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 Post subject: Need help with thesis
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2001 2:58 am 
Hi,

I am a martial arts teacher here in Wilmington, Delaware. I am currently
working on my thesis for my next grade promotion. It is a "guidebook" meant
to help instructors who teach special needs students.
I am desperately seeking input from both teachers and students involved in
the study of martial arts. I am hoping to include testimonials from these
folks as to what benefits, pitfalls, experiences (positive or negative) ,
techniques, etc,etc, they have used or encountered, how it's affected them
(again, good or not so good) and anything else they'd like to include.

The idea behind this guide is to act as a "helper", a resource for those
without (or even with) experience in serving special needs students.

If anyone is willing to help, please write to me at robkloss@home.com

Thanks in advance for anything!




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Rob K.
Wilmington, DE


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 Post subject: Need help with thesis
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2001 11:19 am 
Well, I know I've screwed up programs of a few instructors who didn't know what to do with me and likewise with students who avoided me like the plague when I returned to the ma while still relearning how to stand up and to walk. Most people just don't know how to deal with, nor do they have the patience with, severly handicapped individuals, especially those working on peak physical fitness.

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Allen Moulton from Uechi-ryu Etcetera


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 Post subject: Need help with thesis
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2001 3:36 pm 
Then you are exactly the right person for me to ask advice! Patience isn't an issue for me (we teach 4 year-olds in our program, we'd be dead without it! but there may be other mistakes that we make that we're unaware of. Did you find an instructor who met your needs? If so, what made him/her different? How would you handle a severely handicapped student? Generally speaking, not technique specific.
All of our experience so far has come the hard way. The purpose of this guide is to help others avoid the poor experience that you had and to help teachers in the field become a whole lot better at what they do.

I am not a writer, but I am fortunate enough to be able to impact a lot of people through our school and organization. If you could offer any insight at all, I'd be most grateful.

Be well,



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Rob K.
Wilmington, DE


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 Post subject: Need help with thesis
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2001 7:10 pm 
You asked for it, Rob, so this is what I give to you today:

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
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If you could offer any insight at all
It might require a refinement of thought.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
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Then you are exactly the right person for me to ask advice!
When am going to learn to change shoe size? (my usual humor).

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
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Did you find an instructor who met your needs?
I found lots of them peppered throughout the US, actually.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
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If so, what made him/her different?
Forget the young instructors, I just blew them off. It takes years of being a person to understand people. My best instructors were the real fighters, street or otherwise. The absolute best instructor I ever had spent years fighting and training troop in Cambodia during the ‘nam era but you’d never know it. His patience rubbed off on his students who found my limits and drove me past them, always challenging me on my ground, not theirs. This was brotherhood. They gave me something and I gave them something in return.

The best instructors AND colleague students are those who do not view me as a cripple because I never ever consider myself as one. Those who have been belted around a few times in life who know what its like. Those who do not take advantage of my disability. Those who throw me in with the lions in the same manner they do with the fisically phull phacultied ones. And those who respect me for who I am and what I am – not disrespect me for things in which I have no control over.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
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How would you handle a severely handicapped student? Generally speaking, not technique specific.
I don’t know. But I guess I have an idea. I had several slow students and one who was legally blind. I nursed them along, sometimes giving my entire inner self to them. I don’t like to do it and when asked I will refuse and have refused. Those three approached me and I accepted them. It has to be the meeting of the minds; I look into someone’s eyes and I see far beyond the physical sometimes. Do I make sense? I want to get off this paragraph.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
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All of our experience so far has come the hard way. The purpose of this guide is to help others avoid the poor experience that you had
You can’t avoid it. You can only learn from it and go forward. One needs the experience to make him better able. Read a book about it, but it doesn’t cut the mustard until you do it. A zillion years ago, GEM used to say “When handed a lemon, make lemonade.”

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
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and to help teachers in the field become a whole lot better at what they do.
When I was first recovering from my accident, I had the worst physical therapists you could ever imagine, and left the hospital months before my time because of it. My faith was renewed by discovering another group who were wonderful, and every other therapist I have come in contact with has been super. Read my Autobiography on my webpage, if you will. For someone like you it may be quite revealing because it tells a lot more than the words themselves say. I pulled it off my opening opage, so you need to hit http://www.uechi-ryu.ws/auto/index.htm . And is entitles something like “you can’t take the fight out of the dog.”

If you want a better “teacher in the field” you have to start off with their personalities, and groom them as required. I think much of most everything else will follow along.

There’s more, but it is time to leave this pc in a few. Hope my words helped a little.


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Allen Moulton from Uechi-ryu Etcetera


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 Post subject: Need help with thesis
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2001 8:03 pm 
Mr. Moulton,

Thank you, sincerely, for taking the time to reply. Your input is exactly what I need to help make this paper something other than a "fluff" piece.
I agree that experience is the best way to learn. I also agree that the personalities of the teachers must be right. I teach because I love the exchange between student and teacher. I love the fact that I learn more from my students than they learn from me. I teach because I love the arts and they have been great to me, so I hope to open those same doors to others. I also love the exchange of giving one fully to ones students. My hopes would be that anyone researching this kind of instruction would already be of open mind, endless patience and the ability to think outside the box.
Thank you again, it was all very helpful, and I look forward to reading your autobiography.

Respectfully,



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Rob K.
Wilmington, DE


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 Post subject: Need help with thesis
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2001 2:29 am 
Hi Rob,
Over the years I have had both mentally and physically handicapped children in my classes. I found that mostly, whenever possible I treated them exactly the same as the other students. Of course that depends on what they are capable of. The kids I think were easier than the special needs adults mainly because the adults tried too hard, tried to keep up or tried to do more than they should or more than they were capable of doing at the time. I became one of those students myself. I recently talked to George Mattson Sensei about the possibly of my doing a seminar at Summer Camp 2001 about exactly what we are discussing here. Like Allen, I suddenly had to change my way of life, no longer able to teach or train the way I had been doing for years. George had discussed my teaching a slow and easy type of Uechi Ryu for people such as us. I had a hard time, I could start off doing a nice slow and easy kata but then it would become more and more the old me and I would suffer for it. My mind just wouldn't slow it up for me. Now, I believe I can not only teach those who have a handicap, or a terminal deteriorating disease, but also those who have a temporary injury. I believe they all can be taught how to continue their training without hurting, without slowing their healing process and at the same time, use this recovery time to learn more about the basics so that when they are able to continue at full speed ahead, they actually are better than before the injury. I believe teaching the understanding of Uechi will speed up the ability to perform for anyone, be they handicapped or not. Showing how to adapt, to get around the injury/handicap and still develope focus and strength. I have worked on this myself and now I think I can help others. Both Allen and I have finally been able to accept, well, almost accept and adapt. I think it is time for us to share this and if it works, maybe we can help instructors become more sensitive in handling special needs students. It is not easy to teach them, it is harder being one. Been on both sides of the fence. If you would like to talk more you are welcome to email me at billbauknecht@aol.com
Good luck,
Bill


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