Colorado Springs instructor teaching deaf and hard of hearing students how to defend themselves


Every Wednesday evening you can find a special group of students rocking to music inside the Dictate Tactical Training Center.

However, this class is no fun and games. Some of the students are deaf and hard of hearing, but that’s not stopping them from learning how to fight and defend themselves.

“There’s no slack, they got to keep up,” said instructor John Petrone. “It’s integrated, they work with my other students.”  

With the help of the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind, Petrone was able to accommodate the class for his students. With perseverance, he learned how to sign and went as far as building a specific mat that helps the students feel the vibrations coming from the music.

“To be a good instructor, is to not stop learning yourself,” said Petrone.

Each student is treated equally by him. As a group they are constantly punching away stereotypes and gaining the strength and knowledge to fight.

“He teaches us how to move and how other people in the real world might try to hurt us and we can use that against them,” said student Adriana Dimarco.

They hope their passion and desire to fight will teach others that no challenge is big enough to take on.

“We can learn to be friends, we partner with everyone and we can learn to be just like everyone else,” said Shanna Cannon.

If you’re interested in taking part of the class, click here.

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