Getting Back to Training!

Getting Back to Training

This is the latest we have on the phases for various age groups getting back to training and where this can take place; that’s indoors or outdoors.

We have received an update from the English Karate Federation (EKF), which advice has come from agreement between Sport England and the Department of Culture Media and Sport - so we can expect a ‘belt and braces’ approach to the whole thing. This is advice for England and below I’ve tried to update the Scotland and Wales agendas.

The unlocking for training in martial arts is outlined by the EKF as four step process and this is pretty much as we’ve always understood it would happen.

The first stage - Step One - is that from 29 March outdoor training can resume for all ages and in groups - not just ‘one-to-one’ There is no limit on numbers and under 18s can return to normal training which means partner work is permissible and contact training, with adults maintaining social distancing - - BUT, Pad-work is allowed. The belt and braces inclusion is that it’s recommended that the person holding the pads wears a face mask…!!!! That is certainly not any condition we will be imposing, or even suggesting. Anyone who can train with a face mask isn’t training (a personal viewpoint).

The accompanying recommendations we absolutely agree with especially from an insurance perspective which is if you are outdoor training a risk assessment is required, particularly assessing the suitability of the venue, the training being undertaken in respect of the surface, the weather and the numbers involved.

Step two, which is no earlier than 12 April means that under 18s can return to indoor training, with partner contact work allowed, with a recommendation that a class is limited to 15, which is ludicrous if an Instructor has avenue which can accommodate more. It makes no sense on the one hand to say contact training is allowed, but then restrict numbers..!

Included in step two is that adults can return to indoor training on a one-to-one basis and adults can, in fact, train at the same time as the under 18s providing social distance is maintained and it is not the same instructor running both sessions. You can see that a committee has designed this lot, I’m afraid.

Moving forward, and to the best of our knowledge, it will still be mid-May (step 3) before indoor, adult group training can recommence and we’ll keep you advised as soon as this is clear, but it’s unlikely to be earlier.

This is a government obsessed with dates not data, so be prepared for anything in the weeks ahead and manage your expectations.

Scotland & Wales

As best I’m able to establish, it won’t be until the 2 April that the ‘Stay at Home’ order will be lifted in Scotland with certain trades being able to open on the 5th (3 weeks earlier than originally advised), with ‘contact sports’ for 11 -17-year-olds able to start again.

It seems to be that it will be late April when Gyms can reopen in Scotland but only for individual exercise. It is a very complex matrix of ages, indoor/outdoor, individual and group training restrictions that is in place, which has 4 ‘Levels’ to it and it’s not easy to understand.

All I can suggest for our Scottish members is that you refer to the website to try to get an understanding of how it will work for your club. Karate specific information is outlined on the SKGB website, which pretty much reflects the Sport Scotland information, but in an even more confusing way…

Wales began unlocking generally a week ago, with outdoor training venues able to reopen such as golf clubs etc., As is to be expected from the Welsh Karate Governing Body one can down load a PDF document ‘Guidance for Return to Karate’ - unfortunately dated July 2020….!!! If I’ve missed anything up-to-date on the site I apologise.

The most up-to-date information I suggest a visit to the website and Alert Level 4 with some very detailed guidance (sport, exercise and outdoor activity, updated on 19 March.

Should anything materially change I’ll be back in touch.

Take care.

Peter Consterdine

Tags:Shotokan, Karate, Batley, Horbury, West Yorkshire