Over the past few weeks we have had an enormous success with our current online karate sessions with students of all grades and ages continuing their karate training in their own homes with a TKF instructor on the other side of the screen.

Two weeks and half weeks ago, an announcement was made that could have potentially hit TKF hard. On the evening of Friday 20th March, the government issued instructions for the immediate closure of all hospitality, leisure and fitness organisations. This was followed by a full lockdown on Monday 23rd March. This meant that TKFs plan of attempting to continue classes where possible despite venues closing due to the Corona Virus pandemic, came to an abrupt halt. Luckily, TKF had a back up plan which was executed that evening. The plan was to deliver online karate sessions from an app called Zoom Meeting Cloud which meant TKF could broadcast live karate lessons to an unlimited number of students at the same time; meaning that students could stay active, still practice, and continue to interact with the karate instructors. On top of this, for no extra cost to their monthly subscription, students would be able to organise digital private lessons with an instructor in order to have specific, tailored feedback given to them to improve their karate training, whether it may be kihon, kata or kumite.

TKF had only really trialled the Zoom app a couple of times during the normal karate classes before the lockdown was initiated so everyone was still new to the procedure which would be used for the duration of the lockdown. Saturday 21st March would prove to be the test for using these online sessions for a true purpose of delivering a lesson whilst classes were cancelled until further notice. Word spread fast and the first online lesson began with over 50 devices online during the karate lesson, which was delivered by Matthew. Within some of those 50 devices were families of multiple TKF students so the tally of total students was over 60 students training. Matthew will admit that he was nervous before this lesson as it was the first time he would be delivering an online session, whereas Jake and Danny had previously used the system before. Matthew covered some very basic kihon drills for most of the lesson and was able to show different ways of being able to perform certain techniques in a small space; which was ideal as the majority of people who were training online were training in their living rooms or kitchens. Overall, the very first TKF online class was a huge success, with students rallying behind their karate club and showing a tremendous amount of support and encouragement whilst showing a massive determination to keep their training consistent during these strange times.

Trying to maintain normality during this period was essential to the TKF plan, which is why a timetable of regular karate classes was introduced and rolled out to the members. It was clear members were keen to maintain a form of training, so this was made possible when TKF were able to announce three separate classes for students to train in every weekday, and also on Saturday mornings. This was then improved further, and each lesson was tailored specifically for certain grades. This allowed Little Ninjas to come together and enjoy a fun filled lessons doing the things they enjoy most; such as breakfalls, rolls and mini competitions against one another. We also introduced Lower, Intermediate and Higher Grade Classes so students would be able to develop their syllabus whilst the instructor online is also able to provide feedback to students for the content that is being covered during the lesson. As the days went by, more new faces were showing up and joining the online classes and more people were taking advantage of TKFs brilliant offer of a quick but beneficial private lesson with the instructors. Every instructor was noticing small but subtle improvements from all students even though it can sometimes prove tricky to teach and explain certain things online, without the instructor physically being there to help the students. Improvisation was needed but there was nothing that would prevent the instructor from delivering an online session that everyone could respond to brilliantly. Safe to say every stepped up and rose to the challenge amazingly.

One of the main reasons behind this blog is that there must be a permanent ‘memory’ of what is happening here in this moment, in time where everyone is in the same boat and the lockdown applies to us all. This period certainly is a strange one, but there is always light at the end of the tunnel. No matter how far that light is, you can always guarantee that TKF will keep grinding, keep working and continue to function in the best way possible to provide what it knows best to all our students. But this journey cannot be made alone, and these last few weeks have proven just that… it’s not just a club, but a family, all united and rallying behind one another. The amount of support that has been shown by all our members, both students and families alike, and fellow instructors has been overwhelming and it really goes to show just how much our students represent the core of this karate club. TKF will emerge stronger and better with a great following and will only continue to do so with the amazing support of the TKF Team.

A personal thank you is in order to every single person who is associated with TKF. The support has been absolutely tremendous and we are so proud to have everyone of you as part of the team and long may this continue.

We are TKF…