Tell Me Something Good: Teaching skills without boundaries in DeWitt

DEWITT, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Walking in off of the street, to the question, “Do you teach blind people?”

Hanshi Lawrence’s response was ‘Sure.’

Matthew Killian’s mom has been advocating for him his entire life. He’s had epilepsy since three. Diagnosed with Autism at 10. And he lost his eyesight over just a few months when he was 19. But his spirit is remarkable. And he thought karate might help.

Hanshi Rande Lawrence was honored when Matthew chose his dojo at Lyndon Corners. Over the years, Lawrence has worked with other athletes who needed a different kind of coaching.

Whatever ability you have or don’t have. We welcome you. We work with you. Your goal is our goal.

Hanshi Rande Lawrence, Instructor

Matthew comes in to work out once a week. He’s earned his green belt. And the Hanshi has become a mentor, in martial arts and life.

Matthew works hard.

Matthew has been coming to the dojo for a little over a year, and a couple of weeks ago, he took another step. His first regional competition.

Matthew found the same warm welcome at the tournament outside Rochester, his hometown. And he won a gold medal. After the official competition, he asked Hanshi Lawrence for an exhibition match, and he medaled again.

He know all of my tricks. Ha ha ha. I wasn’t able to get off him so, you know, somebody said, ‘Oh, You’re getting old.’ I said ‘No no no, I’m not getting old. He’s getting better. Ha ha ha. Acceptance is something everybody craves, you know, and he’s got it, and he’s earned it. And it’s just been wonderful for us.

Hanshi Rande Lawrence, Instructor

I would eventually like to get my black belt. That is my goal.

Matthew eventually would like to get his black belt. You would be smart not to bet against him.

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