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“All things work for the good,” said Paul Brailer, founder of Criptaedo, a pending 501-C3 nonprofit organization whose mission is “to educate the disabled community on independent fitness and self-defense”.

Paul started doing karate after struggling all his life with the congenital birth defect spina bifada and watching his disabled friends suffer the effects of inactive lifestyles.

Then, after being the near-victim of a mugging attack several years ago, it was his self-defense skills that saved him. “I was able to defend myself” Paul said. The mugger fled from Paul, leaving him safe and with more than his belongings—he also left Paul with the desire to start his non-profit organization.

What began as an online operation offering martial arts videos and demonstrations for the disabled community is now moving toward having a physical presence as well. “I want it to be like a YMCA for handicapped people,” Paul said. He envisions Criptaedo as a place offering adaptive exercise equipment and classes in fitness and martial arts for disabled people.

And yet, Criptaedo is about more than self-defense and fitness. “Martial arts is about achieving your personal best,” Paul said as he described his own unique journey toward achieving a black belt in karate in 2013. With the inability to fully use his legs, he relied totally on his upper body to earn this rank in martial arts. “My personal best is not the same as yours,” Paul added. And yet, he is out to help others achieve theirs.

Through Criptaedo and motivational speaking, Paul hopes to inspire others to be safe, to be active and to keep working on becoming their personal best.

Criptaedo’s martial arts classes for the disabled will be held at Barberton Adult Day Center on Mondays from 5:30-6:30 starting January 6, 2014.

Paul is available for speaking engagements.

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