As we begin Phase One of the COVID-19 recovery process, no doubt there are feelings of trepidation, uncertainty and unfamiliarity. Even day-to-day activities that were once so second nature now feel somewhat alien to many. This may apply to all aspects of our lives. Life during and after COVID-19 will never be the same.
While very carefully and very gradually getting life back to "normal," this can all be looked at in a positive way. Things we have possibly taken for granted may be appreciated much more and also seen in a new and fresh way. This applies to Karate-Do in that while many have continued training at home on one's own, training in online classes, or possibly choose to train safely in small familiar groups (while keeping safe social distancing), returning to daily and weekly "routine" training and teaching in the dojo will no doubt feel somewhat different, largely because of the time that it has rightfully not been taking place. In addition, the absence of regular classmates and instructors during this time, as well as the absence of the usual location, training facility and training environment all contribute to this feeling of difference. However, although it may not be always obvious, the experience of training and teaching at home and in online classes has had benefits for both students and instructors, which will no doubt help everyone improve and learn from this experience.
This "re-entering" phase of "live and in person" training and teaching can be a time of approaching training, teaching and Karate-Do as a whole from a new state of mind. While returning to what was for most a familiar and routine activity after it being a rightly ceased and lawfully prohibited, it will indeed feel like starting over in many ways. While there will be and must be several small and gradual steps to be taken as we enter this phase, each of these steps can be seen as a part of training itself. It will also help to continue to develop our patience. The same patience that Karate-Do helps us develop with ourselves and with others. Once again, the Dojo-Kun can and should be applied to this very long journey of eventual full recovery.