My name is Eduardo Salazar Moreno, from Bogotá, Colombia. I have been practicing Martial Arts since I was 8 years old. I have trained in TaeKwonDo/ITF and TaeKwonDo /WTF, Muay Thai, Kung Fu, and Other Mixed Martial Arts. Now I practice Hapkido and I am Black Belt 4th Dan Sin Moo Hapkido.
In 2014 I suffered a transit accident which left me with a broken spine with RMT L1-L2, blindness in one eye, broken right shoulder, right hip replacement and other injuries. While I was told I would no walk again I believe my strength of will and resilience from Martial Arts training, and the support of my students helped motivate me to recover. I hope that this enables me to be a good role model.
Since my accident I have undertaking motivational speaking and continued to compete, and in 2015 was awarded the Hapkido World Champion Title while competing in my wheelchair against able bodied competitors. I have also competed in many Pan American, South American and International competitions and tournaments, and have many credits on my name. As a person with a disability I can offer real life experience and perspective to engage with and teach others with a disability. I know the misperceptions that exist about what an individual with a disability can achieve and have experienced rejection on this basis.
Since arriving Australia I have opened my own Martial Arts school and commenced teaching while still in a wheelchair. This is something I am very proud of as I have been able to offer a different view of what a person with a disability can achieve. My School also has a large base of students on the Autism Spectrum, and our number of autistic students continues to increase as we demonstrate to our community the capabilities and achievements of people with a range of challenges and/or disabilities.
I have continued to train and use physiotherapy and now I walk with the use of a cane. While I was still in a wheelchair the Colombian Government made a short documentary about my
story, as has SBS Australia. I also appeared in Wyndham´s Star weekly.
For me Martial Arts is more than kicks and punches, it is my whole life. I now no longer require my wheelchair, but it never truly carried me, it only shared part of my life´s journey.