Doing karate while visually impaired

Elliott wearing a white gi with a purple beltBy Elliott, 14

For a lot of my life martial arts been on the list of things I wanted to do.

It all started when my mum was walking me and my sister home from school, when leaflets about karate were being given out. Both my sister and I liked the idea of it and so did our mum. In a few weeks we had joined up and here I am now as a purple belt.

Being visually impaired dose effect my accuracy but I have been trying to learn how to  make up for it like pinch a little softer or kick a little harder. This especially affects me when I’m fighting because I have to take my glasses of so they don’t get damaged. I can still fight with them off it just makes it that little bit harder but I have won gold in a competition for fighting before.

Elliot wearing a white gi with red belt and a gold medal around his neck

Elliott with his red belt and gold medal

My sensei and the other students are very supportive of me. When he is showing the class a technique he sometimes does it to me so I can get a good sense of how to do it. I have doubted whether I should continue at times, especially when there are other things happing like at home or school but I have gotten through.

I have really enjoyed karate. I think it’s a great sport for someone who is visually impaired like me as everything is close up not like tennis or other sports like that. But in karate you are able to see what your opponent is doing and where they are. I have personally found that this boosted my level of confidence. Even if I have had a bad day it makes me really relaxed and calm, I would suggest doing martial arts if you are visually impaired. I have loved doing it and I think it has helped me become who I am today.

See also: James’s jujitsu blue belt and self-defence for the visually impaired

Do you do martial arts or a sport? How does being visually impaired affect it? Tell your story

About Aniridia Network

A charity support group for people with the genetic visual impairment aniridia and their families in the UK and Ireland. Our vision is that people with/associated with aniridia are hopeful, confident, supported and well informed regarding aniridia. Founded in 2000. First registered as a charity in 2011 and fully in 2018.
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