Is there a *self defense* martial art for people with a disability who have bad knees and hips?

PistolSlap

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I was born with mild cerebral pasly on my left side. It has resulted in a hypertense foot which is always pointed downwards and I can't rotate it upwards from the ankle. My left leg is shorter than my right by a couple of inches, and as a result, I walk only on the toe of my left side, unless i use a lift in my shoe. I also use a brace to combat my ankle rolling outwards. The worst side effects from all this is that i have severe chronic hip pain on my left side only which flares up whenever I do any sort of impact activity such as walking or climbing, and especially rotating at the hips. The only thing I can do without pain is ride my bike for some reason. However, my left knee is degenerated and malformed, and I can't put any weight on it midway -- it has to be a all-or-nothing action such as stairs, and even then it produces terrible pain. My right knee is also mildly aggravated from all the overcompensation, but not too much.

I am painfully aware that if I ever got into a physical altercation, I would instantly be defeated. This is not because I am weak -- my upper body strength is moderate -- but because I have no core balance. Even if I were to swing a punch, I would be so off balance I could immediately be taken down. I live in a tough neighborhood and I am always afraid that someone is going to have a problem with me and I won't be able to defend myself.

Ideally I'd like to learn a defensive martial art that I could merely use to neutralize my opponent's attacks. I have no interest in offensive maneuvers. I don't approve of fighting. But I would like to ensure my own safety.
However I have always assumed that due to the significant pain and limited movement and ability of my lower body, martial arts training is impossible due to the amount of focus placed on balance and being able to sustain weight and flexion in the knees and hips.

Is there no hope for me? Or might I still be able to learn a defensive martial art?
I'd really appreciate the input. Thanks!
 

seasoned

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Welcome to Martial Talk, Pistolslap. Where there is will and desire there is always a way. Your journey begins by asking the questions. There is a great group of people here that are always willing to help. Good luck....
 

Langenschwert

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Get a cane if you don't already use one. There are lots of MAs that have some kind of cane-like tool in their repertoire. If you can't generate a lot of force, you need a force multiplier. Some tactical pen work would probably be even more useful.
 

Tony Dismukes

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Yeah, definitely look into a weapon-based art. Some of the Filipino Martial Arts (Kali/Arnis/etc) would probably work well for you.
 

JowGaWolf

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Ideally I'd like to learn a defensive martial art that I could merely use to neutralize my opponent's attacks. I have no interest in offensive maneuvers. I don't approve of fighting. But I would like to ensure my own safety.
First get this out of your head. If you want to learn self-defense then you have to accept that an offensive maneuver is part of it. Sometimes, your best choice is to strike first, especially when you know without a doubt that your attacker has made up his mind to hurt you. Waiting for your attacker to throw the first punch is a bad way to think.
 
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Dirty Dog

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One of the members here is a TKD black belt, 4th or 5th degree, as I recall. He's also got CP that affects one side of his body. Don't sell yourself short.
 

jks9199

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Don't sweat the style. Understand your goals, and find an instructor that can work with you to achieve them. That will likely include challenging some of your own beliefs and ideas if you want to develop real, usable skills.
 

oftheherd1

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Don't sweat the style. Understand your goals, and find an instructor that can work with you to achieve them. That will likely include challenging some of your own beliefs and ideas if you want to develop real, usable skills.

No bad answers in the thread so far, but imho this is the best way to start.
 

GiYu - Todd

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You may ask around some local schools, to see if any have either experience or willingness to work someone with disabilities to develop techniques you can perform and practice.
Otherwise, I concur with the recommendations to look at weapons based forms. A short staff, such as a cane or hanbo, can be very effective and don't look like obvious weapons. Just make sure you get some good instruction and practice enough to be proficient. Many people incorrectly think just possessing a weapon is adequate to protect themselves.
Good luck.
 

sddoherty

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I was born with mild cerebral pasly on my left side. It has resulted in a hypertense foot which is always pointed downwards and I can't rotate it upwards from the ankle. My left leg is shorter than my right by a couple of inches, and as a result, I walk only on the toe of my left side, unless i use a lift in my shoe. I also use a brace to combat my ankle rolling outwards. The worst side effects from all this is that i have severe chronic hip pain on my left side only which flares up whenever I do any sort of impact activity such as walking or climbing, and especially rotating at the hips. The only thing I can do without pain is ride my bike for some reason. However, my left knee is degenerated and malformed, and I can't put any weight on it midway -- it has to be a all-or-nothing action such as stairs, and even then it produces terrible pain. My right knee is also mildly aggravated from all the overcompensation, but not too much.

I am painfully aware that if I ever got into a physical altercation, I would instantly be defeated. This is not because I am weak -- my upper body strength is moderate -- but because I have no core balance. Even if I were to swing a punch, I would be so off balance I could immediately be taken down. I live in a tough neighborhood and I am always afraid that someone is going to have a problem with me and I won't be able to defend myself.

Ideally I'd like to learn a defensive martial art that I could merely use to neutralize my opponent's attacks. I have no interest in offensive maneuvers. I don't approve of fighting. But I would like to ensure my own safety.
However I have always assumed that due to the significant pain and limited movement and ability of my lower body, martial arts training is impossible due to the amount of focus placed on balance and being able to sustain weight and flexion in the knees and hips.

