SCUGOG: When most people think of retirement, a lake front cottage and travel is what usually comes to mind.
Not for Brian Norrish. Brian recently retired from the car sales industry and is now continuing to pursue his passion for Karate and self-defense.
Mr. Norrish is a 6th-degree black belt and instructor at Hiryu Bushido Kai Martial Arts Centre in Port Perry. He now spends a lot of his free time teaching classes. Brian recently got a special request.
A blind man named Shawn, and a couple of his friends, approached Brian about possibly teaching Shawn some self-defense techniques that the blind or older population can learn and use to feel safer and more independent. Brian did not hesitate to help. Shawn is not only blind, but 63-years old. He wants to prove to the disabled and senior population, there is nothing that they cannot do and how important it is to see the disabled as regular people.
“I’m 63 and I’ve never done this before, so there is probably an older person out there going, ‘The world is getting more dangerous, I wish I knew what to do if someone grabbed me,’” said Shawn.
The specialized seminar classes will run until the end of the month. Brian’s Master Renshi Walker has donated the Dojo for the duration of the classes.
Brian Norrish told The Standard he is using a combination of Karate, Aikido, and Judo in his self-defense curriculum with Shawn. “I want to focus on close combat and touch and feel. If Shawn can size up his opponent through touch, then it will be easier to successfully accomplish a throw or strike accurately,” said Brian. He is teaching Shawn Karate strikes, a few hair grabs and lapel grabs from Aikido and basic tosses from Judo.
Shawn said the biggest challenge is remembering everything and having it become second nature. “Remembering everything, and trying to get to the point where it’s all automatic… You don’t have time to stop and think in a self-defense situation,” said Shawn.
Shawn said he visited many facilities in Durham Region looking for self-defense classes for the disabled, and was turned away many times. Brian and Shawn hope to have their message heard; there are many self-defense options for the disabled.
The Standard will follow up with Brian and Shawn at the end of the month to see where they are at.
Brian Norrish teaches out of the Hiryu Bushido Kai Martial Arts Centre, at 15258 Simcoe St. in Port Perry.
For more information, phone 905-410-1141 or visit their website at, www.hbkmartialarts.com.