Still punching: Households into Work client Chris tells of battle to gain a Ju-Jitsu black belt while dealing with multiple sclerosis

Being a fit and active person was something that Chris Muotoh had been passionate about since he was a teenager.

As a personal trainer, he had around 30 clients on his books ranging from doctors and nurses to teachers and those looking to join the police force. Chris spent a lot of time working out and was no stranger to the gym.

But in 2014, everything changed. Chris was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and the 41-year-old has now been in a wheelchair for four years.

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He said: “It was a shock and it was frustrating. I was like a football player losing the use of their legs really.”

Finding ways to adapt, Chris was keen to stay active and with the support of Households into Work explored Ju-Jitsu, which he was fascinated by having studied a similar martial art years before. He is now on the path to achieve his goal of gaining a black belt. Chris said:

“I contacted a lot of schools, but a lot weren’t really trained and experienced enough to train a person in a wheelchair, then I met Sensei Peter. He comes to my house twice a week and I go to the academy too.”

Peter C’ailceta is the Senior Executive Officer for South Sefton Ju-Jitsu and Kobudo Academy. He said:

“We’ve designed a brand-new syllabus for Chris, and I’m filled with admiration for him. He wants to achieve his black belt and we will support him to do that. The Ju-Jitsu helps his physical strength and the social interaction with me and the guys at the club is good for his mental health as well.” 

Chris credits Households into Work for helping him to look forward. He said.

“Hopefully, I’ll get to a stage where I’m able to teach people who are wheelchair users and maybe even people who lack the confidence to step into a dojo or a gym. I’d like to help people if I can.  Households into Work has given me my confidence back. It’s helped me to create a blueprint for where I’m going to take my life now,” 

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