Visually Impaired Students Get Lesson In Self-Defense

BOSTON (CBS) – Shortly after introducing himself to members of the class, many of whom are visually impaired, Stephen Nicholls explained his interest in self-defense.

“I entered the field after being brutally attacked by six skinheads when I was 13-years old.  It’s a pretty character developing experience if you can live through it as much as you kinda think ‘I don’t think want that to happen again,'” he said.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports

He went from one martial arts to another, got good at it, then somebody asked him to develop a self-defense course for the blind, and he did.

It’s called The 1 Touch System, he’s taught it all over the country and this week he is teaching it at the Perkins School for the Blind.

Many of the people taking the two and half day course will be teaching it to others. That’s what John Smith’s been doing. John, who is blind, first took this course a year ago and he went back for a refresher course.

“This system shows you if someone touches you, if someone is forcing you to do something you don’t want to do, you can protect yourself and fight back,” he said.

John says this is important for the visually impaired because as a blind person, walking down the street, unless you’re listening to things and are very careful of where you’re going, you can be unaware of things and you have to be ready if something happens.

It’s that sense of readiness and awareness that’s taught in the course. Being able to sense potential trouble and getting the skills as a visually impaired person to respond to that trouble.

“Anything can be out there,” said John.

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