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Romenust32 karma

Hi mate. I am currently teaching kendo (Japanese fencing) to a teenager (16?) With cerebral palsy. It's affecting his legs, while his upper body is mostly fine. From what I understand, there's no mental issues at all, and he talks the typical smart ass teenager (which is great, we get along well).

I'm guessing every person is different - but how do you handle frustration? I can tell he tries to concentrate on making his legs move, but his body just isn't doing what he wants. So we're trying to "modify" the proper footwork to adapt and see how far we can get to. But whereas with most students I can push them to do better ("that wasn't good! Try again!"), I'm not sure how I should approach someone with an actual physical disability (as I don't want to blame him if it's not like he can help it).

Can you offer any advice on how one might help him (or you) in learning something new that requires complex body mechanic / movements? (His parents gave me the contact details to his physiotherapist, who I have contacted, but they haven't responded yet.)

This guy is always happy and smiling though, I think he's reached a point where he (and his parents!) have accepted his condition and realise there's so much to do, learn, and enjoy in life regardless. I hope you and your family are there too.

Romenust12 karma

Thanks mate. Yea I think we both went in not knowing how it's gonna work, and I have admitted it'll be a learning process for me too.

His mum just wants to find anything for him to do so it's great seeing such a big support from the family. It's really touching when he told me he's been practising at home, and the first time he managed to do some of the exercises (hitting me with a bamboo sword), his mum jumped up and took videos.

I guess I'm trying to approach this like any other student - kendo has a high turnover rate, so until the day we part ways, I'm happy to commit to teaching them.

Hope you have an active hobby that you can do!