Should martial art schools accept disabled people

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

  1. kungfu_charlie

    kungfu_charlie Valued Member

    It may have already been mentioned, but I would like to get it of my chest as i have recenly been at the receiving end of such an issue.

    Martial art teachers are required to have insurance against injury to a student or more than one student etc. and to be, or have on hand a trained certified first-aid person.

    If a teacher is approached by a disabled person regardless of the disability I would imagine the alarm bells would ring for that teacher “alert my insurance might not pay out”. Does the insurance policy cover a disabled person?

    Does the teacher look at how his/her martial is performed and come to the conclusion that’s its not possible?

    In this growing world of nasty bullies and hooligans who think nothing of beating up a person regardless of age in a wheelchair, or have one leg, or one arm, or are blind or deaf, sorry if I’ve missed anyone one out, should these people be helped in defending themselves in such situations, if not many teachers are prepared to teach these people how are they ever to walk amongst the considered normal people and feel confident and safe.

    Okay the imperfect of us will not be able to do the technique as well as a normal student, but I am sure armed with a few tricks or modified technique could surly help.

    I would love to hear the thoughts from genuine people on the subject and please try to remember the disabled have feelings they are just packaged a little differently.
  2. Matthew Barnes

    Matthew Barnes Valued Member

    Insurance is not the problem.

    I would think that the disabled martial artist would be the one who might benefit most.

    In the US, an insurance company would be legally on shaky to discriminate against a student with a disability. Insurance may be an excuse, but it's not a reason.

  3. josoman

    josoman New Member

    I agree, if a disabled person is denied for so called insurance reasons, it's an excuse.

    I used to compete, in weightlifting (Bench press) against, a, supposedly disabled man and I don't feel bad saying that he would kick by rear sometimes.
    I said "supposedly disabled" because of the fact, that he kicked my butt, and I was no slouch.
    I have the upmost respect for him and his abilities, as I would for any disabled martial artist.

    Not to play with anything that kungfu_charlie said, but they are still martial artists, just packaged a little differently. I mean no disrespect at all Kungfu_charlie.

  4. myki

    myki New Member

    What a good question!
    I agree with the two previous posters, I would not want to be the insurance company who denies a company (dojo) because a student happens to be disabled.

    I think it would be to an instructor's credit to adapt a program to suit a person with a disability! At my son's TKD school, there are a few kids who have a mental disabilty of sorts. The inclusive attitude of the Master shows on the smiles of the kids. It's brilliant!

    dvcochran likes this.
  5. OneArmedBandit

    OneArmedBandit Types with one hand...

    I don't think they shouldn't accept the disabled student solely because he/she is disabled, but there are circumstances where a student simply would be unable to do the art in question, eg, a paraplegic wanting to learn TKD, so in those circumstances I believe it would be acceptable for the school not to accept the student, but they should explain to them why they couldn't do it, rather than just say "Your disabled, you can't join, we might get sued if you get hurt"

    ps, I am disabled myself, since birth I have been missing my left arm, but I bet it'll be in the last place I look. :p
  6. Kwajman

    Kwajman Penguin in paradise....

    My old school stateside had (that I know of) one blind boy, one autistic boy, a girl with CP, and one other girl with some developmental issues.....
  7. myki

    myki New Member

    Totally agree! It should be down to the school's Master whether to accept a student on any grounds.
    LMAO! Great line! :D
  8. adouglasmhor

    adouglasmhor Not an Objectivist

    So if they say "no niggers" "no kykes" Tht's cool too?

    Maybe if he can't work out how to apply it to someone with different physical needs than himself he is not a "Master".
  9. Song1

    Song1 New Member

    mhmm if a place was to actually say that, its not a place i'd want to go for training, no matter how good it might be.
  10. kungfu_charlie

    kungfu_charlie Valued Member

    some positive thoughts

    Some great thoughts on the discussion, and pleasing to here so many positive thoughts, I would also agree if it is physically impossible to learn even the simplest of defence and attack there would be no point in learning. OneArmBandit I am missing my right hand, so we’ve got no chance of shaking hands LOL it would seem you pinched my childhood nick name, only the people calling me it were called “black eye idiots” afterwards I also am against any kind of racism I never thought to include it in the subject, I think once you are labelled into a particular group or category it draws your attention to others that have been stick with such labels.
  11. OneArmedBandit

    OneArmedBandit Types with one hand...

    Bwahahaha. :D

    Hmm, a high five instead perhaps? :p

    It was also a nickname of mine for a while, but it kinda stuck and I use it as most of my online monikers.

    No, that's not acceptable, not just in MA schools but in general.
  12. Joshua Powell

    Joshua Powell A white knight

    Something that I have said all my life, to all my different Dr's teachers and like. (I was born with Cerebral Palsy by the way) "Don't tell me I can't do something, unless I try first". And they listen. I think all disabled people should get all the chances that a normal, able'd bodied person would. Were people like everybody else;)
  13. kungfu_charlie

    kungfu_charlie Valued Member

    Totally agree Joshua, I have a tendency to growl at anybody who tries to do something for me, in a nice way, the harder we try the more we achieve
  14. NaughtyKnight

    NaughtyKnight Has yellow fever!

    Of course they should accept disabled people.
  15. Davey Bones

    Davey Bones New Member

    Just to play devil's advocate...(we have a bb in a wheelchair at my school, so this is a moot point for us, but still)....

    insurance issues aside, I don't think every instructor out there is capable of training someone with a disability. It takes a lot of patience to deal with the more seriously emotionally ill, and for the physically disabled, the style may have to be turned on its head. Frankly, I have more respect for the guy who says "I have no idea what to do with you, perhaps you should find an instructor who does" than I would for the vilage idiot who throws a curriculum together to make a buck or two.
  16. kungfu_charlie

    kungfu_charlie Valued Member

    Well put, I once approached a fencing teacher as I would have loved to learn to sword fence “swash buckle and all that” the teacher refused point blank to teach me, but as I look back on that day, being older and able to see though the teachers eyes, the missing hand was not the point, most fencers are right handed, and if he has no left handed students who am I going to fence with.
  17. Davey Bones

    Davey Bones New Member

    In the US, such discrimination would most likely violate the Americans With Disabilities Act.

    The ADA is found at Chapter 42 of the United States Code 12,101, et seq. Sections 12,301 et seq deal with "public accommodations". It specifically notes that "(L) a gymnasium, health spa, bowling alley, golf course, or other place of exercise or recreation." is covered under the Act, section 301(7) Public accommodation: "The following private entities are considered public accommodations for purposes of this title, if the operations of such entities affect commerce". It is easily argued that a martial arts club is a place of "exercise or recreation". My guess would be that, at best, an insurance company *might* be able to ask for additional funds to cover disabled students, but the language of the ADA seems to preclude that.

    The text of the Act (very long!):

    Damn, I love my law degree when I can give advice and help people. :D
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2006
  18. Joshua Powell

    Joshua Powell A white knight

    I will agree with you on part of your point, but I think, like I said before that the instructor should see what the disabled student can do before he turns him down, or takes him as his student. It's said you can't judge a book by it's cover. Well you can't judge a person by just his physical, or mental capabilities.
  19. NaughtyKnight

    NaughtyKnight Has yellow fever!

    Anyone watching The Ultimate Fighter Series 3? There is a deaf fighter, and he is easily the best.
  20. KungFuGrrrl

    KungFuGrrrl Valued Member

    when is it?

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