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Blind man overcomes disability, masters Mixed Martial Arts

Blind Man Overcomes Disability and Masters Mixed Martial Arts

Joshua Loya might not be able to see his sword, his opponents or his students, but his mastery of martial arts is crystal clear.

Loya, who has been completely blind since he was 15, is a teacher at the Guardian Dojo in California.

Loya has spent a decade working towards martial arts' highest honor, the third degree black belt. And this Saturday, he'll receive not one, but three.

"Martial arts isn't about being the best," he explains. "It's about being better."

Loya loves practicing just as much as teaching, which is why he has become a sensei who can teach his own students.

"If I can help somebody have more life than they had just a few moments ago, that's what gives life to me," says Loya.

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oujoou June 23 2014 at 5:58 AM

Everyone knows people with disabilities. I've often thought it was funny to call being different . . . a 'disability.' Obviously a blind person needs more help at first and at times . . . but basically their future is up to them. One of his teachers should try to teach him the sword positions and iaido techniques used by Zatouichi . . .the blind swordsman . . . in all those cool Japanese movies. The latest one has a beautiful blind Japanese actress as 'Ichi' instead of an older blind Asian guy. Then Joshua could practice doing trick cutting. Like splitting a candle or an apple placed on top of someone's head and then returning his sword to its sheath in a blink of an eye. :)

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2 replies
cwaugie oujoou June 23 2014 at 7:54 AM

You gonna volunteer with the apple on your head?

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ofleck oujoou June 23 2014 at 9:57 AM

One difference is that the character of Zatoichi wasn't actually blind....he simply acted blind which gave him an advantage. Also he was a master of the quick draw!

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vjcinpalmbeach June 23 2014 at 7:01 AM

"I like reading...French, Russian classics - Gogul, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Flaubert. I also like Hemingway."

"People are often quite surprised by the sport and leisure activities practiced by the blind. For example, tandem cycling is very popular."

---Andrea Bocelli

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Donald June 23 2014 at 9:46 AM

Not surprising, in close quarter combat(street fighting) eyes can be a target, and once your hands are on your opponent. What happens next has little to do with being able to see. In reality there are no winners in such a fight, only a survivor.

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stengernc June 23 2014 at 12:23 PM

No such thing as handicapped, but there is handicapable you just have to believe.

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myliu888 June 23 2014 at 1:18 PM

One of my favorite Chines martial arts movie is The Blind Swordsman. It is amazing what the human spirit can accomplish.

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kgreene173 June 23 2014 at 1:36 PM

For a third-degree black belt his horse stances are ****.

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Scot and Wendy June 24 2014 at 3:23 AM

He's an excuse killer! Not many people have a better excuse than "I'm blind."

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