Practicing any form of “self-defense”, whether it be Karate, Tae Kwon Do or Kickboxing, should be exciting, meaningful and most importantly…Fun! COVID-19 has changed the tried and true approach of in-person training. While we still feel it’s the best way to learn this art form, we are learning and adapting to this new reality to help students continue to develop and become strong martial artists.
But why train in martial arts in the first place? Martial arts is a unique activity that allows everyone to participate equally. In most sports, you have one ball. You have the starting players and you have the bench players. Martial arts allow all of the participants to be starters on a single field. Utilizing a traditional ten rank belt system, it’s easy to facilitate growth and see student improvement as they test and progress to their next belt.
Practicing Social Distancing, we have been able to train, learn and test – with the exception of partner drills.
When COVID-19 first hit the U.S., we had to shut down. But I knew we could keep our spirits and heart rates up using modern technology. Like many, we turned to live video classes through Zoom to stay connected to our dojo family. We also broadcasted on Facebook live to reach students outside of our school that could use some exercise, connect with the community and give some folks something to look forward to. Now that we are fortunate enough to have begun live in-person classes again, we are able to resume that face-to-face positive energy that we love to be a part of. And we still offer Zoom access to those students who are not able to make it back to the dojo yet.
We know parents are wondering how safe it is to train right now. We are maintaining the highest safety standards in our dojo. From temperature checks for all students upon entering, floor sanitizing between each class, nine-foot distancing on the training floor, and an environment that is as “touch free” as you can get. Nobody knows when or if life will return to what we remember as normal, but until then we will always go above and beyond what is required to keep Burke’s Karate Academy a happy and safe environment to learn invaluable life skills. Self-defense, self-confidence and respect are just a few benefits of training at our Academy.
There are a lot of places in Tallahassee to train in martial arts. Some of them are very good. Some of them are not so good. If you are a child or adult and are thinking about training for yourself or a family member and want to have an amazing martial arts experience, whether be it at my school or a different one, due your due diligence. Ask questions. Know what your goals are and what you want to gain from your training, and make sure that wherever you choose can meet or exceed your expectations. If we are not what you are looking for, I will gladly recommend another school that may be better suited for you.
Questions you may want to ask are: How far is it from my house? How much is it? Who is doing the teaching (is it kids teaching kids)? Another thing to consider: How clean is the facility? You don’t want to train at a dirty dojo, especially during this particular time period. So go to the school. Look around. Take a sniff! Don’t be scared, do it! If it’s dirty, go somewhere else. Also, I encourage parents to understand the value they are getting from wherever they choose. The cheapest isn’t always the best, but the most expensive may not be the best, either. And while I find our rates to be somewhere in the middle, ask what you are getting for your money. Keep you’re your eyes out for “upsells”. Some places will get you in the door but then do a bait-and-switch once you have committed to them. So be careful. If you are promised something, get it in writing!
Another extremely popular question that I get is: “How long will it take me to get to black belt?”
For anyone who has already been or has ever thought about training in ANY martial art, please remember, it doesn’t matter how long it takes to get to black belt, as it will probably vary from school to school. What matters is your commitment. Think about this: If you have been training at school “A” for two years and just got your black belt, and someone else has been training at school “B” for two years and they are a blue belt. Which student is better? All things being equal, both students should be equally skilled, and therefore, the black belt at school “A” is no better than the blue belt at school “B”. Additionally, if student “B” continues to train for an additional two years and finally earns their black belt, which black belt is actually better? Just a thought. For the record, it takes approximately three and a half years to earn a black belt at our Academy, assuming you have met all the requirements.
And finally, of course I believe we are the best martial arts school in Tallahassee, but even so, I usually recommend checking out a couple of different schools. While I love our Academy, we may not be the best fit for everyone. I’ll be honest with you. If I know of a school that will better fit your needs and that I trust, I’ll tell you.
Enjoy your training! Stay physical! Stay healthy!