Sensei Bert has been in touch with all students by email to give you the latest information on the re-opening of JKA North Berwick and JKA Musselburgh. Dalgety Bay has already re-opened!
Dear students and parents,
Thank you all for your ongoing support and attendance at our Zoom classes. Plans for reopening of the North Berwick and Musselburgh dojos are now in the planning stage and we are waiting confirmation from the centres on potential dates when we can begin physical classes once again. I know how much everyone will be looking forward to getting back to physical training once again and we are hopeful that will be very soon but until we receive dates we will continue with the Zoom classes. We will be back in touch as soon as we can with detailed information on how classes will work going forward. Physical distancing measures will remain in place and will necessarily change how we operate. We are in discussions with the centres as to their covid-compliant requirements and our own procedures to keep everyone as safe as possible. Some of the changes we anticipate include changing rooms remaining closed, you therefore may need to come ready to train and already changed, use of hand sanister before and exiting class and that training will resume on a non-contact basis and with no use of shared equipment.
We are also working on introducing a new online booking system to ensure we both comply with new capacity limits and ensure everyone who wants to train will be able to do so. We will also be introducing a new payment structure for contactless payment via standing order only, details will be forwarded to you in due course. There will be no option to pay in cash going forward and standing order payment must be put in place before attendance at any classes will be possible.
Thank you for you ongoing support for the dojos and I look forward to resuming in-person classes soon.
We're putting the finishing touches to a range of measues to allow us to re-open dojos safely.
Senseis Stewart, Osborne and Fraser have all completed the Sportscotland Covid 19 Officer training to ensure we're doing all we can to get ready for the return of face to face training.
We will need to make some changes. These will include:
new payment arrangements to end cash handling in favour of less frequent processes, such as asking you to take out a standing order for a block of lessons over a time period
new class times to permit cleaning to take place in between classes
working out the best mix of Zoom classes and face to face classes to help ensure you get a high quality teaching experience while keeping as safe as we can.
Assuming no sudden change, children under the age of 12 are able to start indoor contact sport from 31 August, with people of all ages able to take part in contact sport from 14 September. This is taken from the Scottish Government guidance and is endorsed by our governing body, the SKGB.
This is going to be a period of trial and error, informed by advice from the Scottish Government and the Scottish Karate Governing Body, so please bear with us as we find a way forward. Keep checking back on this website, or www.jkakaratedalgetybay.co.uk and if you use Facebook, we also post information there. If there's anything you're unsure of, please get in touch.
Now the government has confirmed gyms can re-open, we're getting ready to return to face to face training! It's been a long five months but we're almost there. We're putting the final touches to the re-opening plan for the Dalgety Bay dojo, with the first night expected to be Wednesday 2nd September. For North Berwick, it looks like the return is likely to be a couple of weeks later, as the Sports Centre is not planning to reopen until 14th September, and we're still waiting for the Queen Margaret University to confirm their plans.
Numbers will have to be limited to ensure we can maintain the 2m social distancing rules, and kumite drills with partners won't be possible, but it will be brilliant to get the spirit back of training with others.
At present, we're looking to give priority for these limited spaces to people who have continued to train over the summer through Zoom classes. The most likely outcome is that we'll set up a way for you to apply for a space on a class through something like a Google spreadsheet, and we'll confirm by email a couple of days before if you've been successful in getting one. We'll keep you up to date.
We now have a date to work towards in terms of getting our dojos back open for you to train in. 14 September is the date the Scottish Government gave on 30 July for getting gyms re-opened. We think gyms are a good match for dojos and so that's what we look out for when listening to the briefings.
Meanwhile we hope you're managing to get motivated and training on your own or within your family groups. Remember there is a wealth of information available to you in your membership folders or in the JKA Karate East Lothian website. Searching "JKA" on Youtube will bring up some of the younger instructors from the honbu dojo in Tokyo as well some of the older masters. As karate is refined all the time, just be careful with your search queries and be aware that there are many styles of karate out there! This is especially important if you are looking for katas - ensure you find an up to date version otherwise you will struggle a wee bit when you get back into the dojo - and you'll stand out for the wrong reasons! Keep strong, keep training ...Of course we are still providing training sessions online, there's still time to join the Zoom classes if you want to try and take the rust of the last few weeks off!
