How will we train again after COVID19?
In North Carolina, there are glimmers of hope that our state will allow Martial Arts Schools to reopen at the end of the month of May. We have actually been working on a strategic plan to open up again and here are a few things our student should know!
- Training in physical classes – We will use the 6 foot social distancing mandate, when we reopen. We have made changes to the dojo that will make it obvious, where to stand to be 6 feet away from your friends. It will be great to train together again, but we will have to do it in a safe manner. We will teach Kata, Self Defense, Sparring and Weapons in Karate classes, but in a different way. We will teach grappling and ground training in Jujitsu, but with training dummies or family members if you want to train with a parent or sibling. We will practice the parts of Judo that we can safely practice without touching our partners. Kendo and Iaido will practice all that we can without invading a 6 foot perimeter. Everything will change a little bit, but we will get to enjoy each other’s company and a great workout. We have had a Virtual Teacher meeting every Tuesday to continue to discuss and develop plans for safe but fun teaching when we return to the dojo. We are ready for you all!
- Arriving and Leaving the dojo will change a bit too. We will ask parents to drop children off at the front door and pick them up at at the end of class, rather than spending an hour in our lobby. Classes will be 45 minutes long to allow time for people to leave one class before the others are let in for the next class. We will also need time in the middle to clean contact surfaces between classes. Our plan as of right now is to take temperatures with a “no contact” forehead thermometer, at the front door. We will also have a supply of masks, but will ask you to bring your own, if it is recommended by the state when we reopen. We will have hand sanitizer stations at the front and back door. The Black Belts will also need to come in through the front door and exit through the back door. These rules will allow us to have the maximum number of students, based on square footage, in the building, without compromising safety.
- In general, we will be offering 2 classes per hour. We will start early in the day so that students can select all different times to attend. We have planned out a class schedule, that we think we will work without having to limit the number of people who can come in the building at one time. However, we will not have parents in the lobby and will not be able to have you on the weight equipment in the first week or two. We will need to see what times make it possible for an extra person or two, in the building, and that will take time to determine. After the first week, you are welcome to wait until your child’s class starts and if we have not reached our limit, you can come in for your workout too. We will ask you to clean the equipment before and after your workout.
- We will continue to live stream classes and offer virtual Private Lessons. Our plans are to Live stream one class per hour. We will also continue to offer Virtual Private lessons and for the time being, everyone can still have one Free private lesson per week.
- Bring your own gear! Also, remember to bring your gymbag to every class. We will still have strategies for teaching Sparring and Weapons and you will need your gear. If we teach weapons in the advanced classes, you will need to bring your own in order not to wait in line for borrowing the properly cleaned weapons on our walls.
- As many of you already know, we clean our building every night after classes. We have always cleaned all floors, bathrooms, carpet, water fountains, front door, front counter and just about any surface you can touch. We will continue to do this and will work harder in between classes to make the best possible environment for your workouts. We have a great mister system that covers our entire building pretty quickly.
We look forward to reconnecting with all of you and we will do our best to keep you safe during your workouts!
Kathy Olevsky is an 8th Degree Black Belt who has been teaching martial arts classes in Raleigh, NC since 1980. She is an international speaker on Women’s Empowerment and the Business of running Martial Arts schools. Kathy writes a bi-monthly column for MA Success Magazine and has authored a book on self-defense, Take Control.