ROB DRAL The Standard
SCUGOG: Last time we heard from Renshi Norrish and Sean Madsen, Sean and Renshi were just beginning their journey. If you didn’t have an opportunity to read about Sean and Renshi Brian the first time, let me give a little recap of what is going on.
Sean Madsen and his friends approached Renshi Brian Norrish of, ‘HBK Martial Arts and Wellness Centre,’ in Port Perry. Sean is a blind man in his 60’s that wanted to learn self-defense, in order to feel safer and more independent. Sean mentioned several other centres had turned him down or did not have a curriculum that could serve the needs of the disabled.
HBK Martial Arts welcomed Sean with opened arms. Renshi Norrish created a custom curriculum based on close quarter combat, using techniques from Judo, Aikido, and Karate to serve Sean’s needs as a blind senior citizen of the community. The Standard was invited to follow their journey and document Sean’s progress. Sean wanted to be an advocate for the older population and for the disabled; a beacon of hope for those who feel they couldn’t do something. From what I see, Sean is that brightly shining beacon.
Sean and Renshi Norrish have been training together twice a week for a little over a month now. Last week, Renshi Norrish invited HBK Martial Art’s Sensei, Greg Banting, to a Tuesday morning class, in order to have a different perspective, and let Sean practice on a real opponent, while Renshi Norrish carefully observed Sean’s technique from an onlookers perspective. Sensei Banting also brought with him, his own techniques that could benefit Sean. The two Martial Arts teachers worked together with Sean and the results have been nothing short of amazing, in the short time they have had together.
From an outside perspective, Sean’s confidence in his own abilities has skyrocketed. At the beginning of August, Sean mentioned his biggest challenge would be to “remember everything I was taught, and not think about it.” Now, when Sean is told to use a technique, without hesitation, he strikes. Renshi Norrish joked about Sean being, “too nice,” and not attacking the targets using his full potential. While Sean still struggles with hurting his teachers, his explosiveness and strength has also greatly improved. From afar, you can see the confidence Sean possesses. Renshi Norrish and Sensei Banting continue to remind Sean his difficulties are normal for anyone who has only been training for a few weeks.
The Standard will be on hand, during Sean’s last training session and will interview Sean, to see what this journey has meant to him and whether he believes he has achieved what he set out to accomplish. Meanwhile, Renshi Norrish is encouraging Sean to take part in HBK Martial Arts Open House on Thursday, Sept. 15th, at 7:00 p.m.
The Open House is an opportunity for the public to come out to the Dojo and see what HBK Martial Arts is all about and what they offer this coming season. The public is invited to get out on the training floor for an introductory class, or sit back and watch. HBK’s members range in age from young children, to 60+ years, so do not let age or fitness level hold you back. They will also be having a draw, for a free, three-month membership.
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