Our martial arts school quickly began pivoting to live online-only classes, 1-on-1 Lessons, and Monday Pep Talks. I think we only missed one class while I was deciding how we move forward. But I distinctly remember coming to a realization one Saturday morning, about three weeks into my school's new online virtual identity. For the first time in a while, a sense of calm began to grow and I realized I was feeling empowered.
The tools common to resilient people are optimism (that is also realistic), a moral compass, religious or spiritual beliefs, cognitive and emotional flexibility, and social connectedness. The most resilient among us are people who generally don’t dwell on the negative, who look for opportunities that might exist even in the darkest times.
We are moving forward! Students and parents have bought in to our new reality, welcomed and embraced it. In fact, students and I are not struggling to maintain but are growing. I see martial arts progress, real engagement and understanding.
Is this present way of teaching and learning the most desirable method for developing well-rounded students and instructors? No, it's not. But it is the best way - the safest way - at the moment. Moving forward at some point, post-pandemic, will Life Martial Arts Center continue to develop its virtual identity? Absolutely! LMAC will be a hybrid live-class and online instruction school. It simply serves us students, parents and instructors too well to ever just go back to the way it was.
Some day, when it's safe, our school will experience in-person training again. Dealing with the live punches and kicks, the joint locks and take-downs, are necessary for a more complete martial arts education.
I watch the monitor, and I see and feel my students' enthusiasm. I believe they continue to understand my joy in sharing martial arts with them. We freely share laughs and frustrations by way of technology. This positive human energy turns our virtual experience into a palpable connection that drives us forward together. And this is how we develop the resilience we need to weather this storm, and those in our future.