Covid-19 has resulted in seismic cultural shifts. An endless stream of foreboding news reports and alarming statistics have left children and adults frightened, confused and isolated, as they grapple with changes in sleeping and eating patterns, bouts of depression, screen burn-out and stress.

Survive and thriving in a post-pandemic world requires a battle plan for ourselves, our loved ones, and our dojo family.

Put the mask on yourself first. It is impossible to look after others if we don’t protect our own warrior body, mind and spirit. Karate self-care is vital – not just physically, mentally and spiritually, but tribally.

To be or not to be…in the dojo.

While you may view attending karate classes from home as the safest or most convenient option, in-dojo practice at safe physical distance offers unique benefits:

Social/Emotional Benefit – sharing the same space (literally, not virtually) with fellow students and instructors inspires, engages and motivates us as we connect and lift each other (albeit in a non-contact format).

Technical Benefit – dojo reorientation can simplify directional challenges and with 2-meter distancing you’ll likely have more room to improve your skills without bumping into a wall, careening into a coffee table, or shattering your flatscreen.

Physical Benefit – in addition to tapping into a special collective energy, you’re moving under the watchful eye of on-site instructors while adhering to safety protocols.

Mental Benefit – working out in the dojo versus a multipurpose corner at home allows single-minded focus on our practice. Additionally, training with awareness/presence reminds us that even the most traumatic situation is impermanent.

Spiritual Benefit – non-contact drills like kata are a form of moving meditation and performing them in a group amplifies our sense of community and belonging.

Some members of the Northern Karate tribe may choose to stay home for the short-mid term and enjoy Zoom and on-demand programming that feature NKS instructors and our world-class curriculum. Other students will return to in-class training the first day we open our doors to dojo that are ultra clean and ultra welcoming. Either way, we’re here for you.

NKS strives for balance, from our classic and cutting-edge curriculum, to harmonizing martial and art. Avoiding extremes beyond the dojo is more important now than ever as we embrace facts over fear, and precautions rather than paranoia. This is all new territory. Together we must chart a middle path between sequestering ourselves or outfitting our loved ones in haz-mat suits, and selfish disregard for the health and safety of our local and global communities.

Bottomline: whether in the room and/or on Zoom, taking time for martial arts self-care will improve our overall health and well-being help us survive and thrive as we move forward.