The 1Touch Self Defence Project for The Blind is an exciting project. This article is merely an introduction to make you aware of its availability, but I will be writing a longer piece in a couple of months with a lot more detail. The important thing today is to let you know what it is and give some of you an opportunity to get in touch so that we can spread the program far and wide. So, let’s get right into it!
The 1Touch program was created in 2009 almost by accident. The founder of the organization is Stephen Nicholls, a well-respected Ju-Jitsu trainer. He had been asked to teach a class of visually impaired people in London and upon completion of the first class it was clear that this training was a powerful tool toward independence and self-confidence within the blind community. So compelled to share this important training, he developed a program that includes physical skills but also the knowledge skills of awareness and communication for people with various disabilities. The program has proven to be a powerful tool in helping those who feel insecure when out and about, get their independence back.
Now, you may ask why I think this information is so important for the RP community specifically? Well, I know that I am not alone when I say that RP’s gradual degeneration makes the world feel a little bit different and a little bit more frightening every time I go out. Simple errands become an exercise in courage when the light is playing havoc with my eyes and I cant quite make out what it is I’m about to pass. I’ve even apologized to trees and manikins as I’ve bumped into these strange beings on my way. And let’s not even talk about those yellow sandwich boards that try to eat our canes while tripping us up. Any of you that have gotten to the point of cane reliance know of what I speak and probably have a few minor horror stories of your own.
As our sight degenerates we are constantly having to adapt and find new ways to go about our normal routines. We hear noises but can’t quite figure out where they are coming from or if they are a threat. Some of us hole up in our homes refusing to go out because the world has become a dangerous place. The things we used to enjoy become a foreign and perilous land to us. And that, my friends, is where the 1Touch Project comes into play.
1Touch not only gives you the tools to defend yourself if you do get into a dicey situation, which builds confidence, but it also challenges your insecurities and shows you ways to anticipate potential dangers and deal with them in a constructive way. You become more aware of your surroundings and better able to navigate the space. It challenges your perceptions of what you can and cannot do and shows you new ways to feel safe and confident in your space. This leads to greater independence and a richer, more fulfilling life.
The personal benefits to the program are immense and once you take it you become certified yourself which means that you can then share your new-found knowledge with the people that you care about. I’m working on taking the training myself in the next few months and when I do I will bring you more details on the program. I am also looking for people who would be interested in hearing more about the program and perhaps taking the program themselves. As most of you know by now I will be doing a lot of travelling this year and I hope to bring this training with me, it’s just that important.
If you would be interested in either a longer, in person presentation of the program, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the 1Touch program themselves at 1touchproject.com or if you would be interested in taking the certification program, please get in touch through the above options.
While you are on the website for 1Touch, I encourage you to explore, check out the videos and really think about how this training could enrich your life. 1touchproject.com