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Practicing Karate during Pandemic in Sweden

Itosu-kai Sweden
Beach Training

An unusual spring

The spring of 2020 was completely different than we had imagined. The Corona epidemic, which is still sweeping across the world, claimed many lives, not least in Sweden. The fact that there was a halt to the regular training was of course a setback, but it also gave time for thoughts

and reflection.

Corona and Karate

Itosu-kai Sweden
Itosu-kai Sweden

In the early spring, when Corona began to spread around the world, we followed the government’s directives and stop the training in the dojo. The authorities, however, gave the go-ahead for outdoor training. And after a couple of weeks, when the karate itch got too bad, we began to have our first outdoor training. It was cold and dark, and the training ended in the light of the streetlights. But we had fun and we all enjoyed working out again. To start with, we had a karate session once a week and shortly thereafter we also started with kobudo training. Soon we had three karate classes and one kobudo class a week. And as time went on, more and more people came to the outdoor training.

No kumite, but a lot of kihon and kata

We have not trained kumite since January. It is sad because it is lot of fun and such an important part of training, but we must do what we can to minimize the risk of someone getting infected by Corona virus. Not being able to train kumite was a big challenge for instructors but on the other hand it has given us more time to practice kihon and katas. During the spring we have put extra focus on the Pinan katas and all students have been practicing these, regardless of kyu degree.

The final training of spring term

Itosu-kai Sweden
Itosu-kai Sweden

The final training, before summer holiday, took place in sunny weather in a wonderful park near the dojo. In addition to karate training and games, the kobudo group showed their skills in a couple of katas. The training ended with all students practicing in spring cold water, in the same way as they do on the beach in Enoshima, Kanagawa prefecture in Japan, in January. A fun and different ending to a very different semester.

We now hope that a good vaccine will arrive soon so that the epidemic can come to an end and we can return to normal karate training again.

We wish all members of Itosu-kai family good health and nice summer.

Göran Crafoord

Chief Instructor, Itosu-kai Sweden

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