Judo demo with a difference

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, June 26:

It was a unique judo demonstration — two visually impaired persons involved in this complicated form of self-defence. This was the first demonstration of its kind in the country by visually and hearing impaired persons. Judo classes for such persons are being held with special initiatives from the Japan International Cooperative Agency (JICA). Judo for Disabled Nepal, a non-profit organisation, was formed by the Multipurpose Martial Arts Centre. Though the special judo classes began almost 11 months ago, there were disruptions due to various agitation, blockades and strikes. But three visually- and six hearing impaired persons have been taking regular classes. Visually impaired Maheshwor Karki said, "Nothing is difficult if one learns diligently." Instructor Binod Raj Sainju said, "Teaching the disabled is exciting. It needs extra effort and new skills. They are slow to pick up, but it is amazing how they do not forget anything once taught." To teach the hearing impaired Sainju himself took lessons in sign language for three months. He dreams of taking his students to the Paralympics.