Martial Art for a beginner with limited disabilities?

Gotkenpo

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I have studied martial arts on and off for many many years....never progressing past the first few promotions before lifes circumstances have made continuing an impossibility. I now find myself in a more static situation and would like to begin studying the Martial Arts at my own pace for my own enjoyment without regard to rank or title. Mainly just for my own inner peace and physical fitness. At the same time I want the art I begin to study to be a useful art. I have studied Tae Kwon Do, Shotokan, Goju, Tracy Kenpo and American Kenpo all to orange level except Shotokan which was to Green level. So I have the Basic Basics. I am fascinated with Kenpo. (All training is in the distant past....been at least 10 years)

What martial art would you recommend for a disabled veteran that has the following disabilities....

I have normal mobility but but cannot move (ie run) without pain. I have had reconstructive surgery on one ankle and one knee and probably should have the same on the other side. I have mild back problems and neck pain that is enough to be a bother but not enough to incapacitate me. I am not limber so need to do alot of stretching. Again, I am most fascinated with the Kenpo Systems but am open to Learning!!!

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Any recommendations? (I live in Phoenix AZ)

Thanks to all who respond......
 

Laurentkd

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I would stay if you are interested in Kenpo than go for it. However, the instructor is much more important that the style. Check out the schools around you that seem interesting, talk to the instructors there, try out a couple classes, and see which one seems like the best "fit" for you. Let them know what you are looking for and see who fits best for you (rather than worrying about which system you fit into). The instructor will make all the difference.

Good luck!!
 

Catalyst

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However, the instructor is much more important that the style... ...The instructor will make all the difference.
I think Laurentkd gives fantastic advice.

I got involved in MA's after an accident (to help rebuild my leg) and I ultimately made my choice based on the people (instructors), not the Art itself.
 

JBrainard

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Dito what Catalyst and Laurentkd have said. No offence to the TKD people out there, but with your ankle/knee problems I'd stay away from the Tae Kwon Do.
 

kidswarrior

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Ditto laurentkd, Catalyst, and JBrainard. :ultracool I tried to stick with traditional Hapkido for four years, through five knee sprains (started at age 40+), and other joint problems. Finally faced the reality that I couldn't do that art (never got past yellow belt!) at that age/wear and tear of life (have broken my feet several times=arthritis). Long story short: Kempo forms got me off knee braces altogether, AND made me a beter fighter. Not a bad deal. :)

Keep us posted! :)
 

terryl965

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I agree with them all go and talk to instructors and see which ones can offer you the best program for your condition and go from there.
Best of luck
 

Kacey

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I have had students with physical and/or developmental disabilities - any art can be adapted; as has been said, it depends much more on the instructor than the art. Look around for styles you are interested in and then go talk to instructors at different classes. Let them know about your interests, your past experiences, your disability, and then see what they say. A good instructor will be willing to work with you.
 

mrhnau

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Have you considered an internal style? Tai Chi perhaps? I've heard of alot of people feeling better after training in Tai Chi for a while... just something to consider :)
 

still learning

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Hello, Mrhnau may a great recommendation here! Please look into Tai chi! It is not as simple as it looks. It will give you a good workout. You will learn self-defense moves and it will be less pounding on the body!

Please let us know what you have decide to try and if it did meet your requirements? .....Aloha
 
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Gotkenpo

Gotkenpo

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Hello, Mrhnau may a great recommendation here! Please look into Tai chi! It is not as simple as it looks. It will give you a good workout. You will learn self-defense moves and it will be less pounding on the body!

Please let us know what you have decide to try and if it did meet your requirements? .....Aloha
Thanks for the recommendations from everyone. I am looking for a Kenpo school here in Phoenix. My biggest concerns are the physical disabilities but I also suffer from PTSD and just recently was diagnosed. I am looking to find someone to train with on a personal level and not in group settings as I dont really feel comfortable in a group environment. Does any one have any recomendations for a school here in the Phoenix area?
 

tshadowchaser

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Try taking a look at any FMA schools in your area also. As had been said by all before it may depend more on the instructor than the school/system.
 

IcemanSK

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Like others have said, I would follow what you want to study. I would add find an instructor who is understanding of any limitations that you have. That would make all the difference.
 

K31

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As someone with many joint problems myself, I'm curious about what makes people consider Kenpo a good fit for the thread starter.
 

arnisador

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Most instructors will work with you on a matter like a disability. Since self defense isn't a main goal, start with Tai Chi for exercise, then see how it goes!
 

shesulsa

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Lots of good advice here. Arnisador's advice is a good one in particular because Tien Tai Chi (as I learned it) is good for exercise and is VERY therapeutic. It *should* work well with any PT program you have going and if you don't have one going, could work as a good substitute or as a continuation of mobility and mobility increasing training tool. And as for a springboard for other arts, I agree with that as well, you might find yourself in a better situation after a short while to go right into something you've had a chance to try.

And let's talk about that - whatever you do, wherever you go, whomever you talk to - ask them to let you try out the class for a week or two to see if it's a good fit for you. Most places will agree if you sign a release of liability. If they don't or they let you try only one class, try the class and observe for many more if they let you. If not, walk away.

A good clue is others in the class who are limited in some way, either by a disabling injury like yourself, or developmentally delayed persons, etcetera. You will get to see over about two weeks how the teachers and the other students cope with a student like that.

Good luck to you!
 

Old Fat Kenpoka

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What martial art would you recommend for a disabled veteran that has the following disabilities....

I have normal mobility but but cannot move (ie run) without pain. I have had reconstructive surgery on one ankle and one knee and probably should have the same on the other side. I have mild back problems and neck pain that is enough to be a bother but not enough to incapacitate me. I am not limber so need to do alot of stretching. Again, I am most fascinated with the Kenpo Systems but am open to Learning!!!

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Any recommendations? (I live in Phoenix AZ)

Thanks to all who respond......

I usually post on the forum that the art IS at least as important as the instructor. But in you case it may not be. And, your physical profile is not so different from many others. For instance, I have arthritis in my neck, a torn ligament in a knee, tendonitis everywhere, I am nearsighted, and I am of course old and FAT.

For you, the most important thing will be finding a sympathetic instructor and sympathetic students. You may have plenty of fun at a BJJ club if the instructor and students will give you a break. Most Kenpo systems are very adaptable to different body types and capabilities. A good Kenpo instructor should be able to accomodate you. You may have as much fun at any other club teaching any other style--as long as the teacher and students are simpatico.

So shop around and see what is in your area. Then, if you can't find a school that does it for you, switch to something non-contact like Tai-Chi...or swimming, or biking...or golf.
 

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