Is there no hope for me? Or might I still be able to learn a defensive martial art?
I'd really appreciate the input. Thanks!
I started taking Hapkido last year because I wanted to be able to fend off an attacker in two or three moves. I'm a 2nd Dan in Taekwondo, but Hapkido is a better combative MA. At 73, I don't want to be in a protracted fight. Plus, I'm a disabled veteran.
 
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angelariz

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I was born with mild cerebral pasly on my left side. It has resulted in a hypertense foot which is always pointed downwards and I can't rotate it upwards from the ankle. My left leg is shorter than my right by a couple of inches, and as a result, I walk only on the toe of my left side, unless i use a lift in my shoe. I also use a brace to combat my ankle rolling outwards. The worst side effects from all this is that i have severe chronic hip pain on my left side only which flares up whenever I do any sort of impact activity such as walking or climbing, and especially rotating at the hips. The only thing I can do without pain is ride my bike for some reason. However, my left knee is degenerated and malformed, and I can't put any weight on it midway -- it has to be a all-or-nothing action such as stairs, and even then it produces terrible pain. My right knee is also mildly aggravated from all the overcompensation, but not too much.

I am painfully aware that if I ever got into a physical altercation, I would instantly be defeated. This is not because I am weak -- my upper body strength is moderate -- but because I have no core balance. Even if I were to swing a punch, I would be so off balance I could immediately be taken down. I live in a tough neighborhood and I am always afraid that someone is going to have a problem with me and I won't be able to defend myself.

Ideally I'd like to learn a defensive martial art that I could merely use to neutralize my opponent's attacks. I have no interest in offensive maneuvers. I don't approve of fighting. But I would like to ensure my own safety.
However I have always assumed that due to the significant pain and limited movement and ability of my lower body, martial arts training is impossible due to the amount of focus placed on balance and being able to sustain weight and flexion in the knees and hips.

Is there no hope for me? Or might I still be able to learn a defensive martial art?
I'd really appreciate the input. Thanks!
My teacher and I both believe that modufied impact and Edged weapons work as well as ju jitsu seem to best for people that have limited. Mobility. The style is less important than a teacher that can modify his system for people with physical limitations.
 

wab25

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I used to train with Steve:


I have also met and trained with Bob:

Find what you like, find a good teacher and train.
 

AIKIKENJITSU

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I have taught my version of American Kenpo for forty years. I've had those thoughts before. I would use Kenpo. I would experiment on how to use parts of techniques if I were sitting, lying or on my knees, etc. Many parts of a style could be utilized if you couldn't walk, etc.
Sifu
Puyallup, WA
 

Diagen

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kneesovertoes guy will fix most joint issues in the lower body. Fixes grandpa into a leopard. Very good stuff.
I have found that when limbs don't respond right or I feel arthritic or have tendon pain, or when I have full on fatigue and can't use any strength, I can turn that right around by thinking of and being like water, and approaching things as "mental strength", instead of emotional or physical strength even. To illustrate: I can lay down and wait 10 minutes to get 50% of my strength back, or exercise "mental strength" and stand up and walk around because mentally I know it helps and get 75% of my strength back after 10 minutes, or focus on mental strength itself and get a second wind or recover within a couple minutes. This goes for arthritic feelings as well. I focus on emotional strength and I am more motivated to do something but if I'm trying to do something already and no amount of motivation will help then I focus on mental strength. This goes for anything -- for dexterity, intelligence, strength, endurance, whatever. If I literally can't lift a limb, even if it's a limb that's fallen asleep and paralyzed for whatever reason limbs do such, I will focus on mental strength and think of water and it will regain strength and feeling within 3 seconds rather than 20.
It's worth the effort to try.
 
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John dye

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I was born with mild cerebral pasly on my left side. It has resulted in a hypertense foot which is always pointed downwards and I can't rotate it upwards from the ankle. My left leg is shorter than my right by a couple of inches, and as a result, I walk only on the toe of my left side, unless i use a lift in my shoe. I also use a brace to combat my ankle rolling outwards. The worst side effects from all this is that i have severe chronic hip pain on my left side only which flares up whenever I do any sort of impact activity such as walking or climbing, and especially rotating at the hips. The only thing I can do without pain is ride my bike for some reason. However, my left knee is degenerated and malformed, and I can't put any weight on it midway -- it has to be a all-or-nothing action such as stairs, and even then it produces terrible pain. My right knee is also mildly aggravated from all the overcompensation, but not too much.

I am painfully aware that if I ever got into a physical altercation, I would instantly be defeated. This is not because I am weak -- my upper body strength is moderate -- but because I have no core balance. Even if I were to swing a punch, I would be so off balance I could immediately be taken down. I live in a tough neighborhood and I am always afraid that someone is going to have a problem with me and I won't be able to defend myself.

Ideally I'd like to learn a defensive martial art that I could merely use to neutralize my opponent's attacks. I have no interest in offensive maneuvers. I don't approve of fighting. But I would like to ensure my own safety.
However I have always assumed that due to the significant pain and limited movement and ability of my lower body, martial arts training is impossible due to the amount of focus placed on balance and being able to sustain weight and flexion in the knees and hips.

Is there no hope for me? Or might I still be able to learn a defensive martial art?
I'd really appreciate the input. Thanks!
Any art can be modified. Look up ron scanlon. Richie barathy and i also met a sight impaired judoka and a disabled jujitsu kung fu n many other arts have practioners. Its what you are comfortable with. Tai chi is my choice
 
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