According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), persons with disabilities are 1.5 times as likely to be the victims of non-fatal violent crime than are able-bodied persons. The most recent study, based on reported crimes in 2007, concluded that those with disabilities were twice as likely to be victims of sexual assault and that those with multiple disabilities were most vulnerable, accounting for 56 percent of violent crimes against the disabled. Criminals, by nature, are predators who look for victims, not challenges. As disturbing as it is to admit, those with physical disabilities, who are the least capable of defending themselves, are the criminal’s most attractive targets.

If you have a physical disability due to injury, disease or old age, you need to be aware that you are a potential target of violent crime. You also need to realize that there are viable personal-defense options available to you. The key is tuning your choices, skills and tactics to meet your individual needs and abilities.

Custom Defense Plans

One of the greatest flaws of many traditional martial arts is that they require every student to fight the same way. If a student’s physical attributes are not consistent with the tactics of that art, he or she will experience only limited success. For example, if a self-defense system emphasizes kicking tactics, it is not the best choice for short, stocky people. Their attributes are most compatible with systems that emphasize punching, striking and grappling.

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