Legally blind & wondering which martial art to study

Moonlit

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Hi everyone,

I'm new to martial arts and legally blind. I'm also middle aged (47F), short, and weak (some of my joints are over-flexible as well), and wondering what would be the best martial art to study for someone like me. I have no preference of what art to take, just trying to find one that's suitable for someone in my situation.
 

Jared Traveler

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I guess the first question would be can you seen enough to view when instructions/demos are given in a class?
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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As posted above, jiu jitsu is a pretty good one, since it's all based on body feel.
If you can see the instructor, you could do tai chi forms work, but I wouldn't do any CMA sparring, except push hands, and I've heard that wing chun works well for blind folk (i've got no experience with wing chun, that's just what I've heard).
 

Ivan

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Hi everyone,

I'm new to martial arts and legally blind. I'm also middle aged (47F), short, and weak (some of my joints are over-flexible as well), and wondering what would be the best martial art to study for someone like me. I have no preference of what art to take, just trying to find one that's suitable for someone in my situation.
My friend is also legally blind. He uses a walking stick too. He is a black belt in Judo and close to being promoted to purple belt in BJJ (currently a blue belt). I think both of these martial arts I could recommend for you. He kicks my *** every time, and he says he doesn't need to see because you are able to feel what is going, due to the close proximity between training partners in these martial arts.
 

Dirty Dog

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As mentioned, it will depend in part on how blind you actually are, as well as the nature of the "over flexible" joints.

I would recommend grappling, since maintaining body contact can, in many ways, replace sight. I taught a woman with two prosthetic eyes how to use the rapier based on sound and using blade contact to determine body position.
 

drop bear

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Are you weak because you are sedentary?

Or is it a condition of some sort?
 

Tigerwarrior

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Hi everyone,

I'm new to martial arts and legally blind. I'm also middle aged (47F), short, and weak (some of my joints are over-flexible as well), and wondering what would be the best martial art to study for someone like me. I have no preference of what art to take, just trying to find one that's suitable for someone in my situation.
I have no experience in teaching blind or visually impaired yet. But from my experience I'd recommend an art that you can go by contact. So even if you can't see you can feel. The main arts that come to mind are wing chun or Brazilian jiu jitsu. I knew of a lady who was legally blind who trained kali too, she also was excellent at capoiera (sorry If I spelt that wrong) the Brazilian art that focuses on kicking and ground kicks looks like breakdancing sometimes. So there are some good options.
 

JowGaWolf

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I sometimes grapple with my eyes closed and I sometimes do push hands with my eyes closed. I enjoy those things a lot, eyes open or eyes closed. I haven't tried striking with my eyes closed. But if I wanted to do striking with my eyes closed then it would be in a system that has a lot of focus on keeping contact with the person I'm going against.
 

skribs

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I can't help but think of the fight scenes from Hear No Evil, See No Evil, where Gene Wilder is giving directions to the blind Richard Pryor so he knows where to punch.
 

JowGaWolf

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I can't help but think of the fight scenes from Hear No Evil, See No Evil, where Gene Wilder is giving directions to the blind Richard Pryor so he knows where to punch.
Lol Age alert.
 

windwalker099

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In my younger days we used to practice sparring blindfolded...
one on one, two on one ect..

very interesting experience

 

auntlisa1103

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Dont underestimate your ability to learn just about anything. My TKD instructor tells the story of a legally blind person with albinism who, as a brown belt, went three rounds against a black belt for grand champion in weapons forms at tournament. We have practiced our taegeuk forms with eyes closed before as well.

Im fully blind in one eye. The lack of depth perception creates a challenge for board breaks sometimes. I just start at the target and pace it off backwards, kind of like an NFL kicker pacing off his approach for a field goal.

You simply need an instructor who is good at helping each student find THEIR OWN path. Everything can be modified. We have one one-step sparring sequence where my instructor taught me to grab their punching arm while I roundhouse them to the belly, to help with my balance. In another, the attack is supposed to be head high roundhouse-reverse punch. I outside crescent instead of roundhouse because with my balance issues I recover into the reverse punch better from the crescent.

