View Full Version : Blind doing aikido
02-02-2001, 02:31 AM
Hi all aikidokas out there. I'd like to get some advice and/or experience in aikido training working with a blind aikidoka. I would specially be happy to hear from one that are blind and have done or do aikido today. The reason for my request is, there is a man that's blind starting aikido at our dojo today , and I would like to tell him that there are other's out there being blind that train aikido, and that they want to give him the advice to....
Please help me and mostly help my buddy that is soon to be an aikidoka! It's my firmly belief that he will gain from aikido and aikido will gain from him.
02-03-2001, 12:08 AM
We had a girl in our dojo who is blind. I'm not sure what happened to her, she hasn't been back since December, but she was there at every class for like 3 months. She was also "double-jointed", so that made it especially hard to feel any resistance when she was uke, and she did pretty well as nage. Anyway, she was interesting to work with, and our sensei did a blind fold class one night when she was there, so as to make it visually challenging for everyone.
I practiced with a blind person for roughly a year or 2 (don't remember exactly). I really enjoyed working with him and was sorry when his career sent him off on a different path.
Specifics. We did have to be careful where we threw him but throw him we did. When we attacked we used to slide our feet or make a sound so he could track us (done when he was an uke also). Sometimes he'd get up in the wrong direction and you'd have to say something to get him turned around. Strikes were often done by snapping the fingers through the strike but he'd pick it up pretty well and the foot sliding worked pretty well too. It took a lot less than I expected. Also, he spent a lot of time as uke when techniques were being demonstrated as it saved a second explanation. I used to get jealous.:)
I can't think of much where he was held back. Maybe multi-attacker stuff as I don't remember him as an uke but we might have done it with him. He certainly did everything else.
I can't speak for how much he got out of it but I got a lot out of having him around. It was a great experience.
02-03-2001, 11:47 AM
I'm very happy for the reply you gave me! Please keep it coming!
02-08-2001, 11:38 AM
I had the great opportunity to work with a blind person at the New York aikikai X-mas seminar about 2 years ago, He was Yudansha, so that says something for his skill, certain allowances were made for him, especially on a crowded mat, but it was truly an inspiring thing to witness, for strikes we started out wrist to wrist (like in push hands)and would move form there, he could sense then the distance and the speed, so he was very good at overcoming his blindness. Hope that helps.
02-08-2001, 02:45 PM
please visit our rehabili aikido site
its also for the blind
02-09-2001, 08:30 AM
Again! Thank you all for your replies.
02-12-2001, 06:40 AM
Just a quick post - not from myself, but from my Sensei (she is having some difficulties posting at the moment):
Hi, Jakob B! I have a blind aikidoka in my club. He did judo 20 years ago
when he could see, which has helped him with ukemi, but when he first came
to my class, I would get him to put his hands on my shoulders when I did
the technique, then again on my hips, and finally - slowly! - on my feet,
so that he could feel where the action was taking place and what direction
it was going. I also did the technique on him, so he could feel what was
supposed to happen. As for strikes, his partners put their hand on his body
(side of head/chest) as appropriate, and as soon as they draw back the hand
to strike, he begins the technique. It seems to work, he just passed his
first grade and is working towards the second!
Please give your potential student as much help as he needs to begin with,
as it must be awful to be blind, and aikido is such a fulfilling way of
acquiring some positive power in your life.
Good luck !
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