Not all, but some blind and partially sighted people can feel more vulnerable when out and about and knowing how to defend themselves can be a real confidence booster as we have been learning. Thanks to funding from the Primary Club we are in the process of holding a 10 week self-defence course with self-defence experts 1Touch project.
On week 6 of the sessions, we took the opportunity to speak to attendees to hear of their experiences so far.
We caught up with Aqua from Newham who has now been coming along to the classes for a while.
“I’m feeling very empowered and a little bit secure about myself when I go out. It shows me that if anyone came after me then I’d have a chance to get away from it.”
Umit from the 1Touch Project who is running the sessions for ELVis comes from a boxing background. He lost his sight around 10 years ago and teaches self-defence to blind and partially sighted people. He explains how the ‘1Touch’ concept works.
“We teach people movements they can use in a one touch position- they can touch and feel what’s happening without needing to be able to see.”
Neil from Waltham Forest, who is another one of our attendees, has also been benefitting from the classes.
“Self-defence can be challenging with lots of moves to remember. We have been learning various escape and attack positions. I do feel confident in defending myself and hopefully should be able to remember the techniques, as long as I keep up the practice.”
Deniz has been assisting with the classes and thinks participants are doing great:
“Throughout the programme the participants have been progressing amazingly. I know a few people that have come along not knowing anything from the start to becoming one of the best in the class.”
I’ve had the opportunity to take part which has been great. I feel I’ve learned a lot in a short time. The challenge for me really is to be able to retain the techniques should I ever find myself in a situation requiring them. However, I’m hoping this won’t be the case.
Neil feels that he would be somewhat more prepared should he ever get attack, although, we all hope this doesn’t ever happen to him. Also, Aqua has started to feel strong in herself as a result of the sessions and hopes to do some more classes to build her confidence further. We are certainly looking forward to having Aqua, Neil and all the other attendees join us for the remaining 4 sessions.
Don’t forget to watch our YouTube video of our members participating in a recent self-defence class.
Written by Masuma Ali, ELVis CEO