Is there a martial art I can learn despite having balance issues due to injuries?

stetson

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I have had multiple knee surgeries, as well as nerve damage to my peroneal nerve which greatly affects my ability to balance on my right leg, as well as prevents me from sprinting or any sort of sharp turns that would be required to ski, play basketball etc.
Is there any discipline I can learn where this will not be a drawback?
FYI - I am not choosing to learn martial arts for self defense, competition, picking fights etc.
I truly miss competition, the feeling after strenuous exercise, and just having fun.
 

D Hall

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Is there any discipline I can learn where this will not be a drawback?
The short answer is no...but...

It will be a drawback, or challenge to work around. That's just the reality you're in post surgery.

But,

That doesn't mean you can't train. As drop bear said, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has a large amount of techniques that do not involve stabilizing with your weight on your knee. While there are elements you may still have issues around (leg locks, being in someone's 'lockdown' guard, etc); there are ways to still learn and progress.

Other arts you could look into may be Aikido (more standing and smooth circular movements) or Japanese Jiu Jitsu come to mind.

I suggest speaking with any potential instructor beforehand and making sure the teaching atmosphere is conducive to working with and around any restrictions (a high level competitive gym would not be where I'd start).
 

_Simon_

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G'day and welcome! I'd honestly approach it the same as anyone, check out local schools of styles you have an interest in, and like mentioned, talk the instructor about any limitations you have and get honest feedback from them if it would be a problem at all. A great deal of places do cater for alot of people with different abilities, so they may very cater to it, you may just have to train a little differently, but no biggie :)

Also, I love videos like this... just cos :). Also I think @drop bear you trained with a fellow with one arm yeah? Just a good reminder that there's always ways we can work around and train.



 

Dirty Dog

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It's going to impact any physical activity of any sort. That just means you have to find workarounds. Go check out schools in your area and sign up for whatever seems like a good fit.
 

gpseymour

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I have had multiple knee surgeries, as well as nerve damage to my peroneal nerve which greatly affects my ability to balance on my right leg, as well as prevents me from sprinting or any sort of sharp turns that would be required to ski, play basketball etc.
Is there any discipline I can learn where this will not be a drawback?
FYI - I am not choosing to learn martial arts for self defense, competition, picking fights etc.
I truly miss competition, the feeling after strenuous exercise, and just having fun.
Something lik Brazilian Jiujitsu would depend less on balance (mostly ground work) and is excellent exercise. If you want to work on balance, a style of karate that is heavy on kata would be a good fit, as those kata can easily be practiced on your own, as well. Something like Tai Chi (whether taught as a martial art, or simply as a health practice) would also have some benefits for that.

That said, most martial arts instructors would be quite willing to help you work with you to figure out how to do what you best can within their system. So pick something that looks like you'd enjoy doing it. Since the physical work is your primary goal (not fighting skill), you should focus on something that looks like it fits that need, give it a try.
 

dvcochran

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We have a man who was born with one leg as a stump just before the knee and the other leg missing just below the knee. To him this is simply normal and believe me when I say it is not a disability to him.
Of course most things he does looks and is very different. The look he gives someone if they even inadvertently imply he cannot to something it truly inspirational. Similar to a “are you kidding me” look.
Victor (his name) is one of those people who brighten up a room and everyone in it when he walks in; and I do mean he walks in, albeit on prosthetics.
I say all this to encourage the OP to find the school close to him that he/she enjoys and not sweat the other stuff. And to build a program to help speed healing.
Follow @_Simon_ ’s plan and check out what is close to you.

I hope you keep in touch and update us on your progress. There are a few ‘old souls’ on here with injury issues the appreciate hearing other folks struggles and successes.
 

Yokozuna514

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Out of the gate, I would say to look for a school where the instructor has a program that he can adapt to your circumstances will allow you to take a few trial classes to see if it is a good fit for you. As has been said before, you will need to adapt and the instructor will need to adapt with you to help guide you through the progressions. It is not so much about the style but about finding an instructor that will have the knowledge to be able to give a you a challenging program. Good luck.
 

