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Old 03-12-2004, 02:12 PM   #8
Dojo: Messores Sensei (Largo, Fl.)
Location: Florida
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,267
Re: Physically handicapped Aikidoists?

Christopher Biazak (cbiazak) wrote:
Could someone please tell me about any physically handicapped aikidoists they know of? I am especially curious to learn how the dojo and instructor accommodated their special needs.
One had the sternocleidomastoid muscle removed on one side due to throat cancer. He tell his partners before training to be careful not to grab him there. He's in his seventies. Aside from that one caveat, he asks no quarter. Great heart.

Another has some sort of degenerative (?) muscle condition (haven't asked him what it is; his legs knock strongly and it seems as if he's dragging each leg to catch up with the other as he walks). I see no special consideration for him when I see him at seminars and he asks none. He wants to open a dojo.

I know an organ transplant in his 60's. He came onto the mat hardly able to stand up, would work his own exercises during class and eventually came into class and has now been working out with the class for a few years. I see no special consideration given him beyond those we might give in consideration of age anyway.

Trained with a Down's Syndrome 15 year old girl years ago in New England somewhere, I think it was. She was fiesty and game to rock and roll. No quarter needed.

Hope that's useful.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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