The 100% Percenters

Kevin Bakewell 2016 Blk & Whi

For some time now Elaine (my wife) and I have been teaching people with disabilities. Some have a physical impairment, some have learning disabilities and some have both. Many people think that that would be a major problem but no it isn’t. you must understand that despite their limitations, most them are happy and willing whole heartedly to learn and progress. It’s amazing to see their confidence, self-esteem and coordination grow and it’s a pleasure for us to be able to observe the way that they support each other.
Please let me tell you a little story about someone that used to attend one of our classes some time ago. We will call him James:
James was a gangly 6ft 3in teenager who had enormous feet that got in his way. He was forever falling over them. Consequently, he had to wear a padded head guard to prevent injury. He rarely spoke and initially was very reluctant to get involved. His carer would coerce him into the room and you would see him enter carrying his teddy bear. At first, he would sit at the back but little by little we managed to get him to join in.
Very gradually we manged to make progress; until after a couple of months he would be the 1st one up when I got the pads out. It was a joy to see him chasing me around the room and putting combinations together. His footwork became very shifty and he never tripped or fell.
One day during a break, we had tea and biscuits and James came and sat next to me. He had a drink in one hand and a biscuit in the other. I thought nothing of this as he sat there eating his biscuit and finishing his drink. James even spoke a few words to me. It was only later that I was made aware via his carer how much progress that we had made with James.
His carer took me to one side and explained that James only ever spoke to her and his parents and would never eat in front of anyone.
She also commented on how much better his behaviour had become. Unfortunately, those sessions have closed due to lack of funding.
I would love to have been able to see his further progress if we could have continued.
We are now working with the Disability Karate Federation who sponsor and find funding for the projects that we are involved in; which in most cases means that tuition becomes self-sustainable.
Elaine and I derive so much satisfaction working with our different groups.
You know the old saying “you can’t help anyone who will not help themselves”.
So, we give credit to the guys because they put so much effort in. it’s all about their ability and not their disability.
So, next time you are thinking of an excuse not to train or whilst training you are asked to do something that you find difficult or uncomfortable, just have a word with yourself and suck it up and get on with it.

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