Joshua Loya is a professional adventurer, martial artist, and public speaker. He lost his eyesight due to a prior health condition and an accident with nunchucks when he was a sophomore in high school. Since that day in January of 1996, Joshua has pursued personal growth and new experiences, never using his disability as an excuse for not giving it his all.
Joshua has gone water-skiing, surfing, rock climbing, sky diving, and jumped off of 850 foot buildings, all after losing his sight. “In the year leading up to my blindness, I was in a sort of limbo, where I had to be careful I didn’t lose my sight, making most of what I wanted to do, unavailable to me. No swimming. No running. No lifting weights. Combat sports and martial arts were totally out of the question. Once I lost my sight, I didn’t have to worry about losing it anymore, so I jumped into pursuing adventure experiences with enthusiasm. My blindness was a bad thing, to be sure, but it was also a gateway to freedom.”
Joshua has well over a decade of martial arts experience, holding ranks in seven different disciplines. He is a senior student and instructor under Soke-Shihan Scott Conway, founder of the Guardian Martial Arts. He is also a certified instructor under Sensei Mario Schapp. And is the lead self-defense instructor for Blind Community Martial Arts in San Diego, California. He has competed in several martial arts competition, most notably, the 2016 Dallas Invitational and President’s Cup, and 2017 California State Games judo tournaments. All of his martial arts ranks and teaching certifications were earned after he became completely blind. His accomplishments as a martial artist so impressed Sifu Harinder Singh, President of the Jeet Kune Do Athletic Association, that he gave Joshua the nickname, Joshua “The Jedi”.
In addition to his adventure and martial arts experiences, Joshua has worked as a technology trainer and consultant. His crowning achievement while working in this capacity was teaching several members of Apple staff how to use and teach many of the accessibility features of their own products.
Joshua is also an accomplished musician, specializing in electric bass, guitar, and vocals. The music of his former band, Arimathea, was used in the audio book version of Scott Sigler’s novel, The Starter. While martial arts takes the majority of Joshua’s time, he has been known, from time to time, to perform original music at various venues and churches. Two of his favorite venues at which he has performed are the San Diego House of Blues and QUALCOMM Stadium, both with Arimathea.
Joshua is passionate about sharing his experiences as an adventurer, martial artist, and person living with total blindness. He also loves talking about his various geek obsessions, including Batman, fantasy literature, and Star Wars. He has twice been featured on panels at the world famous San Diego Comic-Con talking about comics and other geek items for the blind and visually impaired.
Joshua has been featured in several media outlets, including local San Diego TV stations, San Diego 6, KUSI, and Fox 5. He has also appeared on countless podcasts and online publications, including Yahoo News and AOL Online.
Joshua is a public and keynote speaker. He is able to speak and teach on any of the following:
- Martial Arts
- Disability Awareness and Sensitivity Training
- Personal Motivation and Inspiration
- Goal Setting
- Overcoming Adversity
- Problem Solving
- Martial Arts and Self-Defense for Persons with Disabilities
- Geek Culture
- Conflict Resolution
- Self Esteem
- Guide Dogs and Service Animals
- Assistive Technology
Joshua is able to address large and small groups in a variety of settings. His typical rate is $1000 per single day engagement, but he is open to working with groups or individuals for custom events, and the rate can be decided beforehand.
Additionally, Joshua is available for personal coaching on a limited basis. If his schedule is otherwise full, he is glad to refer you to someone who can help.
If interested in any of his services, you may call him at (619) 273-3657 24/7.