Karate and the Coronavirus

Connor – Male Champion 2019
Beach training March 2020

UPDATE: Since this was posted all classes have shifted to online and no one can attend classes in the dojo.

Australia has taken extensive action with travel bans, quarantine and self isolation requirements in order to limit the spread within Australia of the Coronavirus. However as we are now seeing cases in Australia the government and health officials have started to strongly advise that Australians need to take this threat seriously and act accordingly. Although for many people the Coronavirus poses no or very little threat the most vulnerable in our community face a serious threat from it.

Support each other

There is a lot we don’t know and this situation is still evolving very quickly. The dojo has always been a community were everyone supports each other however they can. It is during difficult times that having a community to support you and to feel part of is more important than ever. It is frightening to see what has happened in other places and then to see Australians fighting over toilet paper. I don’t know what challenges we are going to face during these difficult times but I do know that if we work together and support each other we will be far better off. If you have concerns, you have problems we may not be aware of then let me know.

There may be vulnerable people within our community who may need extra help in the time ahead, lets make our goal to help everyone through what may be a difficult time, perhaps very difficult for some. If you need help for some reason let me know, let’s be a community helping each other, not individuals taking all we can for ourselves. Let’s practice compassion, support those who need it, protect the vulnerable and feel good about our own actions and the people around us. It might be as simple as being quarantined and needing someone to pick up supplies for you and your family.

If you need help I will do what I can to help or coordinate others to help.

So yes, I understand for most people the Coronavirus won’t be more serious than the flu and parents should be especially relieved that children have very little symptoms at all. But I also understand we have vulnerable people who can not be immunized against it like they can be for the flu. So I encourage everyone to follow the government and health official advice.

Practice Good Hygiene

Practicing good hygiene is wise at any time and the advise is really just to do what people should be doing anyway. However making a conscious effort is required right now to ensure we are doing our part.

Wash your hands.

Wash your hands or use hand sanitiser after you arrive at the dojo before training. (THIS CAN’T HAPPEN UNTIL I CAN GET HAND SANITISER!!!)

  • We have installed a hand sanitiser station by the training floor. (on back order but should be in soon)
  • We have installed fixed soap dispensers and hand dryers in the toilets.

Practice good cough hygiene.

Avoid coughing or sneezing on others. If you need to cough or sneeze during training cough or sneeze into your elbow.

  • If you have a cold or flue at this time you should not come to training.
  • We encourage everyone to get a flu shot this year. There is going to be ongoing concern about the Coronavirus, doing all you can to avoid being sick is wise.

Don’t touch your face.

Let’s practice this during training, remain focused and conscious of your actions at all times. This is an exercise in self discipline.

  • We do it unconsciously many times a day, so lets practice not doing this.
  • Stand up straight, hands in a fist, in ready position between exercises or training drills.
  • For Juniors / Dragons we often have them sit. We will ask them to sit in Seiza or take one knee again remaining conscious of their actions and focused.
  • When sitting in Seiza (kneeling) hand are in a fist on either thigh.
  • When taking one knee, hand should be on top of each other resting on the raised knee.
  • We will also be temporarily modifying self defense combinations that involve touching the face to not touch the face. It doesn’t make sense to not touch our face then touch others.

Don’t come to training if your ill.

If you have a cold or flue you should stay home.

  • This applies to both those training and those teaching.
  • Even if symptoms are only mild this still applies.
  • Be aware we all like to push on regardless at times. Not being able to do so may mean that we have instructors away more than usual this year. This is unavoidable, we will do our best to have substitute instructors come in however this may not always be possible. We will always aim to avoid needing to cancel classes.
  • If you have symptoms you think may be the Corona-virus you should see a doctor.
  • We will immediately suspend your training fees if you are ill and can’t come to training. We do require 2 weeks notice to suspend fees, however under these circumstances we will credit the 2 weeks back to you when you resume training. This allows us to still do things in an orderly scheduled way while allowing for this circumstance.

 Isolate yourself if needed.

There are a number of circumstances were people are being required to self isolate. If you find yourself in one of these categories you will need to stop training for this period of time as well.

  • The government is continually updating travel advise for different countries. You need to be aware of the risk of travelling outside Australia at this time. If you travel overseas you may need to self isolate for a period of time on return.
  • If you have close contact with people who have then been confirmed to have the Coronavirus you may need to self isolate.
  • Follow government advise and in all cases were you are required to self isolate do not attend the dojo.
  • If you need to isolate yourself we will immediately suspend your training fees. We do require 2 weeks notice to suspend fees, however under these circumstances we will credit the 2 weeks back to you when you resume training. This allows us to still do things in an orderly scheduled way while allowing for this circumstance.

Look After your Health

The fitter and stronger you are, the stronger your immune system the better you will cope with not only Coronavirus but any illness or inury.

  • Stop smoking, smokers have a much higher risk if infected with Coronavirus.
  • Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.
  • Exercise… yes do karate.
  • Don’t be stressed… when I feel stressed I meditate.

Hope for the best, don’t worry about what you can’t change but prepare for the worst.

Osu Shihan Malcolm.




Malcolm Ayles
Shihan Malcolm Ayles
The question I constantly ask myself is how can I help this person... what can I do to empower them, help them focus, help them become the best they can be.

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