Those close to us know, the past 6 months have taken a devastating toll on our Hapkido dojang, as Victorian is placed in a prolonged and severe State of Emergency under the state government.
Gyms and Martial Arts schools across Victoria have been closed to physical classes since March 2020. The impact of these closures have resulted in many small business owners, gyms, and dojos being forced to close their doors.
Martial Arts systems, such as Hapkido, are extremely difficult to teach via online classes. Those of us who understand the complexity of Hapkido know that you cannot teach the effectiveness of pressure point application, joint manipulation and balance breaking over the airwaves. We also, cannot test and grade our students via online classes, as this is not an accurate measure of growth and understanding, and we will never accept a mediocre measure of anything in our dojang.
In saying that, we know that you are missing your Hapkido classes and so over the last couple of weeks, we have been able to offer online weapons classes to our adult students. Practising drills and solo movements will strengthen your empty hand techniques for when we are permitted to train together once again. This is not a substitute for physical Hapkido, nor is it a stand-alone measure of practice, it is simply an element of your learning to complement your training. You know, as well as we do, that we cannot replace face-to-face training with an online class - it's just not the same.
We haven't opened up online classes for children at this time because we know our students well, and feel we cannot give our kids the contact and instruction they really need through an online class. Kids need so much more supervision, explanation, personal attention and physical technique correction than adults do, and it pains us that we can't deliver that for them right now.
We were devastated to notify our community recently that we have been forced to close our doors for the forseeable future. This is directly due to the Victorian State of Emergency; the continued costs of an empty venue. Despite covid plans, social distancing, excellent hygiene practices and masks - we are not allowed to open.
While we are feeling raw and emotional right now, we remain stoic and strong that one day soon we will be able to open again. It may not be from our own venue initially, we may run classes from a school hall, a temporary venue or our own garage dojang if we need to - but we will be back. We firmly believe that a door never closes without a window opening and we hope that you know we are invested in this more now than ever before.
We have a terrific family in Choson Martial Arts, Sungmookwan, World Kukmuwon and Kido Hae. The support they provide for us all goes beyond Grandmaster to Master, Master to student. They are invested in us and our growth as martial artists, for us all this is personal and it shows.