.

    Its a principle that we should all inherit, irresepective of disabled or not. I'm one for trying to encourage defeatists to look at the other side - conquer those barriers that hold you down. There is few vaild reasons for turning a disabled student away from MA. Even they are only learning to punch/kick/headbutt properly - and the cost of this should obviously be considered as less than a full system in my mind - then any student is perfectly legitimate in any club.

    Behavioural problems are another matter, and one I would not like to go into as I dont know enough about it.

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