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Hi All,
 
Welcome to the latest Combat Corner! As you know, last week we had an online instructors meeting which was well attend by members of the Combat Group from all over the globe. It was enjoyable and productive. As you’d expect, all of the discussion was around the current pandemic and plans for re-opening clubs and schools.
 
Obviously, we all have to follow the government regulations and guidance, and that varies depending on where we are in the world. Even here in the UK all four “home nations” (Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England) have different restrictions in place.
 
The good news is that in some nations training is being resumed, albeit with restrictions on numbers, distancing and types of practise. Some nations are even permitting sparring again (providing precautions are in place and contact is not close and sustained i.e. no grappling). So, there are “green shoots” and hopefully it will not be too long before everywhere is moving in the right direction.
 
Some key points that came out of the discussion:
 
1 – Keep communicating with students about the current situation. Even if there is no change, then tell them that. Let them know of your plans and how you intend to ensure their safety and compliance with all regulations going forward.
 
2 – Do what you can within the regulations as they currently stand. A number of the instructors reported having good success with a mix of online training combined with socially distanced outdoor group training (with numbers capped as allowed in their location) i.e. basics, kata, fitness, shadow sparring drills, etc.
 
3 – Have a plan in place going forward. Make sure you are ready to respond to relaxations in lockdown rules.
 
Have you found a safe and suitable outdoor training area for use before indoor training is permitted? Have you considered how you will rearrange class times due to caps on numbers; not just in class, but during any change over too? How will you manage entering and exiting the training area? Have you considered PPE that might be needed by you and students? Have you considered how you will ensure venue cleanliness? Have you considered how to mark out designated training areas? Have you considered how to run classes when individual students will be confined to a given area? Have you factored in that sharing of equipment will be restricted? How will you manage the use of toilets and chancing facilities? Have you considered how to ensure parents can maintain social distancing / caps on numbers when dropping off and collecting kids? Have you got PPE (mask, gloves, goggles, etc) should you need to administer first aid? Are hand washing / sanitising facilities in place? Do you have options for cashless payment? And so on.
 
Don’t be caught unprepared or unready when restrictions start to lift.
 
4 – One major point that came out of the meeting was the need to communicate with the venues. You could be ready to go and find that the venue is not available or is reluctant to let you go ahead. Ensure you produce a risk assessment that identifies both potential issues and mitigations (as per Point 3 above), AND that references all appropriate government guidance. Find out what restrictions the venue is putting in place and ensure that you follow them and share them with students. Presenting your risk assessment to the venue will go a long way to reassuring them that it is safe to permit you back in when the government permits it.
 
Please check out the usual content below, and in particular please check out John Titchen’s risk assessment. It is sure to be helpful in formulating your own.
 
https://www.iainabernethy.co.uk/sites/default/files/file_attach/docs/COVID19_Risk_J_Titchen.pdf
 
Any questions or information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
 
We are all in this together and our pooled efforts will get us through it.
 
No retreat! No surrender! No man left behind! :-)
 
All the best,
 
Iain
 
John Titchen COVID-19 Risk Assessment:
https://www.iainabernethy.co.uk/sites/default/files/file_attach/docs/COVID19_Risk_J_Titchen.pdf
 
5-Step-Plan for a Comeback of Karate Training under Corona limitations: https://www.iainabernethy.co.uk/content/5-step-plan-comeback-karate-training-under-corona-limitations-carsten-schmitt
 
Karate for Mental Health (online event):
https://www.facebook.com/events/2954988527865828/
 
Michael Sailsman Coaching Webinar tonight 7pm:
https://mailchi.mp/britishcombat/bca-2766884
 
Leigh Simms - Self-Defence & The Law Workshop (21st of June):
https://mailchi.mp/britishcombat/bca-2766864
 
The latest Jamie Clubb Podcast:
https://clubbchimera.com/podcasts/
 
German Radio report on our “Pub Quiz”:
https://www.deutschlandfunkkultur.de/karate-digital-voll-in-kontakt-beim-training-im-netz.966.de.html?dram%3Aarticle_id=477632
 
Iain Abernethy Weekly Video Message:
https://www.facebook.com/iainabernethy/videos/254823555792224/
 
Four key differences between martial arts and self-protection:
https://youtu.be/LzUOntsYWRI
 
The English Language version of Christian Wedewardt’s “The Heian Kata Bunkai Phenomenon” is now available!
https://www.iainabernethy.co.uk/content/das-heian-kata-bunkai-ph%C3%A4nomen-christian-wedewardt