In July me and some of my students from the Pottstown Judo Club visited the Montgomery County Association for the Blind (MCAB) Day Camp… A dozen plus blind and visually impaired boys and girls from the ages of 7 to 16 years old engaged in a hands-on demonstration of the Japanese martial art of JUDO lead by Sensei Richard Favinger, Jr. (me) of the Pottstown Judo Club, and assisted by Sensei Scott Rakowski along with Pottstown Judo Club junior students, Paul, Brandon, Nick, Dylan, and Matt…

We had a wonderful time teaching them 2 judo moves each and one hold down. This hands on demo allowed the blind children to throw my students (and they loved every minute of it!) We brought uniforms for every one to try (and feel), and some of Sensei Rich’s Keystone Games medals from past events that are very textured so they can feel them. (They are in the shape of a Keystone)…

They enjoyed hanging with us and telling us many stories of what they also enjoy. Many are members of the Junior Blind Golfers Association, and have participated in Special Olympics under Swimming, Running, and Horseback Riding…

My students had a GREAT time, and the campers asked us when we where coming back! Many also asked where they can signup for judo! Sadly for many they live far away from my club. But I will do my best to find them one local if I can… If not, I may just have to start a judo club for MCAB!

One of the harder things for my young helper students to understand was how they needed to describe every thing they needed to do or tell the other child how to move a foot or hand for placement. But they got the hang of it! (Teaching not so easy eh’ guys?)

I found it a little strange when one of the blind students asked me if I could guide them back to the mat area from the hall… suddenly I was the more sighted of the bunch. I seen one of my other students guide a blind student to the bathroom and patiently wait for him outside, then guide him back to our area. I’m so proud of my students, they acted like perfect role-models!

Special thanks to Mr. Jim Hunt camp director (yellow cap) [who is also blind] from the Montgomery County Association for the Blind… and the Pottstown Judo Club. This demonstration was arranged by Sensei Rich (me)…

MCAB Day Camp 2009 and the Pottstown Judo Club

The young fellow sitting next to me, is only 7-years-old and has limited light perception – the little dude almost jumped out of his chair when we made the first call for participants! Youngest of the bunch with a triumphant “I DOOOOOO!”… and was first on the mat! – Yea!!! I love it!

To learn more about Visually Impaired and Blind Judo please, contact me!

Judo is an official Olympic and Paralympic Sport for the Blind…

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