Independent Filmmaker Focuses His Lens on Empowering the Blind and Visually Impaired Using Judo as the Tool for an Enhanced Life

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Independent filmmaker and producer, Steven Simon, is focusing his lens, talents and creativity on blind Judo using his experience as a sighted Judo enthusiast, telling stories of a select group of blind and visually impaired athletes who compete in a sport known mainly for sighted individuals. Many of these inspiring athletes have discovered and routinely train and compete with the help of the Blind Judo Foundation in a soon to be released eye opening documentary.

Steven Simon - Independent Filmmaker / Producer and Judoka

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. –Maya Angelou

Steven Simon is a sighted Judo athlete (Judoka) and independent filmmaker/producer who is capturing the emotions, spirit and dedication of blind and visually impaired Judoka who have embraced a sport most think are exclusive to only sighted individuals.

He is currently completing a documentary film called Feeling Judo that will be released in the second half of 2014, and will include the legendary Judo Coach, Willy Cahill, who is the Co-Founder of the Blind Judo Foundation and owner of Cahill’s Judo Academy. Who better to focus on than the former US Olympic and US Paralympic Judo Coach?

Knowing the value of Judo, Simon wanted to embark on filming blind Judoka. The film will document how learning the skills and tenets of Judo builds confidence, character, commitment, humility, respect and responsibility for blind people.

Simon has spent the last year and a half talking with and filming blind and visually impaired children, men, and women who aspire to incorporate Judo into their daily lives. Consequently, Feeling Judo—slated for release in late 2014—will show blind individuals competing and training where sight is not a limiting factor in building their Judo skill-sets. It will also focus on their personal lives beyond the mat.

Dr. Barbara Lavi, a Clinical Psychologist and Associate of the Blind Judo Foundation, who is excited to be interviewed in the film states, “The documentary will be an ‘eye opener’ for both the blind and sighted world, since it will show how Judo can help blind individuals reach for and accomplish their dreams on the mat and in real life.” Lavi continues saying, “I believe that Judo is a ‘stabilizing and powerful skill’ which builds confidence and helps blind athletes (as well as sighted ones) develop a positive mindset and belief in themselves.”

Judo is a positive, life-altering sport that many in the blind community might never have considered. Simon wants to highlight this and to show that there are unlimited possibilities for people that they might have never thought possible. The goal of the Feeling Judo documentary is to inform and inspire using Judo and its positive message.

If you would like to support these outstanding athletes to train, travel and compete please consider making a tax exempt donation to the Blind Judo Foundation.

The Blind Judo Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization whose mission is to empower the blind and visually impaired using the tools and tenets of Judo. The Funding of blind and visually impaired athletes to train, travel domestically and internationally is through tax exempt donations, their financial life-line. To learn more about the Foundation, check out and at Facebook or contact Ron C. Peck at roncpeck(at)blindjudofoundation(dot)org or 1-425-444-8256.

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Ron Peck
since: 11/2008
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