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The boundaries of an age-old tradition are being pushed to new limits. An Oahu man has broken the barrier for martial artists in a wheelchair.
KHON2 first met Damon Boiser after he had the ride of his life one year ago on Oahu’s North Shore.
“The skydiving changed my life. It changed my point of view,” Boiser said.
Ten years ago during an ocean accident on Hawaii Island, Boiser severed his spinal cord and suffered a massive head injury.
Because of the limited use of his hands, he has been quadriplegic ever since.
His first skydiving experience last July went viral because his instructor miraculously landed him in his wheelchair.
Since then, the Kalihi resident has been sitting on top of the world, aiming to push all boundaries.
“It showed me that no matter my limitations, anything is possible,” Boiser said.
Over the weekend, Boiser became the first wheelchair-bound entrant in a local Shotokan Karate-do International Tournament.
“The day before, I went handcycling and I think I injured my arm and I didn’t know if I broke it, but it was swollen. Then I woke up the next day and won a karate tournament,” Boiser said.
Awarded a gold medal, Boiser says practicing karate has been extremely beneficial.
“The karate has really opened doors for me as far as handling myself. I have a lot more endurance, a lot more strength,” Boiser said.
According to Boiser, tournament officials say they plan to add a wheelchair-designated division next year.
That’s not all the 38 year old has been doing.
“I just know that everything is perspective. It drives me and fuels me,” Boiser said.
He has also become an advocate for other wheelchair-bound residents.
“I have been real busy trying to create opportunities for others in my demographic to help with their transition and post injury,” Boiser said.
He’s also taken up surfing and motivational speaking to be a voice for others like him.
“We just show the best example we can now and the kids of tomorrow are going to be so much better,” Boiser said.