Returning to the Dojo in 2021

There’s cause for optimism that we will slowly be able to return to train together in the Dojo this year. Many students have been reaching out to know when we can start to do this and we’ve been working behind the scenes with support from South Lanarkshire Council to plan how we can do this safely and in a way that makes training together as enjoyable as possible under what will still be limited restrictions. Dates are still a little fluid and will be provisional based on the latest government and local rules but as it’s beginning to look clearer we wanted to share the current plan with all students. Please keep an eye on this page as we’ll update it as things change / progress.

Changes to how we train

First up – Our Karate has first and foremost been a group activity and we should be able to retain that although we’ll have to limit numbers to keep everyone safe. One thing we will not be able to return to immediately is close contact activity like Kumite or partner work. Hopefully in time, through everyone’s hard work and patience – combined with the vaccine – this will be something we can re-introduce when it’s safe. In the meantime though we will continue to have restricted numbers for indoor training in the Dojo.

The good news for us is that through communication with South Lanarkshire Council we’ve learned that we can return to our old dojo in Fairhill Lifestyles. There will continue to be some restrictions (more details on that later) but the real benefit here will be the ability to use the large hall. This will allow us to train as a group within the restrictions whilst maintaining a really safe distance between all students. The Dance Studio was a great Dojo for small numbers (and we will continue to use it for some classes) but it’s smaller space places a real limit on the numbers for group training.

New Classes and Times

The second major change to our training routine will be a change to class times, location and structure. Some of these changes were already under review and the pandemic has just re-focussed the need to evaluate them again and make changes. Some of the changes are necessary to keep a safe training environment for all but some of them are designed to make sure that Students get more from the classes they attend.

We’re provisionally going to be returning to training on Monday 17th May 2021. Becuase of restrictions on the mix of students we’re able to have the classes are going to have to be split into 2. We’re going to be running 2 training sessions on each of the 2 nights of the week we’ll be training at Fairhill Lifestyles. The first class will be running from 6:30pm-7:30pm and the second class will be running from 7:30pm-8:30pm. The first class will be for all students who are under 18 years of age, the second session will be for all students who are 18 years and older.

In addition to these two sessions we’re going to run a single Friday night session at the Dance Studio for adult (18 and over) senior grades only. This will run 6:30pm – 7:30pm and will be for (1st Kyu and above – Brown & White Belt and all Black Belt grades).

To summarise the new class structure :-

LocationMon Session 1 (6:30pm – 7:30pm)Mon Session 2 (7:30pm – 8:30pm)Wed Session 1 (6:30pm – 7:30pm)Wed Session 2 (7:30pm – 8:30pm)Friday Session (6:30pm – 7:30pm)
Fairhill LifestylesAll grades – under 18 years of ageAll grades, 18 years old+All grades – under 18 years of ageAll grades, 18 years old+
Valerie Brown Dance StudioBrown & White Belt / Black Belt grades (18 years old+)
New Class Timetable for returning to the Dojo

It’s hoped that as restrictions ease we’ll be able to move to a different class structure, we’ll keep this under review and keep all members posted of any upcoming changes. We realise this could be difficult for many to work around, particularly families where parents attend with kids and we hope this will not be an arrangement we have to keep up for a long time.

Safety Protocols

There’s a number of safety protocols we will have to adhere to when returning to the dojo. Many of these have become familiar parts of our daily lives over the last year so it shouldn’t be too strange for everyone but we’ll be publishing more details on these as we get nearer to opening. It will be the usual hand-washing, social distancing etc but there will also be some restrictions that are specific to the venues we will need to adhere to (around changing facilities, etc) – more details on this as we approach re-opening so stay tuned. The governing body we’re members of (NAKMAS) have also published guidance that’s specific to Martial Arts training in particular and we’ll be ensuring we meet or exceed their guidance when we’ve reviewed it.

In addition to ensuring we adhere to the safety rules we’ll also be required to retain a register of class attendees. We’ll need to keep running pre-registration for attendance (to ensure we keep numbers within the rules) and keep a register of attendance (for track and trace purposes).

How can we get ready ?

Okay – so now everyone has a rough idea of what will be happening – what’s next ? First things first – to help us understand what class sizes and composition will look like please register to return to training. It’s important that you register with us so Sensei Jim can look at numbers and make sure class sizes stay withing safety guidelines so please don’t delay in registering. We already have a large number of current club members registered and we’ve got a large number of new members who are interested in joining.

If you’re currently a member of the club – or would like to join the list to train with us when we’re able to do so again – please send an email your Name, Email Address and Phone Number to this address and we’ll reply to you. It’s important that we get these details and a sense of numbers who will be returning to training so we prepare to be ready.

Many students have continued to train throughout lockdown and that’s going to really help them return. If you’d stepped back from training during lockdown it’s important to begin doing a little light exercise in the lead-up to returning to training. We’ll be starting gently of course but the more you start to prepare now the better shape you’ll be in when we return to get right back into training. Want to refresh your memory for some of the Kata’s ? The Club corner has plenty of videos for members to refresh your mind and get your body moving again.

If you have any questions or need help please add them to your email for registration at the email address above and we’ll do our best to help.

Looking forward to seeing everyone again soon and training with you all, it’s been a long time coming round but we’re nearly there !

Sensei Jim and all the Instructors