Criptaedo Wheelchair Disability Martial Arts

Criptaedo: Adaptive Martial Arts for People in Wheelchairs

People who use wheelchairs often experience an underlying feeling of vulnerability that follows wherever they go. Spina bifida put Paul Brailer in a wheelchair, and he confronted his vulnerability head-on…

One afternoon a few years ago, after he got off work at a local mall, Paul was waiting at a bus stop when a mugger approached and attempted to snatch his cell phone. The mugger was thinking he had an easy target, right? Probably very little strength, can’t move quickly, can’t roll as fast as I can run, and with no cell phone, he can’t call for help.

Paul Brailer Criptaedo Martial Arts Instructor

Wouldn’t you have loved to see the mugger’s face when Paul trapped his arm and popped his elbow out? Foiled, injured, and stunned at the sudden turn of events, the mugger ran. According to Paul, who still has his cell phone, the would-be thief will probably never use his arm the same way again.

Wheelchair user – 1, Mugger – 0.  Don’t you just love happy endings?

Paul Brailer Martial Arts Breaking Board

T’was martial arts that saved the day. His childhood movie heroes–action/adventure stars like Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris–sparked young Paul’s interest in martial arts, and, as an adult, he became a student of karate, despite only having use of his upper body. It took him almost four years to earn the coveted black belt after passing tests that included sparring, board breaks, and break falls.

Criptaedo Paul Brailer Born with Spina Bifida

While he’s unable to do the kicks and stances, Paul does a modified version of whatever he cannot physically do. His instructors showed him adaptive techniques, using his arms and hands to achieve the same effect as a particular kick. His skills in martial arts have made Paul physically stronger and more confident, and his self-esteem grows right along with his muscles. Paul’s online students experience the same physical and emotional growth as they learn the art of…

Criptaedo

Paul began teaching his defensive-training system to people with disabilities in July of 2012; he encourages and educates the community of people with disabilities on health, fitness, and, of course, self-defense, and he calls it Criptaedo. Today, Paul teaches a variety of defensive skills to individuals with a broad range of disabilities, including people in wheelchairs, and he does it via his YouTube channel–uploading instructional videos for all to access.

Paul Brailer Criptaedo Adaptive Martial Arts

As Paul explains:

The intention of the system’s name isn’t to offend, but to help those of us who’ve been told what we can’t do and to laugh at ourselves a bit. I’ve been disabled from birth, so I hope I can help others in my position realize that, unless you can poke a little fun at yourself and your disability, you’re in for a miserable road. Learning self-defense as a disabled person is awkward, and uniquely challenging. You will fall. You will struggle. And if you can’t keep good humor through the process, and not take yourself or your disability too seriously–you will quit.

Criptaedo Instructor Paul Brailer with Student

His encounter with a mugger proves his point. “Either you’re a victim, or you fight.”

With Paul, it’s personal–in the strongest sense of the word. He teaches “personal self-defense” that’s tailored to every student’s level of disability. If a student uses crutches, he demonstrates how to “grab an attacker and pull him into your world.” His web site’s tag line says, “A black belt is a white belt that never quit.” No doubt, his most-dedicated students feel their vulnerability fade with every new move.

Paul Brailer Disability Martial Arts Sparring

Are you game enough to check out Paul’s YouTube channel? Here’s one of his videos. Let us know how you like it!

Sources:
barbertonherald.com/editionviewer/default.aspx?Edition=93837d5d-a31c-4a3c-a351-7741ad45c0d3&Page=0ef0b68a-938e-4594-adfb-f0aeb84460fe
adaptivemartialarts.org/?p=2036

Video source:
youtube.com/Criptaedo

Images source:
facebook.com/Criptaedo

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5 thoughts on “Criptaedo: Adaptive Martial Arts for People in Wheelchairs

  1. bestcookinn2@aol.com'Deni Kunce

    paul is my cousin i have been his fan since birth. He is an amazing man he has gone from being scared to step down off his childhood porch to stepping out on his porch and bring everything down to him. I m very proud of him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  2. countryman382012@yahoo.com'dave

    how can i get ahold of him so i can learn to i am in a manual wheelchair and i have spina bifida as well and how much does he charge for his classes at what age did he start to learn that

    Reply
    1. susanhawkins@amsvans.com'Susan Hawkins Post author

      Hi, Dave! We agree—Paul Brailer is a pretty amazing guy! His web site is Criptaedo.com, where you’ll find his contact info. He also posts his instructional videos online on his site as well as on YouTube, so if you don’t live in the Ohio area (where he’s located), the videos might be a great option for you. Thanks for following our blog!

      Reply

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