• Jackie Bradbury

Training in the Time of COVID-19: Part 9

Mr. Chick was supposed to go to a martial arts camp, but thanks to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the area he was going to, that's canceled now.


A camp that's supposed to happen in Texas in two weeks - one I was supposed to attend in April that was rescheduled - is also (basically) canceled.


I have three big martial arts events, two to travel for, coming up in the next 6 weeks. It remains to be seen whether any of them will actually happen. It's possible that the local one will, but the ones I have to travel for are in doubt.


We're moving back into isolation step by step.


Whether you think it's a second surge, or you think it's just an extension of the original surge, either way, this is decimating the martial arts world.


Martial arts schools are closing left and right, and moving back into basements and backyards and parks if they survive at all. I've been stunned to see some pretty big, successful schools going by the wayside.


We can't order supplies from overseas (the Philippines) because of the virus. We're running out of sticks (literally). If we end up not being able to get rattan soon, we'll figure out a solution somehow (not sure what it'll be yet but...)


I am so very lucky that our program is small with very little overhead.


I bet martial arts suppliers are feeling the pain as acutely as anyone, and I wonder what happens when they go?


Surely they can't wait this out for another 6 months.


What happens when we lose them? In the US, how hard will it be for us to no longer have Century Martial Arts, AMWA, and others? What happens when we no longer have those small little martial arts supply stores every city of some size seems to have?


There's a host of suppliers and hundreds of thousands of jobs and small businesses that are facing closure with martial arts schools dying.


This is possibly the greatest crisis the martial arts community has faced since it became a thing.


The question is, what will it look like on the other side?


Will we have to get rid of things like martial arts uniforms and belts and tools that can't be made of local materials?


Maybe?


Will we return to an era where martial arts training is a hobby, and not a career?


Heck, that was the experience of most of us before COVID-19 so I'm definitely betting "yes" for at least the next five years or so.


Is online learning going to be something most of us participate in, in one way or another.


I think so.


Nobody can predict the future, but I bet, in one way or another, our community will survive, just not in the form it was before the lockdowns.


All I know is, I'll still be here. And I hope you will be, too.


How is COVID-19 affecting your ability to teach or train? Have you moved from commercial spaces to a garage or basement or back yard? How is that going? Let us know in the comments!

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