Good luck! I hope you enjoy whichever martial art you choose as much as we enjoy ours!!!
 

WaterGal

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My understanding is that Judo and BJJ are both good choices for the blind. Grappling is so much about feel, even for a sighted person.
 

Dirty Dog

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Dont underestimate your ability to learn just about anything. My TKD instructor tells the story of a legally blind person with albinism who, as a brown belt, went three rounds against a black belt for grand champion in weapons forms at tournament. We have practiced our taegeuk forms with eyes closed before as well.
Being able to do forms with your eyes closed has nothing to do with being able to fight or spar without sight.
Im fully blind in one eye.
Me too. I've worn a prosthetic eye for 44 years now.
The lack of depth perception creates a challenge for board breaks sometimes.
Unless this is a new thing, it should not.
I just start at the target and pace it off backwards, kind of like an NFL kicker pacing off his approach for a field goal.
I would not allow this. You need to be re-learning how to judge distance, not just for TKD, but for life. If your depth perception is that bad, you shouldn't even be driving.

Right after I lost the eye, I would set a glass on the table and miss. So here's what I did. Your pupils are only a few inches apart, and that is more than sufficient for binocular vision. I started moving my head. That allowed me to see things from two slightly different angles, and judge the distance in exactly the same way it's done with two eyes. I'd throw things into a basic, even just bits of paper into a trash can. Anything at all to force my mind to re-learn how to judge distance. Over time, as I improved, the head movements became smaller. At this point, if you look at me closely, it looks as if I have a lateral nystagmus and that's it.

How is my depth perception now? I drive, and have less difficulty parking in just one spot than many, apparently. I race, and don't hit the wall. I off-road, which means being able to place tires exactly where they need to be (or else maybe go over a cliff) and not bash rocks and trees with the Jeep body panels. Oh, and I break things too.
That was shot shortly after my MDK 4th Dan test, so it's old.

You learned how to judge distance once before. You can do it again.
 

windwalker099

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Nice breaks

In Korea, at place they called the Weston corridor....late 70s, S-Korea still under martial law.

Serving as a medic for a battalion aid station unit, couple of clicks from the Z...

Often we would get Korean nationals sometimes after curfew hours...late 70s..
This one a ROK Soldier who thought it would be a good idea to attempt to chop off the top half of a So ju bottle with his hand.

ii_7643_de5786acc48d1aea484425133f384a9e.jpg


Didn't work out to well

He managed to cut his palm "knife edge " down to the bone...
Very deep requiring sub q sutures to close the wound before a second set of sutures close in the wound..
He couldn't speak much English, lucky for him. having drunk the bottle before attempting break it I guess,, didn't seem to feel much..
Kept repeating in broken English " I f--k up". .
One of the KATUSA's assigned to our unit spoke to him acting as our translator...

Apparently he was tying to impress some lady friends

Should mention, as a young teen,,,also broke my hand during a break..."boxers fracture " they called it...
hit off center.. ..heard the break,,,not what I was attempting to break...

ROKS pretty tough soldiers, train extremely hard..
In Vietnam, they had a division there called white horse
ROKA_9th_Infantry_Division_Insignia.png


Not a good idea to be taken prisoner by them,
as they didn't take any
 
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Gyakuto

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Wing Chun might be a good option. Its close up, relies on feeling the micro movements of your opponent with whom your arms are often in contact and the risk of joint injury is low since there are no throws or grappling per se and there are solo kata you can learn and enjoy performing.

Iaido (solo Japanese swordsmanship) might be another good choice since theres no real opponent to engage with, only an imaginary one (kasso teki), the kata are beautiful and impressive, it has a rich history and culture that you can delve into if you wish. One of our highest-graded teachers and amazing practitioner is almost blind due to macular degeneration.
 
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