Article submitted by reader Amanda Gertner
I recently began taking self-defense classes from Charlie Foxman at Midwest Martial Arts Academy . Foxman, who is an eigth-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and a first-degree black belt in Karate, and knows Muay Thai, Escrima and Krav Maga. Foxman teaches Tae Kwon Do along with self-defense. In addition to being a Certified Martial Arts Instructor (ACMA), Certified Fitness Kickboxing Instructor, and a Certified Wellness and Weight-Loss Coach, a Group Barbell Conditioning Instructor, a Seniors Fitness Instructor. He is a member of the International Disabled Self-Defense Association.
Foxman teaches Tae Kwon Do, self-defense, and a modified form of many martial arts to people who have several kinds of disabilities. He has taught camps for Variety Club, T.A.S.K., St. Louis Arc and more.
“Martial Arts is very beneficial in building self-esteem and self-confidence while becoming more physically fit. Learning self protection is an added bonus,” Foxman says.
The only difference in how he teaches his disabled students is that they receive more one on one attention, in addidtion to training in a group.
I have only been training at Midwest Martial Arts Academy for about a month, but I already feel stronger, more in control, and am learning more defensive moves each class. During each class, I warm up before I begin punching and blocking. Part of my warm-up is jumping rope, which is ironic since I could not jump rope to save my life before I was confined to a wheelchair. I was confused when Foxman first told me that I could jump rope, as you probably are as you are reading this; but he had invented the solution. He invented and patented the EZRope, which is a jump rope that is able to be used by seniors and disabled people. Since it is basically a jump rope with the middle part that one jumps over cut out, it can be used when the user is sitting down, including those in wheelchairs.
In addition to the EZRope, Foxman has invented an ID Kit and a telescoping cane for blind people.
“We received a grant and distributed several thousand to blinded American veterans” (www.bavf.org).