Special Population Advisor
Paul Graber was born in 1969. At the age of two he was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. It severely limited his mobility and drastically affected his sense of balance. After heel cord surgery and physical therapy, he was able to walk by the age of five. He was raised to never say, “I can’t.” He started his own business at the age of eighteen. However, by the age twenty-three, he had seen that business fail and was a full time member of the workforce.
During this transition, Paul had neglected his physical therapy and health in general. He found himself overweight and having trouble walking. To remedy this decline in his health, Paul began practicing Shaolin Do Chinese Martial Arts at the age of twenty-four. Having been a martial arts enthusiast all of his life, Paul soon found kung fu to be a wonderful form of both physical and mental therapy. Five years later, Paul was healthier, stronger, and taller than he had ever been in his life. He has also become a respected competitor in several martial arts tournaments. In 2002, Paul added kettlebells to his workout. This simple change caused a remarkable increase in his physical abilities and his fitness level.
Paul decided that he needed to share all of the benefits he had gained from martial arts practice and fitness training with other disabled people. He began working with this population as a Recreation Assistant. His stellar job performance earned him a promotion to Rehabilitation Assistant. Paul then worked as a Quality Living Assistant. His continually excellent job performance and experience led to him being certified by the Kentucky Department of Mental Retardation as a CORE Trainer of Direct Care staff. Paul then worked as an Assistant Case Manager. During these years he also continued to learn and grow as a martial artist and athlete.
Throughout his work with the Special Needs Population, Paul’s unique combination of personal and professional experiences has enabled him to help many people with widely differing circumstances and capabilities. The benefits gained by individuals in his, Shaolin A.R.Ts program have been witnessed not only by the participants themselves but by family, friends, care providers, doctors and therapists.
Qualifications & Accomplishments
* 1st degree Black Belt in Shaolin Do Chinese Martial Arts (15 years of experience)
* International Kettlebell & Fitness Federation Certified Kettlebell Teacher
* DMR Certified CORE Trainer
* Registered Recreation Assistant – KY
* Nominated for the ANCOR Direct Service Professional of The Year Award 2008
* Featured in the May/June 2007 issue of Kung Fu & Tai Chi magazine
* Competed at the 2006 & 2007 Arnold Schwarzenegger Martial Arts Classic (forms, full contact & point sparring)
* Competed at the Blue Grass State Games, KY 1996 (forms & point sparring)
* Competed at the Shaolin Do Annual Tournament 1995 – 2008 (forms, light contact & point sparring)