This post’s title “Karate Training during COVID-19” is a statement, not a question. The day we had to close in March 2020 was also the day we began planning our virtual karate classes. Everything we had known for 22 years in business changed overnight. And so did we.
Our downloadable tutorials to help students learn at home were already produced. This was a huge bonus in keeping students training while we were all in quarantine. Once our online class schedule was developed, we were ready to begin teaching with ZOOM.
Training at home; pros and cons
The first hurdle we all faced was simply learning the technology. You might call the first few classes a comedy of errors. A lot of feet or noses on the screen. Audio, no audio. Bad lighting. You name it, we saw it. Because just about everything was being done online, we all learned very quickly!
Next, there were some students, or their parents, who simply did not want to take their karate lessons online. This was especially true for our Little Eagles® preschool program. Unfortunately there was nothing more we could offer for the majority of students in this group. Until now! Necessity is the mother of invention. Turning some of the cons of training at home into pros means we now offer even more opportunities for Bushido Karate training.
Turning cons into pros
Providing excellent and top-notch Karate training during COVID-19 meant that after learning the basics of ZOOM we had to know more. Breaking out classes into smaller groups, using multiple cameras to capture all angles, sharing our screen to review tutorials with students – we do it all.
Secondly, we had to listen to our student’s concerns. We realized our youngest group needed some hands-on guidance during virtual classes. Little Eagles® online classes are now “Kid’s & Caretaker’s” twice weekly sessions! Preschoolers participate in a half-hour class with their mom, dad, babysitter, grandma, grandpa – whoever is in charge!
Thirdly, some parent’s do not want their kids to participate in online classes nor do they feel safe enrolling their children in public in-person classes. We had lost many students for exactly those reasons. Because they know the importance of physical exercise and social interaction, it was important to include extracurricular activities during the week. By offering to teach these small, private groups safely in their home we were able to provide the kids with much needed activity. In turn, we were able to enroll new students.
Lastly, and until we think of something new, we knew Karate training during COVID-19 was the perfect time to bring back the BEST training. Those of you who have been with us since the beginning (1998!) will forever remember Bushido’s Extreme Student Training, or B.E.S.T. Weekends. Fitness events in the great outdoors! Now it is even more relevant to a) be outside and b) be active. Bushido’s Extreme A**-kicking Strength Training – B.E.A.S.T. -fitness bootcamp gives you both! Our first B.E.A.S.T. BOOtcamp is on Halloween, October 31st. Adult’s deserve a treat – 2020’s been a BEAST!
You find what you look for
When most people think of karate, or martial arts, certain images might come to mind. If those images were translated to words they might include strong, determined, focused, resilient, courageous and tenacious. The list goes on and on with positive character traits. No doubt this pandemic has affected us all in one way or another, or in every way imaginable. We don’t have a vaccine because nobody was looking for one. Scientists will have a vaccine in the future because now they are looking for it.
We never stopped looking for ways to teach our students. If we had looked for disappointment when we were forced to leave White Plains, we would have found it. Had we looked for excuses to stop educating, we would have found them. Failing to plan is planning to fail. That is not who we are. Our loyal students deserve the very best we have to give them. We will continue to look for opportunities that will contribute to their strength, determination, focus, resilience, courage and tenacity! OSU