A couple of weeks ago, Yuki Judo delivered an online presentation for kids and staff at the Statewide Vision Resource Centre (SVRC).
SVRC is an institution depending from the Victorian Department of Education and Training, that supports over 500 blind and vision impaired students and provides specialised training and support for educators.
We talked about the history Judo, how we fight and what a typical class looks like. We also talked about the particularities of Judo for blind and vision impaired people, including the experience with our blind Judoka in the adults class, who’s been training twice per week for a year now.
It was a great session where the kids also had the opportunity to ask questions and touch and feel Judo belts and gis (uniforms).
A big thank you to SVRC and Blind Sports Victoria for the invitation!
She started training at the beginning of 2021 on Wednesdays only and after a month, she joined the rest of the students and has been training twice per week since then! (well, until COVID lockdown anyways)
Here’s some fun facts about Blind Judo:
– Judo is the world’s most popular martial art for athletes with visual impairments.
– To compete in Paralympic Judo, you need to have less than 10% of remaining vision or your visual field restricted to less than 20%.
– Judo is one of the few competitive sports that the visually impaired athlete can participate in fully without major accommodations.
– Practically, the only difference when fighting is that the competitors start the bout already holding each other instead of 2m apart, the rest is pretty much the same
– There are many vision impaired Judokas worldwide that have reached the podium in regular competitions against sighted Judokas- Antônio Tenório Silva is a Brazilian Judoka who holds several records. He’s completely blind and has won 7 medals in Paralympic games, including 4 gold medals in consecutives games. He got COVID in early 2021 and was in ICU for 18 days, but he still participated in the Tokyo games with 50 years old and won the Bronze medal in his category!