Monthly Archives: July 2013

Liverpool Karate-Jutsu’s – Karate for the Blind and Visually Impaired

This warms my heart. Martial arts was HUGE part of my self-development. I hope to train again (there is a karate class at my job- lucky me!) but I do not feel as confident due to my peripheral vision loss. Giving blind and visually impaired students the opportunity to study karate is a wonderful thing. Wonder if there are similar efforts in the United States. Read and support!

Sport 4 All

karateI, Sensei Mike Dunn launched Liverpool Karate-Jutsu in December 2010. In March, that year I had been awarded my “Shodan”, Black Belt in Freestyle Karate-Justu. I had restarted in martial arts at the age of 43, having previously trained in karate for 3 years, 25 years earlier. I also studied for and took an Instructors exam, so that I could start my own karate club.

I could not have done this without the support of my fiancée Christine, my own Sensei (Neco Bulut) and Andrew Morrell of the Cobra Martial Arts Association (CMAA).

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Liverpool Karate-Jutsu’s primary Dojo is based at St Michaels Church Hall in Aigburth, Liverpool and is a community karate club that has always attracted great kids, teenagers and adults. The karate club was already well established when Stephen joined the karate club in June 2012.

Stephen has Usher Syndrome and is deaf and blind. He immediately became…

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Speaking at the #Latism13 conference! Should I bring my cane?

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I’m speaking at the #LATISM national conference for the second year in a row- very excited about this opportunity. LATISM stands for Latinos in Social Media and it’s a wonderful group of people who are engaged in supporting each other and having an impact. I’ll be speaking on a panel about Latinos and obesity that will focus on the generation of solutions. Our families and children need healthier outcomes, and they need them NOW. I really hope that many people will attend both the conference and this panel. Register here and get 15% off with EARLYBIRD code until August 1st. Yay!

Now on to my other question! Should I bring my cane? Conferences are huge and confusing and you’re constantly navigating in unfamiliar spaces. Since I have been embracing being open about Usher Syndrome, it might be a good personal challenge for me to bring my cane with me. It would open some dialogue and connections with others in a new way. This will be my third time attending the conference, so there will be that awkward moment of “hey, you’ve seen me before but without a blind cane.” There are many repeat attendees who I already know.

One young woman is very inspirational in being open about her disability. Her name is Laurita Tellado and she has spina bifida. She’s an advocate for awareness and has a great blog. Sometimes, she’ll attend an event in a wheelchair and sometimes she won’t. Everyone loves her and interacts with her comfortably, no matter what. It’s a great example to see.

I wonder what it would be like to attend with a cane. It would be easier to navigate the space and the crowds. I don’t have enough experience with it at the moment to feel confident using it, but I am due for more training this summer. I think it takes courage to use the cane as well, since you will appear different and not everyone understands that there are degrees of vision loss other than complete blindness. I will definitely continue to think about this.

What do you think I should do?