Hitting back to stay safe

Blind instructor David Black and Alan Bell of the Scottish Centre for Personal Safety
Blind instructor David Black and Alan Bell of the Scottish Centre for Personal Safety

A blind man who developed his skills in martial arts because of the abuse he regularly receives is about to teach others how to defend themselves.

David Black began studying Aikido and Jujitsu nine years ago, after experiencing several physical and verbal attacks on the streets.

Now David wants to pass on his expertise to others with sensory impairments at a new course in Forth Valley Sensory Centre in Camelon.

Nearly half of all disabled people in Scotland have experienced hate crime because of their disability; 73 per cent reported being frightened or attacked, experiencing verbal abuse and intimidation.

David said: “While most people are understanding and helpful, sadly there are also groups who are not.

“I have been physically attacked and I regularly have people trying to see how blind I am by shouting in my ear or by trying to trip me up.

“I wanted to help others like me, people who want a bit more confidence in the streets but who would not want to join a normal martial arts class.

David was trained at the Scottish Centre for Personal Safety; a charity which supports young people, women, ethnic groups and people with disabilities to manage potentially harmful situations.

It is offering the course in partnership with the Sensory Centre. The initial class will be supported by Alan Bell, who initially developed the course, and Michael McAllister another partially sighted instructor.

The eight-week course costs £20. You can register your interest by calling the centre on (01324) 590888.