Skip to main content

Wheelchair Martial Arts -- Kick Some Butt, While Sitting on Yours


When I was a kid, I used to have these little fantasies about beating up the other kids who teased me in school. I always knew that brains was better than brawn, but it still would have felt good to kick some butt once in while.


I always had an interest in martial arts, but I never had the support of my parents to try anything like that. In retrospect, they were correct. I would've spent years studying trying to improve, only to realize that my body would eventually let me down. It probably would have been more damaging to my psyche in the long run.

I was never afraid when out in public. I was smart enough to realize, that while it was an easy target, very few criminal types would go through the extra effort it would take to mug me. They'd have to sit and figure out how to do it, where they can simply knock them old lady down and grab her purse.

Something that has always stuck with me was from a "street smart" school assembly put on by an ex cop from Chicago. He said, there is only ever one person in danger on any street at any moment. That person is the most vulnerable target. If you can create the feeling that you are even the second-easiest target, you're perfectly safe, because criminals are stupid and lazy and will only go after the absolutely easiest target. Conversely, if you're the only person in an area, regardless of how tough you are or how tough you look you can still be in danger. If there's only one target, you are by default the most vulnerable target.

Because of this I've ridden in my wheelchair with confidence in North Philadelphia, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Atlantic City, Reading Pennsylvania and never been afraid. This isn't because I'm exceptionally brave, it's just that I always have an awareness of who was around me, and I make certain I'm not the easiest target at any given moment.

Many of my friends, particularly people who became disabled later in life, live in a great amount of fear. They feel they are more vulnerable today than they once were.

I read an article today about a group of disabled veterans, amputees specifically, we're learning martial arts to defend themselves. I think it's excellent for disabled people to keep themselves in good physical condition, and I think that martial arts in general is healthy both physically and mentally, but I question the value of this training for recently disabled individuals. I haven't made up my mind one way or the other, but looking back at some of the people I've known over the years, I don't think it would be healthy for everyone.

Make up your own mind, and let's hear your comments. Here's the original article from Stars and Stripes: Wheelchair-bound vet rolls with the punches -- Amputee’s martial arts lessons teach self-defense and self-esteem

Comments

  1. Bob Banham7:31:00 AM

    Hi Jason. Respect to you my friend. Check out my site at www.disma.co.uk Can I include a link?

    Bob Banham

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Friday Funnies: a couple LOLcats and one shameless plug

Is this the new flavor at Kungaloosh Gourmet Tea Company?

Friday Funnies: Aging Gracefully

I pointed to two old drunks sitting across the bar from us and told my friend, "That's us in 10 years".

He said "That's a mirror, dip-shit!"
---





Sunfyre's Google Glass Fundraiser (a.k.a. shameless begging)

Well, Google Glass went on sale today for a limited time to the general public.

Unfortunately, I can't exactly spare $1500 right now.… Commence shameless begging!

I try not to play the "help the disabled guy" card.  It goes against my nature. But in this case, I figured I'd make an exception (at least this is how I'm rationalizing it in my own head).

Google Glass has amazing potential for people like me. I can't use my arms or legs any longer. I use my voice recognition software to type, design websites, write articles and marketing plans for clients.

In the era of smart phones, they aren't very friendly to people like me. Most of them can't be navigated with a mouse, and even Apple's Siri doesn't do a great job with voice activation. First, you have to press a button just to get her attention.

but with this device, which connects through my android phone, I'd be able to read email and navigate my basic telephone functions with wearable g…