The aim of this page is to:

1 help those with Disabilities and encourage them to take up Aikido.

2 To help and give as much information to Aikido instructors who would like to teach or know some one who is disabled who would like to take up Aikido but does not know where to start. 3
To give useful Names and addresses of Organizations who are experienced in a particular disability who may be able to give advice as and where necessary.
the Disability Discrimination act, every person with a Disability has a right to access and obtain information to any activity sport shops and all things in life that So-Called Normal people take for granted.


Jon Stokoe 5th Dan

Several years ago whilst teaching a class I observed a young man who was watching the class from a wheelchair. I could see from the centre of my Aikido mat that he was very interested in what was going on.

During a break for cold drinks I had the opportunity to have a conversation with him.
After introducing ourselves to each other I learned that he had been watching several of my classes looking through a window so he would not be seen. He explained that he was very shy and it took a lot of courage to actually come into the practice room.

He said that although he could see the Aikido demonstrations, he could not hear what was being said and his curiosity to find out more brought him into the room.
He said that although he could see the Aikido demonstrations, he could not hear what was being said and his curiosity to find out more brought him into the room.
I have practices with and taught the none sighted, people with hearing loss also students without speech, at some point over the last 25 years, I said to him Whats stopping you taking up Aikido.)
I said you have already taken several lessons just by observing, so you have actually visually and mentally started to be a martial artist. He said I never thought about it like that. He thanked me and said he would think about it and left the room to go back with his friends in an adjoining room.

After the break I told the class that I was going to do a demonstrate Aikido from a chair
Which was duly placed in the middle of the mat by my assistant. After explaining to the class that Aikido is possible to be practiced by anyone even if they have disabilities,
The only proviso is it is up to the instructor to access the students limits (he/she may need a Doctors approval, say for a heart condition) so common sense is an issue.

I duly did the demo from the chair which required only upper body movements and doing so noticed from the corner of my eye my friend again watching from afar.

Peter was hooked and the next lesson was his first. After helping him out of his chair we found that his best and most comfortable place was the safety of the corner of the matted area. It is taught that at the end of each technique students change partners so Peter trained with everyone including myself from his corner of the mat. He had a white Aikido suit on during practice and if he could he would have gone home wearing it because he was so proud.

This is the beauty of Aikido.
It does not require vision or to hear it only requires you to be able to feel.
If a leg is disabled, you have upper body movement as in Peters case.
If blind you can sense touch.

Of course there are limitations but that is down to the instructor and support staff to determine.

After some time he took Gradings in the art of Aikido. His Grading was no different from anyone else (only modified to his needs).

Feb 2007 (c)

Please Click here for the Royal National Institute for the Blind Website

Click here for The Royal National Institute For the Deaf

The Disability Martial Arts Association Charity website.

Another Martial Artist, who is So-Called Disabled....! I have a lot of time and respect for him, his name is Bob Banham.

A Blind Martial Artist jersey website very useful and interesting

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