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  • Physical Disabilities

    For about 7 months now I've have seriously becoming a student of Kendo. I do however, have a disability. I have Vitamin D Resistant Rickets, a condition which causes my legs to slightly bow and makes it harder than normal to walk and run. I would think that this has obvious implications. I found this site a while ago while doing some research on the different Kendo Federations and such. I looked at the content of each issue and I noticed that in the basic rundown of Issue #4 there was an article about Kendo with physical disabilities. I was wondering just how detailed this article is and your opinions on this matter.

  • #2
    Neon...I'm not familiar with your disability, but I've seen some people who were disabled and had little problem doing Kendo. I have had my right knee crushed in a motorcycle accident but I still practice. There is a guy in Hawaii that I've heard of who has no legs and still practices. It all depends on your desire to play.

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    • #3
      Well, I know that it is a matter of my desire, but my consideration is with the fact that I know my disability can be severely limiting at times. For example, overexertion can result in my calapse. This, naturally, can happen to anyone, but for me it can come after only 30 minutes of physical activity. However, I can build up my endurance to ensure this doesn't happen, which is exactly why I got a green belt in a some form of Korean Karate (I was too young to remember.) . Anyway, I have known some of my family to be successful with the martial arts so I guess it's just up to me. I'll stop my rambling now

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      • #4
        Explain your disablity to your instructors, unless they're total jerks they will accomodate you. If your condition makes certain postures impossible (perhaps you can't kneel (seiza) or squat (sonkyo)), then explore alternatives with your instructors. If you find you can't make it all the way through a practice, rest partway through. Most importantly, just go practice! You'll never know if you can do it until you try. The most important thing in kendo is a strong spirit.

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        • #5
          I've never meet a Sensei who wouldn't give you a break due to physical problems. I know they give us older guys with bad knees a break. I have a problem with seiza and sonkyo. They let me and other's do a modified version to help us out. They will help you.

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          • #6
            I also get a free pass on seiza because my knees are shot. One is from a motorcycle accident and the other from plain old age (arthritis). I showed the Master my knee braces, and although his English is very poor - he got the point. By now he knows my heart is into doing everything, to the max, but my body has its limitations. I think the most important issue is the consistency of my attendance. He realizes I really want to practice and that I will push myself to the limit.

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            • #7
              Thanks for all the replies you guys! That's good to hear, I'll do my best to incorporate this into my decision! I'm glad to know that it is a somewhat common thing for sensei's to properly adjust training to one's weaknesses. Thank you for all your insight on the matter!

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              • #8
                I was at the UofT kendo tournament in April or May,
                I saw this first dan guy with one leg!
                That was one of the coolest and most inspiring thing i've seen
                in real life.

                There's nothing you can't do man!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Hongsermeier
                  There is a guy in Hawaii that I've heard of who has no legs and still practices.
                  Yeah...read an article about him and saw some photographies. He got no legs left at all down from the hip. He's wearing a shinai in the right hand and uses the left arm / hand to push his body forward and up.

                  He fights not disabled people and is able to strike a correct men with full seme.

                  Must be an awesome guy. Here goes the whole story: http://www.warrior-priest.com/generic9.html This guy could be a role-model for the whole kendo community. My deepest respect to his contribution.
                  Last edited by lwegerich; 30th December 2003, 05:48 AM.

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                  • #10
                    physical disabilities..

                    Well, I take karate and my left arm is... Well not badly disabled but it doesnt bend all the way and is weak.. its hard to do pushups in karate but its doable.. ^^x' ehe.. anyways.. erm.. why did I post this? *shrugs*

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                    • #11
                      I practiced with the guy in Hawaii from 90-97 , he is named Henry Smalls, he lost both his legs in a train accident, is a father and acts in movies. His is very quick and has won many tournaments, mostly because other Kendoka are baffled by his kamae. The Senseis rarely if ever gave him a "break", he just overcame and addapted. In 1996 he asked me to teach him Iaido and that was the only time they told him no that I am aware of. He now holds a 4th Dan and practices in Honolulu.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by neo_dragon_kai
                        I was at the UofT kendo tournament in April or May,
                        I saw this first dan guy with one leg!
                        That was one of the coolest and most inspiring thing i've seen
                        in real life.

                        There's nothing you can't do man!
                        HEY! that must've been the same guy who came to the etobicoke summer BBQ last year.

                        i didn't get to see him spar, but i heard he was formidable... that's cool

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