Kushindokai Karate waiting for green light

June 18, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

Like other fitness and training centres in the province, Kushindokai Karate and Fitness in Orangeville is waiting for the next phase of re-opening to see when they can resume classes.

The dojo has been idle since March when the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in many businesses shutting down.

“We stopped a couple of days before they started shutting things down in March,” explained Sensei Michael Fisher. “We already had some families expressing concern as it was. We had several parents who were doctors or scientists and that sort of thing and they had already talked to me about it. We had already figured we were going to be closing down.”

The gym has seen no activity since closing its doors over three months ago. However, they have kept their students active by teaching classes on-line.

“We’ve been doing classes on line,” Sensei Fisher said. “My wife is also an instructor at the dojo, and we have a small dojo set up in our basement. We can run classes on-line. We don’t have as many classes as would at the dojo because there’s only two of us. We have a lot of one-on-one instruction. For group classes, we’ve been splitting up by belt levels or by age, depending on the night. We can do the physical fitness part of it. Everyone kind of follows along. So we’ve been operational since we shut down, it’s just not in-person training. We had some students who had to stop training, understandably, but others wanted to continue with us. We’ve been able to keep most of our students involved and active which has helped us with the rent on our facility which is sitting idle right now.”

The dojo may consider doing outdoor classes once fitness groups are given the go-ahead to start classes.

“We haven’t done anything outdoors yet,” Sensei Fisher said. “Eventually we’d like to once they relax the restrictions and we can have a larger gathering. But so far they haven’t allowed that.”

When restrictions are lifted and classes can resume, there will still be rules in place that must be followed. Those restrictions will be a challenge for sports were personal contact is part of the routine.

“I haven’t heard anything official, but I have heard that gyms may be able to open at the end of July or in early August. It will be difficult to run with all the restrictions. It’s going to be a challenge. There won’t be regular classes for a while. We actually started using hand sanitizers before everything shut down and everyone was on board with that.”

Karate is obviously a hands-on type of sport so making sure everyone is safe will be a big part of the return to the gym. 

Students can, however, practice Kata, which is a solo karate exercise used to perfect a detailed pattern of movements.  

While some business have been allowed to have a soft opening, the fitness industry is still waiting for some good news.

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