Have you heard of Criptaedo? It’s a style of karate created by Paul Brailer as a way to teach self-defense to others with disabilities. It’s the name of his YouTube channel, where he posts clips teaching his moves. And, as of 2014, it’s also the name of a new nonprofit dedicated to teaching self-defense to people with disabilities.

Life has not been easy for Brailer, who has spina bifida. Family and medical professionals warned him to avoid trying new things, to be as careful as possible with his health, and in his 30s he lost a handful of disabled friends. Many died swiftly from conditions that were brought on by poor health. Some of his friends also experienced muggings near his hometown of Barberton, Ohio, a scary scenario no one with a disability wants to experience.

Already feeling like it was time to learn self-defense, he had a chance meeting with a woman wearing a karate T-shirt at a hamburger joint. He started some small talk with her, asking her what karate was like, etc., and she invited him to come and observe one of the classes. After watching the first class, Brailer was sold and dedicated himself to learning karate.

After a few years, Brailer earned his black belt and has been teaching karate to disabled folk online ever since. His passion is helping people with disabilities become as secure and self-sufficient as possible.

The Criptaedo site will soon be holding a Kickstarter fundraiser to raise $5000 – $6,000 to produce self-defense DVDs. I love this idea. YouTube videos are great, but they never cover enough ground. View Criptaedo’s YouTube Channel

If you live in the Barberton area, Paul and company will be teaching a wheelchair self-defense class at the Barberton Adult Center every Monday night. And if you plan on going to the Abilities Expo in Chicago this June, look for them there. They will be on-site teaching their awesome moves to whoever is interested.

Have you practiced martial arts or some kind of self-defense from a wheelchair?