Why do people discriminate against disabled martial artists?

Discussion in 'Disabled Martial Artists' started by Hapuka, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    I don't know about you guys but nothing inspires me more than seeing a disabled person overcoming their disabilities by participating in the martial arts. Its a humbling experience and I guess some people have trouble handling that.

    Have you ever witnessed discrimination towards the disabled in the martial arts?

    If you have a disability, have you experienced discrimination towards yourself because of it?

    I'm not sure If I would class as a disabled martial artist, I have aspergers syndrome, true it takes me longer to learn and sometimes sparring can be neurologically overloading, but every time I spar I'm becoming more relaxed and strategic in my apporach. My Boxing club has accepted me with open arms, and I've been there now for almost two years. If it weren't for recent events I would of been competing by now (damn mobility vans) :bang:. But soon I'll be back and training for upcoming fights now that my leg has almost healed.

    I have experienced discrimination before, back when I first took up the martial arts, Taekwon-do and Muay Thai back in my early to mid teens. A somewhat alienating experience, I was left out allot and punished for doing things I didn't understand that were considered wrong (like talking back to the teacher) and addressing people by their first names rather than formal titles. :dunno:
  2. Rand86

    Rand86 likes to butt heads

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NuufTqR9Zg"]Professor gigante - YouTube[/ame]

    Only those who don't want to don't learn.
  3. Rand86

    Rand86 likes to butt heads

    I'm probably going to come off as a huge tool, but I will admit I was slightly freaked out at first by the clip I've posted. But the guy is having fun, keeping himself in shape - he's in awesome shape by the way, hardly looks like any allowances have been made for him in training - and probably has a community of people who support and encourage him which is not to be taken lightly.

    A wise man once said that anyone with legs can ginga. Wise man though he was, I think he was selling the art a little short. ;)

    No, and having worked with some great kids who had learning disabilities I would personally kick anyone doing such a thing in the face.

    I'm a little bit slow on the uptake if that counts. ;) I've been diagnosed with a host of neurological problems as a toddler - none of which seem to appear anywhere except my medical files but there you go - and thus was always discouraged from participating in more strenuous sports throughout my early years. It's probably my single greatest complaints against my parents who are otherwise great people. But hey, shoulda, coulda, woulda... capoeira folks've been nothing if not welcoming and encouraging.

    It's a problem, and can be pretty serious, but not one I can imagine keeping someone out of training. "Normal" people can be pretty dense as well, and it often seems like they're not even making a token effort to learn.

    I'd rather work with someone who struggles but is making an effort than someone who clearly can't spare a few braincells to understand what I'm saying.

    Atta girl!

    Say what? :jawdrop:

    Okay, I don't know a whole lot of stuff about TKD but all the guys I know who did MT say pretty much the same thing I like so much about cap - friendly, welcoming, encouraging, hard training, and practice over theory. Which is why you will never find me badmouthing MT, here or in person.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  4. Blade96

    Blade96 shotokan karateka

    Not personally. well yeah, i have. My parents put me in swimming and skating but reinforced the idea that I would never do anything with it cause i couldnt even carry tea across a room without spilling cause of my balance problem. They also tryed to discourage me from trying MA's. (My first medal, a gold, was a 'screw you' to them at my first competition in 2009) On forums yes. Truth Junkie was an example of a big bigot on here on map.

    I've a small cerebellum and a team of doctors called me autistic when i was in my mid 20's (and my ex used it against me, i shouldn't have told him lol but i was stupid) I've not been treated any differently than anyone else. I learn the same things in shotokan everyone else does, I am taught the same way. I'm basically treated the same. I am fortunate to have such a wonderful place. :) as for calling people by names instead of titles, some people have said to me that cause of the person I am I am able to say stuff to sensei that others wouldn't get away with. Like asking one of my senseis what's the japanese for bent wrist strike. He doesn't speak japanese. So I joked, 'what's the good of ya then?" Sensei is easy to get along with and he likes a good joke as much as anyone.

    btw I would have likedit if someone walked up and say that bigotted stuff to Rick Hansen or Ben Underwood. They wouldn't get away with it.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  5. Kwajman

    Kwajman Penguin in paradise....

    Sorry to hear of your experiences Hapuka. When I taught full time I actually had a class that met twice a week that was for handicapped individuals. I had some with aspergers, autism, lost limbs, down's syndrome, etc. I found it extremely rewarding, much more rewarding than classes with 'regular' students. Each student had to have a partner, usually a parent or guardian who helped them with the movements, the classes were much slower paced and I loved teaching them.

