Training In The Time of COVID-19 Pt. 2
So like a lot of you reading this, my family and I are trapped at home while COVID-19 rages. As of this writing, we're entering week 3 of "sheltering in place".
We're pretty lucky - both Mr. Chick and I can work from home, so at least for right now, we have jobs and money's coming in. Our family is relatively safe, healthy, and stable, and a lot of families in these times can't say that.
I'm extraordinarily lucky and grateful for that.
My martial arts life is... interesting.
Here's another way in which I'm extraordinarily lucky: I'm quarantined with my best training partner, Mr. Chick.
Mr. Chick is working on some stuff for his next rank, and what's awesome is that he's got me around to work on those things. So we're getting in some fun training - challenging each other, questioning assumptions, and working through problems.
It's the best possible situation for me in a situation like this.
As for teaching...
You might recall what I wrote in the first installment of this series (here) about offering training in our Monday night classes via video, which has started up. At that time I wrote we were going to continue our Meetup in person, but that changed a few days after I wrote that, and it, too, is now being delivered via video.
I'm grateful for the technology, but wow, if this is going to go on a while longer, I need to find a better way to do this.
I'm not going to complain about free tools too much. The fact that I don't have to pay an arm and a leg to connect with students is awesome.
Monday nights are delivered via Facebook Live, and the Meetup is delivered via Zoom. All sessions are about 30 minutes long.
Here's some pros and cons I've stumbled across.
Private groups easy for students to use
Records the session for review later (so you don't have to do supplemental video)
Can't see students (not two-way video)
Stuck with portrait (versus landscape) - I prefer landscape and that's how my phone stand is set up!
Cuts off inexplicably (not sure why)
There's a free version
You can see your students (two-way video)
Great for people who don't use Facebook or other social media channels
Doesn't record the free version
40 minute limit in the free version
Settings can be confusing
I think I prefer Zoom, and if this goes on much longer, I might switch to a paid version so I can get access to some of the advanced features (especially recordings). As a side note, I've also used Line to do distance training and it's okay but has some of the same limitations of Zoom (and it a bit harder to use, in my opinion).
After several weeks of this, though, I'm more convinced that video learning isn't the best way to learn the martial arts.
Even when I can see our students, it's hard to keep on top of them while leading the class at the same time, especially if there's more than one person attending.
And wow, it's very difficult to deliver content that doesn't require resistance. Much of what I do you really have to see and feel. Once you get past basics and skill drills you can do solo... it just can't be done in the same way via video.
You have to do this in person.
For the time being, though, like the rest of you, I'll just be doing what I can.
So what ARE you doing to adjust your training to being quarantined? What's adjusted for you? How are you training? Are you using video? How is that going for you? Let us know in the comments!