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Anat Amitay 09-29-2004 03:21 PM

Blind Aikidoka
 
I was wondering,
Has anyone ever trained with a blind aikidoka? Does anyone know of a blind person training in Aikido?
I know of a blind boy training in Judo (well, now he's probably a highschool student), but I was wondering about Aikido.
Thanks for any information,
Anat

Janet Rosen 09-29-2004 04:03 PM

Re: Blind Aikidoka
 
Not long term, but I've trained at seminars or while visiting places w/ 2 different folks who are blind. both very enjoyable experiences.
Main thing with each of them was that I had to be very clear, in either role nage or uke, about staying "sticky" in physical contact or my partner would have to come "looking for me" which meant some potentially nasty atemi! and it is incumbent on the sighted partner to ensure clear paths for the blind partner esp for ukemi.
Don't know if it is coincidental but both ended up training longer term not in aikido but in aiki-jitsu of one or another form, where there is more pinning and control, less throwing into space.

Jeanne Shepard 09-29-2004 07:12 PM

Re: Blind Aikidoka
 
I trained, ocasionally, with a woman who was blind, and thought she was quite good. She earned her shodan, but unfortunately passed away recently from cancer.

Jeanne

Michael Young 09-29-2004 10:33 PM

Re: Blind Aikidoka
 
Here is something I posted in another thread about looking in your opponent's eyes or not here:http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...4505#post74505

I'll just copy and paste it:

Quote:

While visiting Hikitsuchi Sensei's dojo in Shingu, Japan in 1998, I had the opportunity to train with a blind Aikido practioner. I think his rank was 3rd or 4th dan. During one class, the attack shown was tsuki (punch to the midsection), and I was partnered with the blind gentleman. At first I was timid about attacking him at the normal speed, but he communicated to me (mostly through gestures, he spoke no English and my Japanese was pretty bad) that he wanted me to attack full speed. I figured "O.K. you asked for it" and went ahead and punched at the normal pace, and immediately found myself flat on the mat as usual . It was a completely amazing experience. This guy could sense my timing, spacing, and intent without being able to see. He obviously doesn't have to worry about where to place his vision...of course, the rest of us are handicapped with the problem though .
Quote:

Another interesting story involving the same person... He was a masseuse by profession. During class one of my fellow American friends, who was also practicing, hurt his toe by catching it in between the tatami mats. After class was over, the blind masseuse came over to my friend and pointed down towards his foot. No one had told him that my friend had hurt himself, and they were not practicing together at the time the injury occured. The masseuse, of course, went right to the toe that was hurt without being told which one...he did his massage thing...and my friend stated that his toe felt much better after. FWIW cool story, maybe with a lesson or two about preconceptions and how we limit ourselves to just the visible world.
-Mike

Atomicpenguin 09-29-2004 11:40 PM

Re: Blind Aikidoka
 
I have. What do you want to know?

batemanb 09-30-2004 02:44 AM

Re: Blind Aikidoka
 
Used to have a blind chap in our dojo years ago. The club split some time ago and I haven't seen him since I went off to Japan a few years back, I don't know if he still practices. It was great training with him, I think he got up to about 4th kyu before I went. Hi Derek (if your reading), what became of Doug?


rgds

markwalsh 09-30-2004 04:47 AM

Re: Blind Aikidoka
 
There is at least one blind dan grade in the UK whobI trained with once. There is also a blind Judo society.

senseimike 10-01-2004 03:44 PM

Re: Blind Aikidoka
 
I used to have a student that was blind. He was an excelent martial artist and held black belts in 2 other arts(a grappling art that was affiliated with Gene LaBelle, and a form of wing chung). He lost his sight at around age 28 and started training after that. It was a pleasure to have him in class, learned a lot from him.

Lyle Laizure 10-01-2004 07:56 PM

Re: Blind Aikidoka
 
I am familiar with the fella that Mike is talking about. Definately a fun time.

Gareth Hinds 10-05-2004 01:00 PM

Re: Blind Aikidoka
 
I met one at a seminar recently. She was still a beginner, and I didn't get to work with her, but later she asked me about visiting Shobu, and it was an interesting experience giving her directions. Makes you really think about what kind of non-visual cues you can use to navigate.

Ron Tisdale 10-05-2004 02:08 PM

Re: Blind Aikidoka
 
Quote:

Michael Young wrote:
Here is something I posted in another thread about looking in your opponent's eyes or not here:http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...4505#post74505

I'll just copy and paste it:




-Mike

Was his name zatoichi? If so, watch out for his cane...

RT :)

hopparn 10-06-2004 02:15 AM

Re: Blind Aikidoka
 
We have a blind aikidoka in our dojo, he has just reached 3:th kyu and he is very interesting to practice with

Derek Webb 10-06-2004 04:29 AM

Re: Blind Aikidoka
 
We used to have a guy who got to 4th kyu. Absolutely amazing. How he coped with ukemi I'll never fully understand. Trying them with my eyes closed lead to a few bad landings. His techniques from grabs was outstanding. From strikes we devised a way of letting him know where the strike would hit and the majority of times he coped admirally. On courses and at gradings most at first could not believe he was blind. Uking for him could get interesting when he used atemis. Sharpened up your reflexes!
Hi Bryan he moved to Wales about a year ago. Last I heard from him he was looking! to train with Gwyn Jones

Sojourner 03-02-2014 08:45 PM

Re: Blind Aikidoka
 
I have been pondering this question for a while, it does occur to me that Aikido could well be one of the most suitable martial arts for a blind person to use for self defense purposes. Sadly it is the elderly and people with obvious disabilities that are the most likely to be attacked by cowards in our society. Its also worth noting that the loss of one sense can increase your capacity in other senses.

