“There may be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do”. -Derek Jeter
His name is Clinton Davies. He’s a 33 year old athlete and he competes in wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He is also 95% blind.
This is his story:
When I was two years old, I was treated for chicken pox with penicillin. Unfortunately, I had an allergic reaction to this life saving treatment which left me with Stevens Johnson Syndrome. It permanently damage my lung tissue, blistered my body and left my sight with a 1 metre visibility, although I can only perceive shapes and changes in light.
I have always believed there’s nothing I can’t do that other sighted athletes can. Although I am qualified to compete in the Paralympics, I choose to test myself against sighted athletes. Why wouldn’t I?
People often ask me about my supposed disadvantages and limitations. In all honesty, I’ve been without sight for so long, it’s become all I have known. You learn to adapt. I simply refuse to accept my situation as a barrier to what I wish to accomplish and show. I don’t really think of myself as inspiring, just lucky I have something that I love to do.
Although, let me assure you, my martial arts journey has certainly been no cake walk! It’s not like that for ANYONE, despite what Hollywood would like you to believe. When I first began learning to wrestle at 17 years old, I was absolutely smashed and bashed. For a few years. It takes a while to learn things, like how to move, where to be, what not to do, how a technique should feel. I was very lucky to have a compassionate, patient and caring mentor to guide me and give me the time of day. I will never forget him. Getting beaten up can suck, but I am pretty grateful to say that no fully sighted athlete I’ve trained or competed with has ever taken it easy on me, who learns that way?
I am currently a ten time national champion in wrestling, as well as the New Zealand champion Middle weight gi and no gi jiujitsu . I was the first blind Kiwi wrestler to compete at the World Champions in 2013.
I started training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu two years ago. I have so far managed to medal in almost every competition I have competed since then.
This year marks another mountain for me. A new journey. I will go to the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship tournament in Los Angeles to compete against the best of the best and I would appreciate any help in realizing my dream.
Funds will be used to pay for travel costs, accommodation, entry fees, and training fees while I’m overseas.
If you would like to contribute to Clinton Davies journey to Worlds, click here.
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