Blind self defence instructor is fighting crime in 'Daredevil' fashion
and live on Freeview channel 276
David Black, who hails from Haggs, is registered blind but, like the fictional crime fighting lawyer Matt Murdock aka Daredevil, he does not let that hold him back in his daily life.
In fact, much like Daredevil, David is actually fighting crime by passing on his skills to others in order to help them defend themselves if they are attacked.
This is in response to more and more reports of crime – elderly people being mugged, bogus tradesmen targeting disabled people’s homes, young men
being stabbed and young women being assaulted.
In the Marvel comic books, television series and films, Matt Murdock is a lawyer who was blinded as a young boy by a radioactive substance that fell into his eyes from a crashed vehicle.
Even though he lost his sight, his other four remaining senses were heightened to superhuman levels, allowing him to lead a double life as the crime fighting Daredevil.
However, Daredevil is obviously not going to help you in reality – but the lessons David teaches just might.
Working as a cook at Camelon’s Forth Valley Sensory Centre, his unique talents have seen him described as “The Scottish Daredevil”.
A qualified self defence instructor, David is also a personal safety instructor with the Scottish Centre for Personal Safety, a charity which provides empowering personal
safety advice and practical self defence skills to people throughout Scotland.
Now David is offering his time, skill and commitment to local residents in around the Falkirk area.
He said: “First of all, I’m offering to come to local groups or organisations to do a free of charge personal safety talk. So, if anyone runs a youth group or a woman’s
group or just feel they’d benefit from some personal safety advice, they should feel free to contact me.
“Secondly, I will be running a martial arts fitness exercise class at the Forth Valley Sensory Centre to encourage people to get fit while learning vital self defence moves
such as how to kick, knee, elbow and strike."
The class, which runs from 6pm and 7pm, is open to anyone over 18 and starts on Monday, October 17.
As well as in the Forth Valley Sensory Centre, David has run courses for the elderly at the Disability Resource Centre in Paisley and for sensory impaired people at
Deafblind Scotland’s Rehabilitation Centre in Kirkintilloch.
He helped the Scottish Centre for Personal Safety develop an empowering personal safety course specifically for blind people which saw the charity win the Pioneering
Project category at The Scottish Charity Awards 2018, the Disability category at the UK’s The Charity Awards 2019 and the Team of the Year category at the RNIB See Differently Awards 2019.
David’s courses have also been featured in STV’s Five Live programme as well as BBC Radio 4’s In Touch programme.
Accomplishing all this while being registered blind would be impressive enough, but sadly David began to lose another vital sense – his hearing – in 2019.
Like any superhero worth his salt, David continues to meet the world head on with humour and good spirits.
Even the recent COVID-19 lockdown could not stop him.
Struggling with his loss of hearing – in addition to his sight loss – he felt totally isolated during this period when going outside and interacting with others was forbidden.
Instead of feeling sorry for himself, David realised that many others – both people with and without sensory impairment – would be struggling with social isolation
He decided to engage with them through the power of social media and, with help from colleagues at Forth Valley Sensory Centre, developed short videos to help
people exercise and stay mobile during lockdown.
The five minute-long productions – entitled David’s Bitesize Videos –incorporated the self defence based techniques he had learned from his Instructor training and were shown on a weekly basis.
He explained and demonstrated how to move your legs by kicking out and kneeing upwards, how to move your arms and shoulders by throwing, punches, slaps and uppercuts and how to move your hips and heads with other self defence related moves.
Initially David thought the videos would only be of interest to sensory impaired people who were feeling socially isolated, but soon they were being shared by the
elderly, people with MS and those with other disabilities.
To date, David has produced 42 Bitesize Fitness videos which have been viewed by over 12,500 people – and not just in Falkirk, but across Scotland and even as far afield as the USA, Brazil and South Africa.
One of hios regular viewers stated: “I found myself looking forward to David’s video each week. Sometimes following David was the only form of exercise I would do that week.
"He is so funny and always makes me smile. I feel I’m not alone when I watch him.”
The videos also resulted in David winning the Social Isolation award at the Ayrshire Community Trust’s Volunteers Awards 2021.
Now Daredevil would have been proud of all those accomplishments and David did it without wearing a bright red onesy and having the benefit of radioactively enhanced super senses.
If anyone would like to take advantage of David’s offer of a free personal safety talk for their group, he can be contacted via The Scottish Centre for Personal Safety by e-mailing [email protected] or by calling 07900 950599.