I am a Blind, 34-Year-Old BJJ White Belt

Creative Commons: Samuel Coe

  1. I am a Blind, 34 Year Old, BJJ White Belt. Do you know, or could you point me in the direction of instructional with THOROUGH and DETAILED explanations?
  2. Do you know of any other Blind BJJ practicioners that I could chat with, to find out what has worked for them?


Jiu-jitsu for everyone. This statement is something I preach on a regular basis. BJJ has a place in everyone’s life and it is a rare activity that can completely adapt to all physical abilities and lifestyles.

Amputees, hearing impaired, vision impaired . . . it does not matter. Jiu-jitsu can adapt to you.

Self-defense, sport, hobby . . . it does not matter. Jiu-jitsu can adapt to you.

Rich, middle Class, poor . . . it does not matter. Jiu-jitsu can adapt to you.

Although I have limited experience working with blind students, I have researched the subject extensively. This way, I am prepared when I have the opportunity.

I have always believed that you should look outward first. The information is out there. The experience and wisdom of others is out there. So for the first question, I am going to provide three links and two instructors to check out.

Russell Redenbaugh

A black belt under the Migliarese brothers in Philadelphia, he is an incredible ambassador for the art. Check out this video from YouTube featuring Russell and Phil Migliarese.


Nathan Russell 

Nathan is student of the prestigious Gracie Academy in California. Listen in for some great insight!


Max Lamm

Check out this incredible video of 13-year-old, champion wrestler, Max Lamm, overcoming the adversity at such a young age and doing it triumphantly!


There are a lot of visual instructionals available, but not all of them provide the audio and explanations you are looking for. However, there are two individuals that stand out and can be a great resource.

Roy Harris & Roy Dean

Both of these gentleman provide excellent information and articulation. You should benefit greatly from listening. They have an incredible amount of content available as well.

THREE Final Suggestions

Suggestion #1.
I think that private lessons would benefit you immensely. Perhaps just in the beginning. This investment will allow you to “feel” jiu-jitsu. This will build a strong foundation for you to grow upon.

Suggestion #2
. Rickson Gracie says it best “Stop doing jiu-jitsu and start feeling jiu-jitsu.” Utilize your powerful sense of feel and touch to help understand the technique. Listen deeply, but feel what is happening. The most important part of your practice will be the drilling, not the listening. Even if you miss a detail in the explanation or something isn’t explained, make sure you feel the technique.

Suggestion #3
. Your training and drilling partners may not understand the best learning methodologies for you. It is crucial that you relay the importance of feeling the technique. A classic teaching mistake is over explaining. You will learn far more quickly if they keep the verbal instruction to the essentials and let you feel their movement, touch, and connection.

Congratulations! I look forward to the day you are a black belt. You are living proof of the power of jiu-jitsu an that the art truly is for EVERYONE.

Thank you for stepping onto the mats and inspiring!


  1. Hi I am also blind and a blue belt. I am a active Competitor and have both Gi and no Gi national titles. I also competed in this years world champs at blue middle weight. You can contact me threw my Facebook page Blind Grappler I would love to chat.


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