As anyone reading this should already know, COVID-19 has impacted our world in many ways.
Aikido is an art that is generally taught via direct contact between students of all ranks. Teachers demonstrate in front of classes using ukes (loosely translates to “the one that takes the fall”), or they teach more directly to students (by either demonstrating technique, or taking ukemi for a technique). Senior students teach what they know to junior students in a similar fashion. Or students of similar ranking work with each other trying to learn from each other.
It’s all very “hands on”.
Even when practicing weapon kata, close proximity is required, well within the range that “social distancing” says we should avoid.
So, what do we do?
Obviously, we’ve stopped teaching at our new space (in Balance Dance Studios). Hopefully we’ll get back there when this is over.
In the mean time, we’re having virtual classes, via video conferencing. We warm up, mostly the same as usual. We practice footwork, movements, and breathing. We use weapons (or things that can pass for weapons for remote training).
Will anyone become a master of Aikido via tele-conferencing? No.
Can you improve your Aikido via tele-conferencing? I think so.
Will you get some exercise? You can.
Will you feel better? I certainly do, and judging from the other people’s responses, I think we all feel better after a class.
If you’re one of our current (or former) students, and you’d like to attend a virtual class, please contact Richard or Jesse (both @southaustinaikido.com).
Peace be with you,