Sensei Bert Stewart has been using his lockdown time well and has made great progress in adding step by step katas to the Premium Supporter area. You can see step by step breakdowns of each featured kata which can be much easier to follow than watching video - though video is good too.
If you're a member of JKA Dalgety Bay or JKA East Lothian, please remember you've also got detailed instructions in your membership packs. You get your membership packs in January each year when you pay your annual dojo membership.
At JKA Karate East Lothian, we've been keeping on with training while we self-isolate. At the same time, we're preparing for the long haul, and the joyous day we can see each other again in our two dojos in the east and west of the county. Part of this has finally been getting the time to develop our range of club merchandise, and to get it online for you all to see.
Our new online store is at the stage now where it's ready to be perused by a wider audience.
The shop can be found at Shop. At present, we're taking a measured approach and so we can't take credit cards or PayPal yet. Our favoured payment method is online bank transfer. So if you fancy a new Gi, looking for kumite mitts or a new kitbag, visit the store, please! If you spot any problems or mistakes while you're there, please let us know by email. It's not going to be perfect, so any help you can give us would be brilliant and just like in our karate training, we'll work at continually improving as we go.
JKA Karate East Lothian cares about its members and their families. That's why we've taken the difficult decision to close all our dojos for an indefinite period.
In doing this, we're also following the example of the Japan Karate Association in Japan, who have also closed all dojos.
We want you to keep training, to keep practising what you've learned, and to keep motivated. We will all need the mental strength we've developed through our study of this martial art to keep focussed, keep doing the right thing, and keep ourselves and our families healthy.
Even people who have only been training for a short while have been given the tools to keep training in the smallest of spaces. Training can be undertaken from a standing position. Punching from a standing position is good training for everyone from a white belt to the most advanced in our clubs (albeit the most advanced will have a greater understanding of just how complex something which seems simple is if we are to liberate the maximum impact from our bodies.)
When you add lunges from a standing position into a stance position, be that front stance, back stance or side straddle stance, you will start to see that it is possible to train even in the smallest of spaces. Sensei Bert Stewart and Sensei Stephen Fraser are working on offering online classes to keep you motivated - rather than a broadcast on Facebook, where your technique can't be checked by an instructor, and you can nip off for a biscuit un-noticed, we are going to trial private one on one lessons through Skype in the first instance.
Look out for further information on this new service once we complete the necessary testing to ensure you get a good experience.
Before that, though, remember your training, remember your focus and cultivate the spirit of perseverance. Karate training isn't easy.
Our long-established dojo in Musselburgh is on the move. We're leaving Stoneyhill Community Centre to head up the hill to the Queen Margaret University campus, with the first classes due to take place at our new location in late July.
Stoneyhill has been our home in Musselburgh for 22 years, and will have seen thousands of karateka train in the first floor gym over that time. Our departure is precipitated by the centre's closure and it will be with sadness that we leave it behind, and excitement as we consider the advantages of relocating to a busy university campus close to Musselburgh railway station.
We're having a special last training session at Stoneyhill on Thursday 20 June 2019 at 7pm for karateka past and present. The session will be to mark the end of an era, and the start of another! There will be a four week period between the closure on 20 June and the opening of the new dojo at QMU on Thursday 18th July, 7pm to 8pm. During this time our dojo in North Berwick will be remaining open throughout the holidays, so people will be more than welcome at the sports centre in North Berwick if you like to keep sharp over the summer. The North Berwick nights are Monday and Wednesday at 7pm at the town's sports centre, with training led by Sensei Paola Burrows, 4th Dan JKA.
Just to remind people, the European elections on Thursday May 24 means that the Community Centre is out of commission, as it’s used as a polling station. Better come training Tuesday night with Sensei Liam Garret to get your training in for this week!