PLEASE SUPPORT YOUR MARTIAL ARTS SCHOOL, WHILE IT’S STILL THERE!
On 20th April the first, careful relaxations in the measures imposed to fight the CORONA PANDEMIC came into force in Germany. On 6th May these were extended following a conference between the federal government and the federal state governments. It is therefore greatly to be hoped that we have prevented the worst this time – both in health and economic terms – and that we might all gradually be able to return to normality.
For all the exit scenarios from the lockdown, the popular or mass sports will be at the end of the queue, and the so-called ″CONTACT SPORTS″ will likely be the very last to be allowed to come back to normality. This is understandable – after all, social distancing is seen as one of the most effective means of reducing the risk of infection.
This naturally affects almost ALL MARTIAL ARTS, for it is only through physical contact that a realistic self-defence system – of whatever kind – can be learned and practiced, i.e. in DIRECT CONTACT WITH A TRAINING PARTNER.
From the very start of the lockdown, we – and by this I not only mean the schools affiliated to the EWTO – did everything possible to compensate the lack of local training by offering ONLINE INSTRUCTION:
For example, for over one month we at the EWTO offered a DAILY WORKOUT BY LIVE-STREAMING on our Facebook page, and each day this was presented by a different EWTO master.
- Since 1st May, on the same page, we have run a TRAINING CHALLENGE on the subject of ″fighting spirit″, and after 4 weeks every participant will have gained considerable ″fighting fitness″ from this.
- Furthermore, almost 50 TEACHING VIDEOS FEATURING OUR EWTO GRANDMASTERS AND MASTERS are available for our members, and a new one is added each day.
- Quite apart from the HUNDREDS OF VIDEOS AND ONLINE TRAINING SESSIONS WHICH OUR SCHOOL OWNERS HAVE PRODUCED FOR THEIR OWN STUDENTS and made available.
- In fact we have meanwhile even been able to carry out several INSTRUCTOR SEMINARS BY WEBINAR.
We know that OUR COLLEAGUES IN OTHER ASSOCIATIONS AND MARTIAL ARTS have also made similar offers available to their students and members within a very short time. However, it is clear to us all that martial arts instruction for self-defence by means of an ONLINE COURSE CAN ONLY BE AN IMPROVISED REMEDY for the absence of shared local training. Being able to observe your teacher at close quarters, directly learning movements from him/her by direct contact, practicing what you have learned with a training partner … all these are irreplaceable. Not to mention the SOCIAL ASPECTS AND THE HUMAN NEED TO TOUCH AND BE TOUCHED, which are of vital importance to us all. However, we took all these measures to give our students some compensation for the time we are unable to train together.
The vast majority of our members not only showed complete understanding, but gratefully accepted these offers as well.
ACCORDINGLY THEY HAVE REMAINED FAITHFUL TO THEIR SCHOOLS AND – DESPITE THE RESTRICTED TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES – CONTINUED TO PAY THEIR FEES ACCORDING TO THEIR MEANS.
WITHOUT THIS LOYALTY AND SUPPORT, MANY OWNERS OF MARTIAL ARTS SCHOOLS WOULD BY NOW HAVE BEEN IN SERIOUS FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES! OUR HEARTFELT THANKS FOR THIS!
Although a silver lining seems to be appearing on the horizon – many federal states now allow training in the open air (but keeping a distance!), and the government of North Rhine Westphalia has even announced that contact sports will be allowed again from the beginning of June – normal martial arts training is still not possible.
This is why I make the following appeal to all martial arts enthusiasts:
YOUR SCHOOL, YOUR KWOON, DOJO, DOJANG OR CLUB CONTINUES TO BE RELIANT ON YOUR (ALSO FINANCIAL) SUPPORT! OTHERWISE THERE IS A DANGER OF A ″MASS DEMISE″ AMONGST THESE TRAINING FACILITIES, AND THAT THE MARTIAL ARTS SCHOOL OF YOUR CHOICE WILL NO LONGER BE THERE AFTER CORONA.
A culture that has evolved over many decades, one that is far more than just a ″sport″ for many hundreds of thousands, is at stake here. A martial arts teacher without students is inconceivable, as is the reverse. We martial artists can only overcome this extreme crisis if we stick together.
SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SIFU, SENSEI, SABOM(NIM), MASTER, TEACHER, INSTRUCTOR!
Keith R. Kernspecht
Founder, Head and Chief Instructor of the European WingTsun Organisation (EWTO)