Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Disabled 101

First I have developed various disabilities. Teams of Physicians have been able to tell me what my problem is or have any idea how to treat it. I have been a martial artist for over 40 years and I am working around the problems, I will remain living a martial life regardless of what the problem is.

What I have to deal with:

1.  Speech is very difficult, I have a hard time to make myself understood, especially over the phone.
2.  I am much weaker. Among which this accounts for my speech difficulty, the facial muscles are weaker.
3.  I have very little balance. For safety I employ a walker when taking my daily walks.
4.  My fine motor control is lesser. I have difficulty handling the simplest of phones. My ability to write is non-existant, Even a signature is extremely difficult to impossible. I had to find the right keyboard to make use of the internet better. That is almost my only remaining ability.

What I am sharing are the various studies I use to retain my martial abilities to the extent that I can. While this is about what I do, it is not intended for me alone. Every disability, every person is different. All will require competent medical assistance I only hope this might inspire others who wish to remain practicing the martial arts in their unique circumstances.

So to begin, let us think about slowing down.


First it helps to be able to slow down. Decreasing the rate of respiration making the act of slowing down helping gain relaxation for the body,

The drill for this comes from my tai chi training.


The drill is most simple


1. Hands in front at sides.

2. Raise hands up with the fingers down.

3. At shoulder level, stretch the fingers up.

4. Drop the hands back down omto your sides.

5. Repeat.


With each repetition slow your breathing by a greater amount.

One breath while the hands rise.

One breath while the hands fall.

Slower and slower and slower.


With practice you will see how slow you can go.

And slow causes relaxation.


I wish to use these photos of my Tai Chi instructor, Ernest Rothrock and his students to demonstrate this
1. Hands in front at sides.
2. Raise hands up with the fingers down.

 3. At shoulder level, stretch the fingers up
4. Drop the hands back down mto your sides.
5. Repeat.
This is the preparation I use for the day. and anytime I want to prepare for other training.
Another drill I use for the same purpose takes even less movement. I just stand in the play guitar position from my Yang Tai Chi. This is another drill to slow down. You breath slow and slower, inhale and exhale, each time going slower.
It does take practice. I recall when I first was shown this drill, how quickly I would wobble just from standing still. I was a black belt in karate and nothing I had trained prepared me for this.
As you perform the drill, you actually sink down on your back leg. At the same time I discovered the drill pulled a single muscle strand on the front of your lead leg. Nothing I had done ever prepared me for that.
So just stand still and breathe.
Another way to slow down and prepare in stillness for other drills.
Yet another drill from Eagle Claw is useful to offset the greater amount of sitting one does. It is used in the Faan Tzi Ying Jow Pai to open and conclude each class.
These are drills I use every day, perhaps others can find them useful.

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