A lot of people don’t know this, but I teach some of the lower level jiu jitsu classes with a teammate- it can definitely be fun some nights, watching some of the lower belts stumble through, or sometimes have that moment when everything clicks and they really get some of the stuff that we teach them.
I don’t usually like to talk about students in our academy, but we’ve recently had a white belt in our class that has presented an interesting, but definitely good challenge. He usually takes the afternoon classes, but has shown up a couple of times in the evening class we teach. He’s very nice, courteous, a pleasure to have in class- he just also happens to be blind. I personally think it’s awesome that he’s taking jiu jitsu. Granted he’s a bit of a ‘ringer’ in the class: he is also a black belt in judo- so which he does have some ne waza work under his belt, there are a lot of positions and fine details of certain techniques he isn’t entirely familiar with.
They are really minor adjustments in teaching that need to be made, but they are things you wouldn’t naturally think about- I talked with my coach about what we could do to make sure he gets the most out of the class, such as use him as an uke (someone you perform the technique against) so he can feel the movement of what you are doing.
Overall I think it’s pretty awesome that he’s taking classes with us: he is actually not the first blind person we’ve had train with us, and I think it’s pretty great to have people with different needs in our academy- it offers a diverse element to the group, and encourages instructors to not just go through the same techniques the same way over and over again, but to think about how best to serve their students and give them the tools they need that best suits their class. Finally it really shows students, especially in the lower ranks how jiu jitsu can be for people with all sorts of different abilities and from all walks of life.
Just something cool I wanted to share with you guys: have a great Tuesday, everyone!