The corona COVID-19 is hitting society hard, and this will naturally influence our Aikido practice. Here is a statement from both the Technical committee and the Board of the Norwegian Aikido Federation, who are very concerned and follow the situation closely.
Dear fellow Aikidoka,
The corona COVID-19 is hitting society hard, and this will naturally influence our Aikido practice. Both the Technical committee and the Board of the Norwegian Aikido Federation are very concerned and follow the situation closely. The development is fast and the future situation is uncertain. It is therefore of utmost importance that Dojo leaders are well updated on the situation and implement possible preventive measures.
Many Aikido seminars are cancelled around the world. It is the responsibility of the organizers to make such decisions. Members of the Technical Committee will – until the situation changes – cancel all teaching at seminars in Norway and abroad. It is our recommendation to members of the Norwegian Aikido Federation to cancel seminars also with other invited instructors. Amongst others, the May 1st meeting in Oslo will not be held this year.
Today, Jushinkan in Stavanger and at least one more dojo in Oslo have announced that they stop their regular classes in accordance with the situation in their respective areas.
Other areas are not hit by the virus to such a degree, and the Dojos might continue their practice with utmost care. In that case, the Technical Committee have the following advice:
– Do not hug, make a bow to greet fellow Aikidoka on and off the mat.
– If you have to cough, open your keikogi slightly and direct it on the inside (avoid kiai, which is almost like coughing).
– Don’t touch your face and especially your mouth or your nose during practice.
– Keep the Dojo clean.
– Wash your hands, feet, face and neck just before and after practice. If possible, place Anitbac at the entrance of the Dojo.
– Stay away from the Dojo if you do not feel well or if you have been in a situation of exposed risk for being contaminated.
– If you are in a risk group or have health issues that weakens your immune system, please refrain from all practice until the situation is under control. This should also be considered by Aikidoka who have close family members with health issues.
Keep as small and closed circles of contact as possible, in all areas of your life. If you practice, stay in your own Dojo and avoid visiting other clubs. In large and medium size Dojos, it could be wise to form groups of three to four persons coordinated by the Dojo leader, and limit your training partners in the near future within this group (also the instructor should be part of a group). Discuss further possible precautions within each local Dojo. Follow strictly the advice from the national and regional health authorities, and close all practice if/when necessary.
We do not know how long the corona threat will last, please try to protect some normality in your everyday life. The most important part of our Aikido practice is outside the Dojo. Keep your humor and be of help to people. If you cannot go to the Dojo, do individual practice – weapons, taisabaki, stretching, chi kung, meditation, running, walking, etc. If the situation worsens, please keep in good contact with Dojo members on social media. Make forums and share thoughts and experiences. Even web-trainings could be possible.
As Aikido practitioners, we are warriors. We do not take measures out of fear but out of responsibility and solidarity. Most Aikido practitioners are healthy people who will probably not be among the most vulnerable victims of the virus. In this situation, please act as samurais, with courage and dignity.
Stay well, and keep a positive spirit!
Bjørn Eirik Olsen
Shihan, Norwegian Aikido Federation