|Posted on November 5, 2013 at 7:00 PM||comments (0)|
As we continue our program from the Tampa Lighthouse for the Blind I am constantly amazed how great these kids are! Their attitudes are second to none. The Tampa Lighthouse for the Blind has and extracurricular program they call Transitions. This program is designed for youths 13-20 to teach life skills. The participants in the program have various levels of visual impairment ranging from degraded focus and light perception to total loss of sight. In addition, many participants have other complications and disabilities. I provide instruction in self-defense and encompass some basic mobility skills. The primary focus is to teach the students how to be independent. I have 30 students and we practice basic techniques designed around the individual’s ability. Techniques include break away from a wrist grab, lapel grab, counters to chokes, elementary throws, holding techniques and voice commands. We practice light ukemi (falling techniques) as several students have problems taking any significant impact, so this assures a safe environment. As with all martial arts instruction, repetition is the key and we work diligently to not only teach the techniques, but to instill self-confidence and establish an environment for success and achievement. Instruction this year, for returning students, will concentrate more on ukemi (as they are able), holding techniques and the addition of Bo and Jo staff. As several of the students utilize a cane the addition of staff techniques seems the next logical step. I am truly honored to work with such an amazing group of young adults!