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Blind Martial Arts Ogden Utah

motivating blind students to reach their goals

How The Vibravision Foundation is Motivating Blind Students to Reach Their Goals!

By | Blind Martial Arts Ogden Utah, Blog, Vibravision Foundation | No Comments

If you are a frequent reader of the Vibravision Blog, the name Mike Armstrong probably sounds familiar. Since June 2017, Mike has participated in several weekly and weekend Vibravision immersion classes to develop his abilities to navigate his environment without the use of sight. Now, he is applying for an award to fund his Vibravision training to compete in a triathlon without the use of assistive technology or help. Below, we will look at how the Vibravision Foundation is motivating blind students to reach their goals.

Who Is Mike Armstrong?

motivating blind students to reach their goalsResiding in Arizona, Mike has been totally blind for 20 years. He’s traveled up to our studio in Utah many times now to participate in immersion retreats that we provide for the visually impaired thanks to funding from the Vibravision Foundation.

Vibravision – a skill within Merpati Putih that teaches people of all abilities to improve their orientation and mobility without using their eyes – is offered to children and adults who cannot see. The money raised by the non-profit Vibravision Foundation helps pay for this. The Foundation simply wants to help the blind see the world with “new eyes.”

Mike was involved in the very first Vibravision Immersion Retreat. In both Kyokushinkai karate and Aikijujutsu, he is a high-ranking black belt, and he also owns Blind Tiger Martial Arts Academy. It’s almost as if there is nothing Mike can’t do. He has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, appeared on the cover of USA Today, and is a drummer in two bands. He’s truly an inspiration for everyone.

What Is the Holman Prize?

motivating blind students to reach their goalsRecently, Mike applied for the Holman Prize so that he can train full-time to become the first blind person to compete in a triathlon using the non-visual Vibravision skills. Each year, the Holman Prize funds three ambitious blind people from across the world as they work on challenging projects. Each award winner receives $25,000 to fund their project.

The prize is named after James Holman, who lived from 1786 to 1857. He was the first blind person to circumnavigate the globe. And, prior to the invention of modern transportation, he was the most prolific sighted or unsighted traveler in history. Inspired by Holman’s life, LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, a San Francisco-based organization founded in 1902, launched the Holman Prize last year.

What Can You Do To Help?

motivating blind students to reach their goalsThe first step in the application process for the Holman Prize is submitting a 90-second YouTube pitch. Based on these videos, the award panelists will select the semifinalists at the end of February. The applicant with the most likes or thumbs-up on their YouTube video will automatically earn a spot as a finalist. Therefore, if you are inspired by Mike Armstrong’s story and want to help him achieve his goal of completing a triathlon, please check out his YouTube application for the Holman Prize and help him earn the People’s Choice award by giving it a thumbs up!

If our stories of how the Vibravision Foundation is motivating blind students to reach their goals has you wondering how you can help others learn Vibravision, we recommend checking out our blog on this specific topic. The Foundation is always open to accepting direct general donations. The money might then be split up among several individuals in need of funding depending on how many scholarship applicants there are. You can also start a crowdfunding page through the Foundation’s site. It takes less than five minutes and attracts more donors.

Vibravision is doing great things for blind and visually-impaired individuals in Northern Utah and beyond. And, we are just getting started. If you would like to learn more, please contact us!

motivating blind students to reach their goals

Blind Students are Developing Non-Visual Skills with Vibravision in Ogden Utah

By | Blind Martial Arts Ogden Utah, Martial Arts for Blind Students, Vibravision Foundation | 2 Comments

What if there was a way to help the blind easily find their way around their environment using only their senses? Shouldn’t this service be available to as many visually impaired individuals as possible? Fortunately, there is a program that allows people to observe their surroundings without the use of sight. And, with MP USA’s help, blind students are developing non-visual skills with Vibravision in Ogden Utah. Let’s take a closer look at this program.

What Is Vibravision?

For centuries, Merpati Putih was only available to members of the Indonesian Royal Family, their guards, and the army. Then, in the 1960s, it was given to the people so that they might protect themselves. Vibravision is just one of the Merpati Putih disciplines. Five MP members in East Jakarta began training in Vibravision in 1989. Mas Budi, one of the royal heirs to the MP knowledge performed the training and soon moved on to help blind individuals learn the skill.

Today, even Kopassus, the Indonesian Army’s Special Forces, learn Vibravision as part of their training to help with “seeing” at night. And, for decades, now, Vibravision has been used to help blind people find their way. This orientation and mobility method has revolutionized how visually impaired individuals interact with the natural world.

How MP USA Is Using Vibravision to Help the Blind

Vibravision first came to America in 1999 thanks to MP USA founders Nate and Mike Zeleznick. The trip was widely covered by the media. After the demonstration, the Zeleznick brothers went to work training in the art, and after years of practice, they were granted permission to teach Vibravision. Their studio, MP USA, is the only place in the Western Hemisphere where you can learn the discipline.

At MP USA, we help the blind and those who are losing their sight by awakening and enhancing perception through the use of Vibravision. We believe this practice has the ability to open up a new era of understanding of what the mind is capable of. This precise application of MP only available in Ogden, Utah has received validation from representatives at the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind, a state senator, blind people, optometrists, and a medical doctor.

When preparing this blog post, we talked to two blind students who had completed the immersion course. Both reported that Vibravision changed their lives and that it is much different from traditional non-visual skills. They are growing their spatial awareness and mobility as they practice on a regular basis. For instance, as they apply their mind’s eye to scan their space, they are finding it easier to find what they need, reach for car handles, move around, and locate door knobs.

How to Get Involved

There are three Vibravision courses available to blind individuals:

Weekend Introduction – If you are curious about seeing what Vibravision has to offer without committing to an immersion course, there is a 16-hour-long weekend course.

1-Week Immersion – Sight-impaired individuals receive food, lodging, a DVD of the event, a uniform, and certificate of completion in this course that takes place over five and a half days.

1-Month Immersion – This program perfects skills learned in the 1-Week Immersion and takes place every weekday for eight hours.

If you can see just fine but want to help visually-impaired people gain access to the benefits of Vibravision, we recommend donating, sponsoring, or starting a crowdfunding page for applicants through the Vibravision Foundation. This organization was founded to help blind individuals afford the Vibravision courses.

Blind students are developing non-visual skills with Vibravision in Ogden Utah. To learn more, contact MP USA today.

Blind Students are Developing Non-Visual Skills with Vibravision in Ogden Utah