HOMETOWN: Richmond, BC Canada.
TYPE OF DISABILITY: Totally Blind in both eyes, deaf in one ear.
OCCUPATION: Interpersonal/social Relation Specialist - Part-time self defense instructor.
MAIN STYLE OF MARTIAL ART: Krav Maga, Shorinryu Karate, Samurai Karate Counterattack and Taekwondo.
SCHOOL AFFILIATION: Krav Maga Force, and Counter Attack Fitness.
CURRENT RANK: Level2 Krav Maga, Brown Belt in Shorinryu Karate and Taekwondo, Instructor Level in Counter Attack.
TIME INVOLVED IN THE MARTIAL ARTS WITH A DISABILITY: 22 years.
Johnny Tai — who’s been completely blind since the age of three and is also deaf in one ear — learned the discipline of Krav Maga while training at Richmond Martial Arts.
Tai, 30, said many martial arts clubs in the area wouldn’t let him join up because they didn’t believe he could learn the technique.
He now features in a YouTube video shot at the club’s Coppersmith Way studio, which shows Tai disarming a would-be knifeman.
Now, with his new Krav Maga certification, he is aiming to arm fellow blind people with the self-defense tool.
“When I decided I wanted to learn this, I got turned down by a few places,” said Tai, who has been in love with martial arts for many years.
“But at Richmond Martial Arts, they said ‘if you’re brave enough to try it, we’re willing to teach you.’
“I was always able to do martial arts before. This (learning Krav Maga) was a way to get something on paper saying I could do it.”