View Full Version : Gimp style Aikido - New learner

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08-24-2005, 03:24 AM
Hallo! I noticed a link at the top which suggested I make an introduction in the introductions forum, but it sent me back to the index page... so I'll say hi here instead! My name's Ben and I'm a 24 year old new starter. I started about five weeks ago and seem to be doing okay. I'm also a full-time wheelchair user. I don't know whether my doctor would approve of me taking up Aikido (and Qigong and Taichiquan), but he's never got it right before anyway, and I shouldn't be able to live my life as I do according to him anyway!

This is going to be a huge challenge, but I'm up for it. I practice mostly from hanmi-handachi with some suwari-waza, and a little meeting of attacks (without technique!) off the mat to accustom myself to how my chair responds to uke's attack. My chair can taisabaki all on its own!

Incidentally... hopefully I won't offend anyone with my robust manner of referring to disability and disabled people; I will quite openly refer to myself as "gimp" and "cripple" (think of it as my equivalent of 'reclaiming c--t'), and won't object to other people using these words to describe me (although I wouldn't suggest calling other disabled people by these names within earshot! :D )

So that's me. Booyah!



08-24-2005, 03:35 AM

My first dojo had a regular student in a wheel chair. Was great learning for the rest of us students....ukemi into a wheelchair is not a pleasant experience. :-)

Best of luck to you in your training...and your dojomates should welcome the oportunity for new training....


Janet Rosen
08-24-2005, 03:50 AM
Boyle, wonderful to meet you.
In an earlier career, I worked as an RN in an acute rehab unit w/ spinal cord injury folks, and I know how essential an irreverent sense of humor can be. It should serve you well in the dojo--it's the "able bodied" folks who have to get over feeling embarrassed at being uncoordinated fools in the dojo, after all! and yeah, when it comes to long-term disabilities, them what got 'em tend to be more expert than the doctors. Pity about the pay disparity....

Hanna B
08-24-2005, 04:31 AM
Cool! I know of a Daito Ryu teacher in Copenhagen, Denmark, who also is in a wheelchair. If you have good teachers, it should be a good learning experince for everyone involved.

08-24-2005, 04:38 AM
Congratulations on your courage and humor, Ben. I would like to point you towards a possible source of inspiration. Her name is Molly Hale Sensei, a senior student of Frank Doran Sensei, and a featured instructor at the recent Aiki Expo in Los Angeles. A victim of not one, but two, serious spinal injuries, the last of which (1996) left her wheelchair bound, she continues to train and teach, and to show what can be achieved with the power of the mind and spirit.

You can see her at http://mollyhale.com and in other places, by doing a Google search of "Molly Hale". She reaches out to others, particularly those with similar physical challenges, and I think you'll be rewarded if you contact her, as she is in a unique position to understand and encourage your "walk" along the path. Remember one of O'Sensei's favorite proverbs: "masakatsu agatsu" (True Victory is Self-Victory). Best of luck to you!

08-24-2005, 04:47 AM
Cool! I know of a Daito Ryu teacher in Copenhagen, Denmark, who also is in a wheelchair. If you have good teachers, it should be a good learning experince for everyone involved.

Would that by any chance be Ole Kingston Jensen? I've heard about him and saw a little of him at the end of the film Aiki which is loosely based on his experience.

Thanks also for the Molly Hale link; One of the particular reasons I chose Aikido over other martial arts is the precedent of successful wheelchair using practitioners, something I've seen only rarely in other arts.

Thanks for the welcome, guys... but who's this Boyle persona being greeted? :freaky:


08-24-2005, 04:51 AM
Okay, I have no idea how i got Boyle from Ben....forgive me :-)

But the sentiment remains....enjoy your training and welcome to the club!


08-24-2005, 08:53 AM
Hi Ben,

Welcome, and thank you for your introduction.

Can you please send me the e-mail with the faulty link? I'll investigate.

-- Jun

Janet Rosen
08-24-2005, 11:28 AM
Okay, I have no idea how i got Boyle from Ben
DOH! and I was just following her....

soorkeu atrooshi
09-01-2005, 07:53 AM
Hello Ben and welcome aboard.