Friday, September 4, 2020

No Social Distancing in the Dojo

This morning was largely occupied with sending text messages back and forth with the other coaches I volunteer with in a fall to winter youth athletic program about the coming semester. The program directors have secured an outdoor space which is perfect for soccer, track, and the like. 

One of the directors asked me if the judo coaches could put together an appropriate curriculum. Judo is an intimate sport, it could be described poetically as a fight which looks like a waltz. It's a high contact contact sport, two combatants could be cheek-to-cheek for practically five minutes in a match. There's no way to practice social distancing, and in the rough and tumble, masks would surely come off. Even teaching only tumbling and breakfalls (ukemi), we'd have to worry about how to sanitize the mats, never mind having to transport them. 

 Senior sensei made the decision to postpone classes until it is safe to do so. I'm relieved, my policy this year has been 'don't be that guy', in this case, don't be the guy who makes it into the headline: YONKERS' GREATEST MONSTER INFECTS FIFTY SCHOOLKIDS WITH COVID-19. This just might be the year we tell the kids, "Just play video games, the contact sports can wait."

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