Millsy 03-03-2014 01:44 PM

Re: Blind Aikidoka
 
My sensei, did some work with the guide dogs association teaching self defense to the blind. Here is a short article on it: http://geelong.starcommunity.com.au/...fence-skill-2/

PeterR 03-03-2014 02:00 PM

Re: Blind Aikidoka
 
Quote:

Ben White wrote: (Post 335632)
I have been pondering this question for a while, it does occur to me that Aikido could well be one of the most suitable martial arts for a blind person to use for self defense purposes. Sadly it is the elderly and people with obvious disabilities that are the most likely to be attacked by cowards in our society. Its also worth noting that the loss of one sense can increase your capacity in other senses.

I would disagree completely here seeing a huge difference between practicing (possible blind) and "most suitable for self defence". I may sound like a broken record (ie. the kid's thread) but I would go for Judo here too. Aikido needs incredible hand eye coordination whereas judo basically requires getting a good grip.

Millsy 03-03-2014 02:48 PM

Re: Blind Aikidoka
 
Quote:

Peter Rehse wrote: (Post 335647)
Aikido needs incredible hand eye coordination whereas judo basically requires getting a good grip.

Never thought of aikido needing incredible eye hand coordination. I can see where defence against strikes need timing to enter, but if somebody is grabbed I would think its by feel from then. Do you think you could apply nikyo with your eyes closed from katatedori?

Ever trained blind folded to grabs? It's an interesting exercise. Basically unless you're up against a five armed 3 headed beast from alpha centauri, its pretty much the same once your grabbed: the head is at the other end of the arm, the hips are below that and the feet below that again. Follow the arm up and you have got everything to play with.

But the question of what is "best for self defence" is a bigger one than can you do the art. I need to ponder that one more.

Sojourner 03-03-2014 03:47 PM

Re: Blind Aikidoka
 
Quote:

Peter Rehse wrote: (Post 335647)
I would disagree completely here seeing a huge difference between practicing (possible blind) and "most suitable for self defence". I may sound like a broken record (ie. the kid's thread) but I would go for Judo here too. Aikido needs incredible hand eye coordination whereas judo basically requires getting a good grip.

Not sure I agree with you there, once an attacker has grabbed you, Aikido should give you the capacity to defend yourself accordingly. You may well give them more injuries because you cannot identify what is in your local surroundings and your attacker could be impaled on a fence post or similar as a result.

The other question that I would raise is would it be appropriate to expect that an Aikidoka could execute their techniques with the same capacity with a blindfold as opposed to to relying on sight in the dojo?

PeterR 03-03-2014 04:22 PM

Re: Blind Aikidoka
 
Well once an attacker has gotten hold of you - you are in judo's domain. Aikido is what you do while closing the distance - judo is what you do when you get there.

Good luck performing a kotegeishi or kotemawashi on an attacker who has got hold of you - both work best before a firm grip is established.

kivawolfspeaker 03-03-2014 04:22 PM

Re: Blind Aikidoka
 
A blind person's other senses will be heightened because they can not see. They might be keen to the "swish" a strike makes through the air as it comes towards them and use that to base their entry on.

PeterR 03-03-2014 04:33 PM

Re: Blind Aikidoka
 
Quote:

Jen Wilcher wrote: (Post 335652)
A blind person's other senses will be heightened because they can not see. They might be keen to the "swish" a strike makes through the air as it comes towards them and use that to base their entry on.

You are joking right?

ze'ev erlich 03-03-2014 04:43 PM

Re: Blind Aikidoka
 
Hello Anat,

I have experienced training and teaching blind people. My best friend in Japan is my dojo friend and he is blind. He holds now 2nd Dan in Aikido (Aikikai).

If you need help with many methods for training and any advice, please do not hesitate to contact me.

kivawolfspeaker 03-03-2014 04:47 PM

Re: Blind Aikidoka
 
No, actually I'm not and I've been around enough blind people defending themselves against nature that way (a tree branch falling). Yes, coordination of senses and body movement is required, but that doesn't mean it has to be sight. You have other senses, why not coordinate them?

ChrisHein 03-04-2014 12:31 AM

Re: Blind Aikidoka
 
I trained Daito Ryu with a blind fellow. He was awesomely powerful.

jonreading 03-04-2014 12:24 PM

Re: Blind Aikidoka
 
I think there are several arts that accommodate training without one or more senses. I think aikido can accommodate training without vision and the methodology of instruction is flexible for unique teaching challenges.

I think the practicality of fighting without an ability or sense is suspect. Because of our teaching paradigm in aikido, we sometimes forget that initiating an attack is often an advantage. We also sometimes forget that we create deliberate contact with our partners so we can aikido each other. I think it is intimidating to imagine a self-defense situation with my full skills outside of the aikido paradigm.

I remember a study that found elderly were more at-risk to sustain a serious injury from falling than robbery. Elderly taking aikido and learning how to fall may be far more practical than using their aikido in an assault situation. Similarly, I think keeping focus on practical applications of aikido for the vision impaired is a better perspective... One of my old students who was legally blind had difficulty with depth perception. Just learning balanced walking in case he missed a step or caught his foot on a crack was a huge benefit to his daily life.


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