Sunday, 29 March 2020

Taekwondo and Corona Virus

We are living in a historical time. I have never read about a single other time "everyone" has been part of a social experiment at this scale. Some countries have done a lot to prevent Corona from spreading to rapidly, and other countries have done nothing, yet others have opted to isolate the people in high risk group while the rest of the population "roams free". Only time will tell what is the best solution, and how this will affect the society at large. In Norway based on the little information knwon to us in our Dojang we decided to close down the Dojang to help social distancing early on (a few days later the government kept up with us and ordered all sports to close down). In our Dojang we felt that social distancing and self quarantine would benefit the society more than keeping the Dojang open. As Taekwondo is supposed to help society we felt that closing down the dojang to help fight the spread and hopefully keep the hospitals and health services at capacity would be more beneficial than keeping it open. Read the whole thing as I come with a lot of tips later on how to keep providing a service to your students.

Online I read that other Dojang kept open despite warnings and guidelines. The reason for keeping open was to instill and to project "indomitable spirit". I felt very sad when I read those reasons for keeping open despite what the current information tells us is most beneficial. It is a way of using taekwondo philosophy and twist it to keep students comming in the doors so that comercial Dojang can keep earning money. There was a 100% relation between those closing down to help society and those who kept open for "indomitable spirit" where the latter ones were comercial driven Dojang.

Taekwondo is self defense, keeping yourself and your loved ones safe from harm. That starts with your health, and so if you belong to a Dojang that insists on showing up even now, you might reconsider your place there, and if it is truly serving its students or not.

My Dojang is very lucky in that we dont pay any rent or anything. I get that comercial Dojang has to keep paying no matter what, but there are loads of stuff they could do in these times to keep providing a service to their students while also helping society by closing down the Dojang.

So what can you do to keep providing service to your students? We live in 2020 so we all pretty much have a smart phone and internet. This means you can moving your instructions online :-) And thereby helping students in their own house.

You can:

  • Live Stream Training sessions
  • Live Stream discussions or Q&A
  • Pre record syllabus stuff
  • Share instruction videos to your students
And these are just a few things.

Live streaming Training sessions: If you have facebook in your Dojang and you have a page or a group (we have a closed group for ours) simply press live stream within the group and keep training as if you had a session at the appointed times. This is what my Dojang is currently doing or starting now. It might be difficult to answer questions etc in these livestreams so tell your students to write down questions or if they have something they want more indepths explanations on and do a Live stream Q&A :-) Its not as good as showing up at the Dojang of course but during the present conditions it is the best we can do, and with a smartphone and internet connection it is very easy to organise and to do.

You can also pre-record drills, training sessions, syllabus stuff and share them with the students. This is what we scrambled to do once we closed down the Dojang, as the main instructor had video of himself performing some of the syllabus. I did some editing putting in what was to each belt grade etc but it could have been done even easier.

Sharing instruction videos: You do not have to re-invent the wheel. If you teach Taegeuk and Judanja Poomsae and you want your students to train at home, go to youtube: find videos that are akin to what you want (I prefer Kukkiwon and Lee Kyu Hyung's videos) and share them in the group as a reference for your students. This frees up time for you to produce videos that are unique to your syllabus (if you have your own step sparring drills etc for instance). 

And of course: combine all the above ;-) Do not settle for one, do it in combination. Share articles, share blog posts, share book recomendations. The thing is we have to stimulate home training, and keeping the students interested in Taekwondo. We need them to show up again once everything is over. This is my little way of helping :-) If there is anything you need from me in terms of instructions or anything let me know by contacting me on facebook traditional taekwondo ramblings, commenting below or at email

Best regards and happy home training :-)

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