Should martial art schools accept disabled people

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

  1. TeaKD

    TeaKD New Member

    Oh Dear.....

    I have a physically disabled kid in my class and another with learning dificulties.

    If I were to dismiss them from the class I would leave myself wide open to the legal ramifications of disability discrimination and being either shut down or sued or both (in the UK).

    Anyone discriminating in the slightest against anyone with a disability can be taken to the cleaners - does everyone on this forum teach all students at the same speed ?
    Shouldn't we be looking at individuals instead of a class as a whole ?
    There are able bodied students who can't go through the grades at the same speed as others.

    Bil Gee - place your knackers on the table, there is about to be a large legal hammer brought down upon them if you're teaching in the UK.

    That and your attitude sucks big time.

    Just because you don't know how to deal with it doesn't make it wrong.
  2. BentMonk

    BentMonk Valued Member

    Both Worlds

    My classes are structured so that while being part of a class, each person can participate at their own level. From warm ups and qigong, to physical conditioning and adapted Tai Chi we practice as a group, but no one is expected to move or progress identically to their classmates. Each person's training is customized based upon their goals and ability level. My students are having fun, getting in shape, and learning skills that serve them in various areas of their lives.
  3. StixMaster

    StixMaster Valued Member

    Yes I do meet each student where they are at. Everyone learns at different levels, thats why its good for the teacher too,because the teacher gets to excercise patience with the student and him or herself! The legal problem is too many things now a days is not politically correct, for instance telling the truth, I'm sure with some legal research there can be found a loophole in that law. Peace out !!
  4. iHeretic

    iHeretic Not-for-Prophet

    I'm a wheelchair user. I was fortunate enough that when I first considered taking up MA, the first instructor I contacted (Aikido) said that while he'd had no previous experience, he was willing to give it a shot-- but I had to be aware of when something might be dangerous or (currently) impossible for me to perform.

    In other words, I had to take a level of responsibility for my training.

    Later on I also considered Tai Chi and, again, the first instructor I contacted was willing to teach me.

    I've also dabbled in seminars and the odd session of FMA, JuJitsu, Judo, and Kenjutsu and all of the people I've worked with and met through MA (instructors and classmates alike) have been willing to work with me.

    Nearly two years later I'm 3rd Kyu Aikido, preparing for my 2nd Kyu grading. I don't know or care if that's quick progress or not, but it wouldn't have happened if I hadn't exclusively met and trained with people who would give me the chance.

    That said, I met briefly with David Lee of DMAA UK at Seni this year and he said that it took him several years to find a TKD teacher, which brought home to me the vast differences in attitudes that are out there.

    But that's all by the by. It's been said by others in this thread better than me, but I think the teacher has the ultimate choice over who does and doesn't train in their dojo. They have to take a number of factors into account, not least of which is their own confidence in their ability to teach a student with disabilities and preserve the martial effectiveness of their art.

    If it isn't going to work, the student may as well do Tae Bo or Jazzercise.

  5. StixMaster

    StixMaster Valued Member

    Guro Carlito Bonjoc Jr. is a disabled FMA instructor. He was personally trained by GM Angel Cabales/Serrada Eskrima as well as his father's style Cadiz Lapu-Lapu Eskrima etc.... here is a link :
    Please check out his story, it is inspiring.
  6. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned

    When I clicked on that link and observed Guro Carlito, the first thought that came to mind (hell on wheels) :) . I know the man and he is truly an insperation, for many who are in the arts.

    When teaching at the school, he sits on a stool that my son and I made for him. (it allows him to be out of the wheel chair for the hour or so to teach). He is very good at the hand arts and with FMA that is much of the battle.

    He moves with crutchs also at the same time if needed, but it is quite exerting and tiring.

    I have seen him move the wheel chair around very skillfully and still swing the sticks or blade. Impressive person. Dedicated to instruction.

    Very worth while to take in a seminar with him, if he is in your area.
  7. Count Duckula

    Count Duckula Valued Member

    How would you propose to to adapt TKD for people in a wheelchair? Or kendo for someone with no arms?

    I believe that there is appropriate MA for every person. But not every MA is suited for every person, and not every MA can be adapted for every disability without throwing away everything about the art. That has nothing to do with how good or bad the teacher is.
  8. adouglasmhor

    adouglasmhor Not an Objectivist

    I think maybe if I had no arms I would pick something other than Kendo, I know next to nothing about TKD but it does have more to it than kicks, I have seen TKD practitioners show, evasion (very well indeed), blocking and striking with arms and fists and other non kicking stuff.
  9. Count Duckula

    Count Duckula Valued Member

    Indeed, but my point was that people with certain disabilities can't do anything in certain arts. That has nothing to do with the skill of the teacher.

    When I did kendo, there was a fellow student who could only use one arm. Fair enough, you adapt to fit the concept of the art. That is where skill can come in, but if a student cannot use his arms at all in any way, there is nothing the student can do in the regular kendo class.

    As for TKD being more than kicks... :)
    That depends on the federation iirc. The local TKD club always grab a lot of medals at the nationals, but I've never seen them throw even one punch except for the teacher. And that was only in a 'proof of concept' kind of way.
  10. Blade96

    Blade96 shotokan karateka

    Sure they should cover the student if they can still do the MA, as count duckula rightly pointed out.

    I might fall over more easily in kumite because of my balance problem, but if I got hurt they'd cover that. Because I can still study Shotokan and learn the techniques of it. There's only a couple things I might not be able to do, but my senseis would take care of that when gradings come up (like the black belt grading where you have to do all your kicks on only one leg, that wont be for some time but just an example)

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