Martial arts training has a history of thousands of years. That training has continued through every imaginable circumstance – including global pandemics like the one we’re going through now.
Though we are ‘social distancing,’ that doesn’t stop our training. In addition to ‘solo’ training, we have the advantage of ‘online’ training.
Our Grace Martial Arts classes are not meeting in person right now, but we are able to continue our training online. One example is what our GMA class is doing in Lutz, Florida.
We started the program in Tampa in 2002 and students and instructors are still meeting 18 years later. We missed a few classes through those years because of hurricanes, tropical storms and tornadoes, but this is our first experience with a global pandemic shutting down our opportunity to train together in person. The virus is lasting longer than any storm we faced and it may be another month or longer before we can meet in person again. What can we do about that?
Some of the families involved in the Lutz class are meeting at the same time on Monday evenings via Zoom (image at the top of this article). It’s an online software that allows people to see and be seen through their computers or phones. Our regular classes are two-hours long on Monday nights, so we are staying with that schedule.
We open the Zoom room at 5:45pm to give everyone time to connect and get ready for class.
We begin at 6pm with prayer, a ‘Sensei Stretch,’ and warmups. We ask each family to lead the group in one warmup (e.g. jumping jacks, pushups, situps, kicks, punches, etc.)
We do some basic drills after the warmups for about 15-20 minutes, then move on to specific belt-level techniques until about 7:15pm. We break for about 10 minutes, then continue with Bible study until 8pm.
Here’s an outline of what we did last Monday night as an example.
5:45pm – Connect to Zoom
6pm – Prayer
6:02pm – Sensei Stretch
6:05pm – Warmups .. each family leads class in one warmup
6:20pm – Basic drills
- Star Blocking (slow, medium, fast)
- Star Blocking Escapes (partner drills for families)
- Star Blocking with Front Punch
- Star Blocking with Front Kick
6:40pm – Belt-level techniques
- Soft Yoko Gari (no throw/fall) – partner drills for families and solo drills when only one person in the home class
- Soft Osoto Gari (no throw/fall) – partner drills for families and solo drills when only one person in the home class
- Soft Tenchinage (Heaven and Earth – no throw/fall) – partner drills for families and solo drills when only one person in the home class
Tiger Form with Tenchinage
Taikyoku Ichi (Basic Kata One)
7:15pm – Break
7:25pm – Bible study – Tough Questions From Christian Teens: Unreached People
If you are part of Grace Martial Arts, we invite you to join us on Monday nights. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you a Zoom invite at 5:45pm ET on Monday nights.
If you are a private student of Sensei McGee and would like to schedule a free online class, please email email@example.com to let him know.
If you are an instructor or student in another school, we encourage you to stay in touch with your class through an online training program.
Our prayers are with you and your family during this challenging time.
We also invite you to join our Facebook group for Grace Martial Arts
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