We’ve had some calls recently asking if we’re having classes, and the short answer is yes. For the time being we’re still doing “socially-distant Aikido” which means everyone wears a mask and we all keep our distance from one another. Practically it also means we’ve been devoting most of our class time to weapons practice, namely suburi as well as solo and 2-person forms using both jo and bokken. In addition we’ve done a bit of weapons-led throwing techniques using the jo, but that’s been a minimal amount of the practice.
When everyone is vaccinated, we’ll look at transitioning back to “regular” Aikido, although we’ll continue to follow recommended CDC and state guidelines regarding masking and distancing. I believe this shows respect not only for each other but for the folks with whom we are in contact outside of the dojo.
Overall, this has been a productive time, as it has given us a chance to be more strictly focused on weapons work. Too often we avoid weapons forms as they don’t give us the same kinetic release that manual techniques offer. As a result we don’t develop the specific technical expertise and the mental discipline that weapons practice imparts. I feel like our weapons practice has significantly improved over the last year, and I’m grateful for the results.