My Paul Brailer, a black-belt from the Art of Karate in Barberton, Ohio and the creator of Criptaedo, a new martial art designed to educate the community of people with disabilities on self-defense and fitness.
He hasn’t always had high self-esteem and confidence. Being born with spina-bifida, growing up was difficult. kids picking on me and doctors, teachers and caregivers discouraging him from new experiences or anything that they perceived would hurt. This led to a low self-esteem and self-image which followed into adulthood. As an adult, he looked for the approval of others. When Paul Reached his 30s, he lost a few of my friends from poor health in a short amount of time. This got him thinking…how could he0 stay active and healthy and be able to defend myself if he had to? Then one day, a chance meeting changed everything.
He saw a lady named Heidi wearing an Art of Karate T-shirt and started talking and she didn’t assume that his disability meant he couldn’t do karate, which was a BIG self-esteem boost. She invited Paul to the school to watch a class. He signed up and 4 years later, the first person in the school born with a disability that achieved black-belt!
Paul had to modify what the instructors were teaching the ambulatory students to fit his abilities. For example: for a front kick, do a palm-heel strike and for a round-house kick, use an elbow-strike. His skills have had gone through real-life trials as well. Instead of being a victim of a mugging attack, he
was able to defend myself. The assailant, probably realizing Paul was not the easy target he assumed, fled the scene. But he left Paul0 with a desire to teach these skills to others.
In the summer of 2012, two of my friends——and he started talking about self-defense for people with disabilities. Jokingly, said we should call it Criptaedo. They liked it and so the name stuck.
Since then he have done numerous speaking engagements with demonstrations, have been to subject of multiple articles and have produced instructional You-Tube videos like the following. In October of 2013, Criptaedo became a non-profit 501c3 organization.