    I never tolerated bullies and threw out of my school a couple of students who made fun of the other kids. I had a zero tolerance policy and enforced it. I'm glad to see you're making progress and sticking to it, the biggest problem with this type of student for me was frustration on their part.
  6. tonyv107

    tonyv107 Valued Member

    I have more respect for disabled people then I have for most other people. The kind of willpower it takes to "keep on keeping on" is far greater than what most people have. As for a personal experience. When I was doing JJ at Cahill's there was a young man there who was blind and almost completely deaf. He could hear with aids but wouldn't wear them when rolling. He would kick my **** when rolling. But he was also a better teacher to me then all the other students combined.
  7. Blade96

    Blade96 shotokan karateka

    The flower that blooms from adversity is the most beautiful one of all. - The Chinese emperor from the movie 'mulan'
  8. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    You might want to think about using another term besides 'discrimintion' - a term that has become a bloated caricature of itself, though I understand your meaning here.

    What would be a better way? Umm...I'll leave it for those less phraseologically-challenged than meself to come up with that.

    You do know your question is a tiny mirror of something a lot bigger, don't you? The more you understand the answer, the more corrupted and saddened you will be, so don't look.

    Just enjoy your MA.
  9. ShadowHawk

    ShadowHawk Valued Member

    Matt Hammill is my biggest inspiration. A true beast, raw talent. He went and lived his dream in front of millions of people and didnt care what anyone thought or said about him on his road to glory
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  10. Taiji_Lou

    Taiji_Lou Banned Banned

    Lots of tiny little mirrors
  11. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    She's not an MA player but I still admire her greatly:

    Smart, Beautiful, an amazing athlete that got to the Paralympics and ran against people that had only one hand while she had no lower legs.
    She then became a model and an all round inspiration for amputee's that they can still do great things as long as they put their mind to it
  12. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    Last edited: Sep 22, 2011
  13. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    Ah...I meant 'windows' the problem is a small window into a greater one. Too late to edit.

    Sorry Happuka.

    It was meant to say "the disdain shown by some towards martial artists with disabilities is one example of how society, in general, views people with disabilities" and "best not to dwell too much on why they feel that way because it'll just bring you down and cause you to loose focus on whats important" - which is a little better than the 'sadness and corruption' verbage.

    Hopefully, the gist of it was understood as meant.
  14. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    I couldn't help but note the part about 'children being trained' to view people as disabled during Aimee's lecture.

    In part, thats what I was trying to get at in my fumbled post. You can see it in her face and hear it in her voice, she's trying to open the eyes of the blind and she knows it and still manages to keep her composure.

    Problem is, unless you've experienced it yourself, or one of your kids ( thats when your eyes are truly opened ) you can't see it. The best you can hope for is a "well, yeah, I guess they can do a few things I didn't know about before".
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2011
  15. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    Boundary issues...lacking an internal 'edit' function so one is perceived as impulsive...giving the impression of overfamiliarity (calling a person by their first name isn't whats being punished, its not reading the cue that this individual in authority in whatever capacity, considers themselves venerable - thats really what is being punished)...unable to read 'cues' in social situations which can have the effect of making one feel like mincemeat... in the complex of group interactions, they don't see situations developing before its too late...one feels the 'punishment' for the offense ( such as talking back ) but can't really tie it to anything that stands out - thereby ensuring that the lesson will be repeated over and over and over again...

    I don't know anything about Asperger's, mind you, just wondering.
  16. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    I find it interesting that the given video responses are more directed towards psychical disabilities. Anyone with neurological disabilities in the martial arts world?
  17. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

  18. righty

    righty Valued Member

    I'm going to be a bit of a devils advocate here.

    With MAists and I'm mostly talking about neurological disabilities, particularly learning difficulties. Often it takes more time and patients from the instructor and other students (who also have a real role in teaching) to teach the person techniques etc and to have them practise them to get up to a certain standard. At what point would you say the extra time from the teacher and other students is too much and is therefore a detriment the class as a whole (who all pay the same class training fee)?
  19. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

  20. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    I never received extra training, I trained the same as everyone else. I spent most of my time outside of training researching and practicing the techniques, and If I had questions I would write them down and ask. The problem wasn't that, the problem was the clash of my social and learning abilities. Trainers would become frustrated with me because I wouldn't grade onto the next belt, I wanted to master the basics of the belt I was given first before moving up.

    Fortunately this isn't the problem now with my new trainers; I can ask questions, I can join in with group activities when I want to, I can spar when I feel ready to. There's no pressure. They know about my aspergers and that I learn differently.

    My advice to those that have disabilities, if you receive a negative or halfhearted reaction from your trainer when you tell them, expect them to treat you in the same manner. I usually take it as a sign that I'm not at the right club.

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