Saturday, November 07, 2009

Visually impaired students do well in Martial Arts

SAFFIRE Engineering Ltd is marking one year since the company began sponsoring judo training for visually impaired students at the Santa Cruz School for Blind Children.

The classes are conducted by Sensei Master Linus Browne (3rd degree Black Belt Judo and 4th Taekwondo), in conjunction with The Judo Association.

Judo is one of the very few sports in which the visually impaired can compete against the seeing on an equal basis. This martial art does not rely on sight but largely on one’s senses of feel and touch; movement; balance and timing.

The visually impaired are ideally suited to judo since they have a great sense of touch and perfect ability to concentrate on almost imperceptible moves.

They are intent listeners who will visualise what is being communicated through the other senses, and are not easily distracted.

Judo does not involve any punching or kicking. The students initiate by feel, holding on the “Gi” (specially designed uniforms) of their opponent, and are thus in constant contact. Throws, grappling and locking techniques are then used to gain the opponent’s submission.

From the first training session the students at the institute have fallen in love with Judo as they soon realise its other, immense advantages. Being able to take part on an equal basis has helped to develop their self- confidence, character and independence in life. They learn the importance of balance and how to fall. They are involved in a safe physical exercise and it encourages them to persevere and reach their full potential.

There are 14 students ranging in age from eight to 17 years. They are trained by Sensei Brown on Thursdays starting at 3 pm at the school. The “Gi” for the students are supplied by the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs through the Judo Association.

The Managing-Director of Saffire Engineering Ltd, is Vishnu Tewari, who has been a student of the martial arts for over 30 years. For the past seven years Tewari has been a student of Sensei Brown in the field of self-defence which comprises judo, taekwondo, hapkido and aikido.

For more information please contact: Vishnu Tewari 680-7563; Sensei Linus Brown 755-7564; School for Blind Children 676-8718.


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