Brian King

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Find an instructor and student body that you connect with is a very important step. The best art with an instructor that you do not like or have a connect with equals failure in most cases. A great fitting instructor teaching an art that in not 100% appropriate for you will still be able to impart lessons and motivate good workouts.

Not sure where you are located but I would suggest looking into the Russian art of Systema. Many regard it as both a health system and martial system. Movement is often based on a floating center of gravity utilizing the bodies connectedness and interconnectedness between body systems. As such, students learn to use their unique body, talent, and understandings to their best advantage.
Systema - Russian Martial Arts

Regards
Brian King
 

sddoherty

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I have had multiple knee surgeries, as well as nerve damage to my peroneal nerve which greatly affects my ability to balance on my right leg, as well as prevents me from sprinting or any sort of sharp turns that would be required to ski, play basketball etc.
Is there any discipline I can learn where this will not be a drawback?
FYI - I am not choosing to learn martial arts for self defense, competition, picking fights etc.
I truly miss competition, the feeling after strenuous exercise, and just having fun.
You might look for a Taekwondo school that has a Kimoodo program.
 

Fedora

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I have had multiple knee surgeries, as well as nerve damage to my peroneal nerve which greatly affects my ability to balance on my right leg, as well as prevents me from sprinting or any sort of sharp turns that would be required to ski, play basketball etc.
Is there any discipline I can learn where this will not be a drawback?
FYI - I am not choosing to learn martial arts for self defense, competition, picking fights etc.
I truly miss competition, the feeling after strenuous exercise, and just having fun.
It's nice to see a man who strives to overcome his limitations. Good on you!

Even if you can't fight standing, you could still specialize in groundwork. You might consider BJJ, particularly their Combatives program. If I remember correctly, it's the 36 techniques that are most used in competition (Google: Gracie Combatives). The program is particularly nice because there are numerous ways to learn, one of which is via DVD. Executive Summary: (i) nearly exclusively groundwork, (ii) distance learning capable, and (iii) affordable.

Let us know what you decide and how it goes.
 

angelariz

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I have had multiple knee surgeries, as well as nerve damage to my peroneal nerve which greatly affects my ability to balance on my right leg, as well as prevents me from sprinting or any sort of sharp turns that would be required to ski, play basketball etc.
Is there any discipline I can learn where this will not be a drawback?
FYI - I am not choosing to learn martial arts for self defense, competition, picking fights etc.
I truly miss competition, the feeling after strenuous exercise, and just having fun.
Ju Jutsu and Modern Arnis Ju Jitsu come the mind.
 

sddoherty

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Balance is an issue. The kicking in hapkido would be useless.
Then you can focus on street boxing, hand grappling, and striking techniques as I do. Have the master tailor a program just for you. Hapkido is not a cookie-cutter MA.
 
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angelariz

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Then you can focus on the hand grappling and striking techniques as I do. Have the master tailor a program just for you. Hapkido is not a cookie-cutter MA.
Ju Jutsu and modern Arnis have no real kicking strategies unless you cross train so i believe it makes more sense to go directly to forms of ju jutsu.
 

Hanshi

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I think training designed around you, for you even if it's a smorgasbord of techniques/styles. Concentrating on weapons might be beneficial. I once had a student born without legs and arms. He only had stumps for legs and about the same thing for arms. He would run around the dojo on the mat on "all fours" much faster than one would think possible. He was already a winning high school wrestler and picked up locks and throws unbelievably quickly. He was NOT disabled! He was as comfortable in his body as any so-called normal person would be. If it could be adapted for his situation, he could master it.

My balance is very poor now and I walk with a cane outside the house. Most things I can no longer do but some things I still can. Think: "improvise, adapt, overcome".
 
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