Teaching the blind?



I often wonder about this, and I'm interested to know in how various schools would approach this.

How would you approach teaching (or do you have and how do you teach) a blind student? Would you focus on some things over others? Specific techniques?

I always manage to dig up good responses with this one, and they all seem to be a little different, what's your input?
why would a blind person learn martial arts? to defend himself???

ask yourself: who would fight the blind and if so, how can u fight someone u cant see
how blind is blind? Unless I'm mistaken it's incredably rare to have absolutly no vision, rather an individual's vision is just incredably bad, but even if you can see a little, even if it's just light and dark than you can use that sensory input to your advantage
There is a man who can barely see shadows in my brother's dojang, I believe he is testing for his black belt soon. There was some issue with sparring if i remember right.

You know, I think it would be great and as a beginner student would be patient if i was partnered up with a blind individual. We have a black belt in our dojo who has down's syndrome. He hits just as hard as anyone else. he may look a little clumsy, but the proof of the pudding is when it hits you, not what it looks like.

I hold fast to the belief that it is important to maximize what you have, not limit yourself by what you don't have. Blind artists and deaf composers have enriched all of our lives....
I may be wrong, but I get the impression that some of you don't train in total darkness? There can be times when people will be in total darkness (hood over head for example) in which case one might want to know how to fight "blind". Try it, it is harder then you think to pick out certain sounds in a building with multiple people in in let alone a room full of people.
It is good training.
train with eye's closed but never in total darkness. thing is if you can't see and your opponant can you are always gona take the first hit.
Limited vision vs. total blindness aside, what I was really wondering was methods you would use to teach a blind person as opposed to other students.

I've talked to many who focus on the kinesthetic aspect when teaching a particular technique, taking care to show how it *feels* rather than what it looks like. I was just wondering if instructors here would do the same?

hand2hand--it seems to me that a mugger on the street might see a blind person as an easy opportunity, taking advantage of their disability, so I don't think it strange at all that a blind person may want to learn to defend him/herself ^_^

I guess that brings up another question. What sorts of methods would/do you instructors use in teaching people with general disabilities? I know of many people involved in the arts with cerebral palsy, whose skills have proven useful in real situations. Also with people in wheelchairs, and teaching them defense both out of and using their chairs.

Originally posted by Wertle

it seems to me that a mugger on the street might see a blind person as an easy opportunity, taking advantage of their disability, so I don't think it strange at all that a blind person may want to learn to defend him/herself

In this thread a story is mentioned of a blind judoka being attacked by a mugger and responding with a throwing technique. The mugger died.

Not every attack may be amenable to such a defense, but you never know!
in my JKD class sometimes we practice with our eye's closed when training sensitivity, also in judo we did the same thing, that's about 90% kinesthetic (you can still hear your partner). But in my opinion the low vision thing vs no vision thing makes a big diffrence, if you have realy poor vision than you can probably tell when someone's aproaching you or the direction they are in and distance. if you have no vision you can't (well you can hear but it's not as acurate) the thing is if you know where an attack could come from it's easyer to minimise dammage and it's easyer to bridge the gap and make physical contact (where kinesthetic info can carry you). But if you think about grappling, how many times have you been on the ground where your vision was obstructed by your opponant's body so you are just going on feal? I think grappling in genneral would work for a blind person. As to how you would communicate information, most of the info my instructor gives me is auditory, when he's teaching us new techniques it's also visual and sometimes kinesthetic but I see nothing wrong with describing how something should feal. All in all I think if there's a will there's a way, and if the student want's to learn they will try to understand and if the instructor likes to teach they will try to explain.
Gator, that lost his eyesight in Vietnam. He won the Internationals one year in the Self Defense Division. He was cool. And hard hitting also..... he seemed to have radar range...... lol

It was challenging to teach him (I had the opportunity on several occasions during visits and camps) but at the same time a humbling experience and I certainly felt gratful for what I do have.

He has since passed on but was a great example while he was among us.

Well, at another branch in my school, there is a student who's almost totally blind. He can see if there's a light object if it's surrounded by darkness, and a dark object if it's surrounded by light. However, he's unable to spar, obviously. First time I noticed him was at a testing. He was led out on to the floor holding his cane, and then his Posabunim took it aside. Then as he was doing his techniques, I was curious, because his techniques looked phenomonal. When he did his form, I was blown away, because I can honestly say that few people did it as well as he did. His board break also went of flawlessy. While he may not be able to spar, his techniques and forms are amazing, and when it comes to our school's tournament, he's going to be tough competition in breaking and forms for sure.

Just thought I'd share that...