Martial arts can be taken up or learnt by anybody. There is no specific rule that only a particular group of people can only learn martial arts. People who are differently abled are more vulnerable to being attacked or being sexually harassed. With changing times the differently abled people have turned their attention to self defence training or martial arts to protect themselves from being attacked. Martial art is based on specific principles. Once you understand these principles towards the martial arts such as karate and judo then you will be able to teach that particular martial art to the student regardless of their disabilities or their abilities. The biggest challenge is getting the student to overcome his insecurities about himself. Martial arts styles like karate, judo, taekwando and some others can turn out to be convenient to the individuals with their special needs. Let us enlighten ourselves more on this topic.
People suffering from blindness can benefit a lot from the martial arts training. Judo is not majorly dependent on eye sight as it is not a contact sport. Judo is practiced by people blindfolded to improve their reflexes and build up their senses. The same goes for Karate, it can also be easily adapted to blindness. People suffering from paralysis, multiple sclerosis and other movement disabilities can gain help from learning self defence through martial arts.
If a student is not able to kick or use his leg then an alternative technique can be taught to him. The kicks can be replaced by punches. For a person who is paralysed on one side of his/her body should be taught techniques that would comprise of using only one side of the body. On understanding the problem and keeping the balance would help one to learn the martial art skills better. People who are differently abled sometimes have a stigma in them as they think they cannot perform proper or real martial arts. But this notion is not at all true. It is just the way they are thinking. With time people are becoming acceptable about their disabilities and it is something which they should not to be ashamed of.
Differently abled students should not be ignored and the teacher should encourage them to always give their best. This is how they would be able to perform better day by day in the classes and gain confidence. The teacher should help the differently abled students to recognise their skills and the abilities they obtain. The teacher needs to understand the underlying principles of martial arts and then he/she won’t find it difficult to teach a differently abled student. It is rightly said that martial arts is the study of mind, body and the spirit so what the body won’t be able to do, the spirit would make up for it. People get over their insecurities once they get used to practicing martial arts in their lives.
It is important to embrace your individuality and stay open to your needs. In this manner there remains no need of teaching anybody differently with different abilities. Every person or a student has individual requirements and those requirements can be met by understanding the basic principles of martial arts. Martial art helps in building up confidence in a person through. This itself is a plus point as to why differently abled people should take up martial art classes. Besides that it is also therapeutic in nature.