Before the lockdown hit, the UK health and fitness industry was in great health – growing 20 per cent in five years to be worth around £5billion a year. It is far too early to count the cost of the pandemic, but gyms have definitely been hit hard.
Marc Barton is a former A&E doctor and jiu-jitsu black belt who gave up a stressful life working in casualty to teach full time at Kingston Jiu Jitsu.
“The terrible coronavirus crisis has hit the jiu-jitsu and martial arts community in general very hard,” he said. “Following the closure of our club, we have had to adapt to more creative ways of training online to try to survive.”
Getting creative is something we fully support at REORG. We have seen the positive impact that martial arts training can have on people’s lives. The pandemic has thrown us a huge curve ball, but the important thing now is to keep training, even if that means following online classes and training on your own for the time being.
It is true that teachers and training partners are vital, but there is so much you can do in the meantime. Don’t just watch YouTube videos, use them as a resource: pause, train, learn. A lifetime of training in martial arts is full of challenges like injuries, time pressure and lack of motivation. The pandemic is just another challenge, and we fully intend to support each other, keep fighting and come out stronger on the other side.