Martial Arts during lock down. Comparing the different options I have found. Ninja, Aikido, or JKD/ Krav Maga -Oh My!

By AFD

So for anyone who has read this blog for a while, you know that both authors are Dads who care about our families, like to train and workout, but also that we are both seasoned martial artists.

Both of us have trained together for 7 years. We training in Tiger Kenpo Aiki Jujutsu. I made it 2nd Kyu, B made 2ns degree black belt – Nidon. We are both also instructors in Contemporary Jeet Kune Do, under the curriculum by Paul Vunak, and his Progressive Fighting System. I have trained for a few years in Krav Maga, and recently have begun training in Aikido. Way different then my previous arts and training styles. Very traditional Japanese.

Why do I tell you all this? Simply to give me and B credit when we critique or are critical of different arts/styles and quality of instruction. Our instructors are some of the very best. From our local Sensei who was a state champ and led many winners in fighting and style competitions. To Vunak and his crew who have trained military units and special forces around the world.

So thanks to the current world situation and lock downs/ pandemic procedures most gyms/dojo’s/training centers are closed or limited in their reopening. I am also one to be cautious as my son still has a heart condition and I am not wanting to bring anything home (esp. COVID19) to get him sick. He has already been sick once since we brought him home and I felt terrible about that.

Where does that leave training? Well my dojo for Aikido is doing some classes online, but in an art based on energy and feel, that is a bit tough to train. I could go in person but until everyone besides me gets vaccinated, I don’t want to put my kid at risk. I also train Krav Maga there and that is even more hands on as we are heavy into grappling and BJJ.

That leaves online tutelage – either an online school with live classes in arts you can learn solo with striking, kicks, kata etc. or pre recorded lessons with drills and muscle memory exercises ( like much of our JKD training to supplement or remind of more complex movements taught at seminars etc.)

I have found 4 different opportunities that have worked out in some situations, and not as much as others.

4 Options:
1. Ninjutsu (Ninpo) martial Arts training online via a private web portal and training videos with interaction with other members during live web training and facebook groups.

2. Live stream of Ninjutsu and Japanese Jujutsu dojo classes that are live monitored and put up in a private facebook group to rewatch. Supplementary live class training outside once lockdown ends and weather gets warmed.

3. Live online video stream from a live Aikido class I could go attend in person. OR just attending said class in person – mentioned above.

4. Live Stream/Recorded live stream of JKD Concepts in an instructors group to train with B in person for the length of training )2 day seminar in this case). The was live with Q&A, weapons etc. B and I went to his house and spent houses watching the feed and training as if we were there in the seminar.

So – What did I Figure Out?
1 and 4 are good if you are a dedicated person and can create class like training sessions for yourself and/or can practice long without someone watching you… I had trouble with this – I need more structure and to have interaction.

2 and 4 were my best options.
The JKD with B and having a live training as well as being able to watch (and rewatch later) the live training and seeing others training helped keep us engaged and got in a good lesson and workout.
The Ninjutsu and Jujutsu online with the interactive Zoom class and the online private group with postings of the videos and other training materials to supplement was my favorite “pandemic”/Solo training option. Where I would have needed a partner imagination and or my freestanding weight bag helped add in the resistance and striking targets I needed.
The forms can be done like Kata and in most cases are preformed slowly at first and then accelerated later.
The break falls and kicking/striking from the break fall (Ukemi) are different then in Aikido and over all the class very much feels like a Shotokan Style Karate class.
I enjoy it and the welcoming and friendliness of the other group members is refreshing. With the option to train in person when things get nice and back to normal as well as having online training when not/ unable to it helps progress more quickly.
The ability to then go back and watch classes where you were involved lets you see your training issues and how to correct all under the eye of a dutiful Sensei.

I highly suggest making yourself harder to kill. I also suggest it as a means of defense for yourself but also you family. It’s a critical skill most people think they have but never test in a safe way.
Martial Arts especially is helpful when teaching your kids confidence and self control. Respect for an authority figure but also helping keep themselves safe, when you aren’t there.

1*
AFD

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