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Are we ready...?

As we are about to reopen on April 12th (to children, plus their parents), I was mentally checking off what we have been doing to get ready for reopening safely and (hopefully) permanently. It's quite a list so I thought I would share it with you to help reassure you and to check if there is anything else we should be doing:

  • We now have well-established enhanced cleaning routines in place, with cleaning down done after every class. We have also changed the cleaning / disinfectant products used to those most effective against COVID (and I'm guessing other bugs) - just means I have to moisturise my hands a little more than usual & I'm now getting quite used to smelling of bleach all the time!

  • We have deep cleaned & replaced equipment, ready for the students through the doors. Whilst padwork will be limited in the first few weeks back, we'll be back to the pads just as soon as we can. That means you will also need to find & dust off your sparring gear as that will be making a return in June.

  • We've revised our timetable to make sure everyone gets a fair crack of the whip in terms of times & days. We have also been able to extend the class times back to the usual hour, so that we can make the most of each session, as we'll have some additional support available in many of the classes.

  • We've rejigged the website to make it more user friendly - it grew (like topsy) as we were forced by COVID to do more online / at a distance, but not in a very structured manner. Many of you have very helpfully commented on the site & we have used that to try to improve it. For now, we will be retaining the booking in system so that we can effectively manage space in the classes & also be able to conform to Track & Trace regs. Don't worry though, we'll get rid of it as soon as is practicable.

  • We've done some improvements to the centres, such as refreshing the paintwork & ensuring as many of the windows open as possible (so as to maximise ventilation). The landlords have also done some improvements & maintenance on the buildings, some of which you can see & some of which you can't.

  • We've refreshed ourselves too - updating our training, going on refresher courses and training ourselves in new skills. It seemed a shame not to use the time not physically teaching in the centres in a productive way. We will be bringing in some of the lessons learned over the Lockdown period to improve how we teach in classes.

  • A bit boring at first glance, but the Family Martial Arts Centres groups of clubs has done a lot of development work, developing itself into an even more professional organisation in preparation for an expansion from 2021 onwards - watch this space for more clubs opening. Get in touch if you think it might be where some of your future lies too!

  • We (and the Federation) have revised the syllabus to make sure that areas that haven't had the focus under lockdowns get a chance to rise to the fore again. You may notice some changes in class & at Graduations as a result, all of which are positive in my opinion.

That said, there are still some things that we will expect of all of you, certainly in the early stages, whilst the unlocking continues:

  1. We are asking all students to continue to wash their hands both before & after class, using the soap and towels that are in plentiful supply at the Centres.

  2. Try not to go around touching & using every single piece of equipment before class - it has to be cleaned & disinfected before it can be reused.

  3. Stay away from class if you find yourself feeling 'not so well' or show any of the recognised COVID symptoms

  4. Bear with us as we bed back into 'normal operations' - it's been over a year so some of us will be a bit rusty & we need to get used to the new syllabus as well as the new ways of working.

  5. Tell your friends, family, neighbours & workmates about us. We have lost a lot of students over the lockdown period (for a variety of reasons) & we need to build the club again - if anyone fancies pushing some leaflets through doors around their house, let us know?

All of the Instructors across all of the Centres are looking forward to seeing you all back in class again - some from the 12th and some from mid-May, with 'normal' operations resumed towards the end of June.

So dust off your Do Bok, get booked in and, as Mr Juma says, let's 'train hard & have some fun'!

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