It’s about time the world saw that wheelchair-users can have mad self defense skills. There are a ton of us out there, and you’ll find us at every level of ability (I still have a ways to go). We can have great upper-body strength, so hey, shouldn’t be all that surprising right? And the following two videos you’re about to see are the BEST of the best when it comes to wheelchair self-defense.
This first video comes from the enlightened self-defense school in San Diego, Jing Chen Koushu. The founder Greg, may be able-bodied, but holy cow is he one of the best self-defense trainers I’ve ever seen for wc-users. He’s trained Therese Riedel, (a very buff) C5 quad, some of the most intense wheelchair self-defense moves I’ve ever seen anyone her level of spinal cord injury do.
She learned the impressive stick self-defense method (which so reminds me of the teenage mutant ninja turtles). You’ll see her do that, plus you’ll also see her through a series of boxing and blocking moves with her trainer (and btw, her cardio ability as a quad? yeah insanely strong.) I would not be able to do what she can (not yet at least. It would take a lot of training to get there).
As they go through the moves (it’s amazing to watch, and it’s choreographed to rapper Maino), watch closely – if you’ve ever doubted a quadriplegic could defend herself successfully against an able-bodied attacker, watching this video might change your mind.
There’s also another expert in the world of wheelchair self-defense, and his name is Eric Kondo. He’s a T4-5 paraplegic from Massachusetts who‘s also an active member on our site (username Ekondo if you want to view his entire video archive). His self-defense site, NOT-ME.org, is the brain trust of all things related to defending yourself in a wheelchair. Erik lives and breathes self-defense. Lots of good info here.
While Erik made a lot of self-defense videos, I think this video is his best one. It goes through a series of moves and showing you what to do if an attacker comes from the front, the back and how to defend yourself (successfully) in each situation. And once you get the attacker in your grip, the moves focus heavily on gouging the eyes (or wherever you can stick the attacker in the face). Woo fun! ha
Being in a situation where I have to even try to defend myself sounds like one of the scariest things that might ever happen to me, but if it must happen to me (or any of us), it’s good to know that if we wanted to, we could go to training, learn what’s up, and put up a darn good fight.
Have you ever had to defend yourself from an attacker? What style of wheelchair self-defense do you prefer?
Watch the videos!