Tag Archives: climb stairs in wheelchair

Getting Even Smarter: More Ways to Climb Stairs From Your Wheelchair


When it comes to climbing stairs, that’s not really in the vocabulary of someone who uses a wheelchair on a regular basis. Most of us resign ourselves to the first floor and that is that. However there are some people in wheelchairs who are the exact opposite and would never let a puny thing like a step dare get in their way.

I love these people too. They show the world that people in wheelchairs can be quite unexpected. Just because some of us can’t walk, it absolutely doesn’t mean we’re weak.  These very strong individuals include paraplegics and those with minor to moderate spinal bifida and cerebral palsy.

It’s a feat, a work of art, the way some individuals climb stairs without leg movement. To see these more unique ways to climb stairs, check out our three videos below.

 Video #1: Climbing stairs using Hill-Holders in reverse

For an awesome way to give manual wheelchair-users a helping hand as they climb stairs, you will love this video hosted by the adorable Arly Velasquez (a paraplegic who should totally think about moonlighting as a talk show host btw).

He demos how you can use Hill-Holders in reverse.  Hill-Holders are traditionally used for pushing up a hill, preventing the wheelchair from rolling backwards. I love these things. In this video, Arly shows how you can also use them to help you climb stairs.

What they do is hold the wheel in place so you don’t have to worry about rolling back down the stairs (talk about a genius product use). Watch Arly show how he climbs stairs using Hill-Holders in reverse

Video #2: Para shows how he climbs stairs in walking braces

For the lucky few of us who can sort-of “walk,” meaning using crutches and braces to move our bodies in a forward momentum upright (believe me it’s not easy), this video will show exactly how difficult it is. Created by paralyzed video blogger Wheelz of Fortune, he shows how he was taught to climb stairs.

It’s funny though because in the video he confesses this is the first time he’s used these accouterments to climb stairs in at least a decade. I know many of us out there who have been paralyzed for awhile can relate to this sentiment (has your standing frame became a close hanger yet?).

But he knows it’s important, and he busts out his braces and crutches to film this how-to climb stairs video.  It’s a workout, but it’s great to view. Watch Wheelz go up five steps at a beach, and then down again

Video #3: C7 quad shows how to bump up curbs in a manual wheelchair

Paraplegics don’t get all of the fun. Some quadriplegics are able to do a little stair climbing solo too. In this video from RZRCRIP, he shows one of the smartest ways to climb the curbs – propelling your momentum in a forward fashion – and then using that to get over the curb.

If you live in a town with minimal curb cuts, this is a trick to know indeed. Even if you can’t do it yourself, it’s pretty cool to behold. The way he is able to glide himself onto the sidewalk after bumping up a curb is quite something. Watch RZRCRIP bump up a curb like a rockstar

Stairs don’t have to be your archenemy. With a little bit of maneuvering and reworking to currently existing products, as well as some old fashioned physical assistance, it’s possible for any of us to climb stairs. It’s just not the easiest thing to do.

What tricks do you employ to climb stairs?

Watch the videos

Funny paraplegic showing how he can climb stairs using ingenious wheel locks

How to climb stairs in braces + crutches

C7 quadriplegic bumping curbs solo in a manual chair

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SCI Superstar: Erik Kondo


No one likes to feel vulnerable, but when you experience life as a person with a spinal cord injury, that’s one of the number one feelings that overwhelms you. Erik Kondo however refused to feel this way. A T4-5 paraplegic from Lexington, Massachusetts, Erik decided to combat this feeling by learning self-defense skills through martial arts, and he is now one of the most talented martial artists with a disability in the world and is now a 3rd degree black belt.

From applying his self-defense knowledge to help to protect women with disabilities online to showing newly injured people how to be independent, read on to learn about the fearless SCI superstar who’s using his talents to help others, Erik Kondo.

Why he’s fearless

Around 27 years ago is when Erik became a member of the disability community.  He was 19 and on his motorcycle when it crashed, and broke his T4-5 vertebrae on impact. Getting injured at this age however is never easy, but Erik, now 48 years old with a wife and three kids, has harnessed his fighter personality like a pro.

When he was 30 years old, after working in real estate for a few years and business and doing a bit of handcycling and skiing, Erik decided to begin practicing martial arts, jujitsu to be specific, in which he now holds a third degree black belt. Erik may have full control of his upper body, but he still has balance problems since he is a T4 paraplegic, so watching him in action is really quite something.

He also has a great video channel on SPINALpedia where you can watch him practice jujitsu and perform a slew of other wheelchair tricks. To date he’s uploaded 40+ videos and they show either a self defense skill, a mobility skill or a workout skill.  Eric is passionate about empowering other people with spinal cord injuries in any way shape or form. Such a great guy! Check out his videos

After he became good at jujitsu, self-defense came naturally. He’s went on to create a site devoted to self-defense called NOT-ME, which shows at-risk individuals what they need to do to really defend themselves if they’re in an altercation, and wheeler-user tips are part of it.  He’s made several videos showing his moves while sitting down, it is really quite something to behold. Erik can totally take an able-bodied guy down to the ground; no questions asked. Watch him here

And his self-defense videos are just a smidge of what he offers via video.  Erik has also made several videos showing his awesome “mobility” skills in an inaccessible world.  From climbing up stairs to going down a hill by doing a wheelie to popping a curb, Erik has no fear and does his tricks seamlessly. Watch him show the best way to climb up stairs in a manual chair

And Erik’s amazing fighter personality has also found a new outlet – helping protect woman with disabilities online. Predators, devotees and lurkers have no chance against Erik, who made it his life’s mission to uncover these people who are known to prey on women with disabilities online. He even created a free online presentation instructing women how to prevent trolls/predators. Watch

What’s next?

Erik’s latest method to spread self-defense knowledge is by teaching self-defense classes whereevrr he can, from camps to seminars . This past spring he taught self-defense classes in Vermont VT. And he’s also a burgeoning writer. As a frequent flier a lot, he has a few travel tips a share and has been writing for wheelchairtraveling.com, penning the occasional wheelchair travel article. Read his article on luggage tips for wheelchair travel

And last but not least, he runs an incredibly cool stair climbing blog, which is as exactly as it sounds – tips galore on climbing stairs if you can’t walk. Check it out

After a spinal cord injury, it can be hard finding you’re niche in the world. What’s great about Erik is that he carved himself out a very specific niche, and has become an expert in his field. People with disabilities need their own personal superman, and Erik Kondo definitely comes close.

Has Erik Kondo helped you learn a life skill?

Erik Kondo’s self-defense site NOT-ME

Watch the videos!

Erik Kondo demonstrates training for basic chokes and holds

Erik Kondo showing a new paraplegic how to get up a stairs in a manual chair

7 signs of a wheelchair pretender from Erik Kondo

Erik Kondo shows the safe way to fall out of a wheelchair