Light in clouds
What a year!… our 25th anniversary and a covid 19 Corona virus lockdown!
Who would have thought that the government would close us down for over 11 weeks!
Speaking of our anniversary, the actual date was 23 May. So, it was kind of weird celebrating this milestone, yet being at home with Christine and locked out from SMA. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it!
So now, the light is at the end of the tunnel and we’re allowed to start training again… so, are you ready?
We are, in fact team SMA is pumped.
However, it’s not a case of just picking up where we left off. The stage 2 restrictions are quite complicated, which means we have to tread carefully, so that we can comply with all of the confusing regulations.
As far as I can see, this is how we move forward.
Firstly, during stage 2 restrictions, we can only have a maximum of 9 students per class. The rules say 10 people, but we need to include a Sahbonim.
This causes another issue because while these Government restrictions are in place, we’ll need to implement another temporary timetable. This means we’re going to add on a whole lot of extra classes, so it’s possible to give all of our student’s a chance to train.
To assist us in managing social distancing, we’ve also had to temporarily change the duration of the kids, teens and family classes to 30 minutes. Don’t worry, we’ve made a pro rata adjustment for the pricing of these classes. The adult classes are still one hour long, so they’ll be unaffected.
As well as that, due to social distancing, we can’t start back with our regular class format either. We can’t use equipment or do partner work such as sparring or self defence.
However, this is not necessarily a bad thing, we just need to adapt. So this is what I have planned.
Firstly, I’m going to open up our Black Belt Club (BBC) program for ALL students.
We have a junior BBC, Stage 1 for all yellow belts, stage 2 for blue belts and Stage 3 for red belts. The black belt version is the Masters Club (MC), which helps prepare our black belts for their next Dan grading.
Basically, the BBC and MC programs are our accelerated learning programs. Once a student passes their respective BBC test, they’re able to fast track their tip tests and get though some belts quicker, so it’s a win-win. I’m thinking this strategy could be a good opportunity for you to make up some lost time.
Another temporary adjustment we need to make is that we can’t offer the flexibility, where students can turn up to a class on the day.
We have to know who is coming and when, so we don’t go over our 9 student per class compliance.
Although this is a bit of a balancing act… it’s very important. Therefore, to further help us to facilitate social distancing, we have to implement a new TEMPORARY system, where you’ll need to book and pay for each class online prior to attending.
Once again, please help us out by not coming to SMA without booking into EVERY class you intend to participate in BEFORE you arrive.
To make this possible, we have to implement a new TEMPORARY booking system where class fees are paid on a casual basis… for now.
Here is the link to our new timetable and for booking classes:
Once the restrictions get lifted some more, we can then resume our normal payment, schedule and training systems.
Also, if you could please help us out by NOT entering our building before class. And parents, please don’t come in after class. Instead, please wait outside with correct 1.5 m social distancing. An SMA team member will escort students in and out of the building before and after each class.
While these restrictions are in place, we’ll be doing our Tip Testing once each student receives the appropriate number of black attendance tips.
And of course, if you feel unwell or if you have any respiratory illness symptoms, please… don’t come to class.
Belt Graduations will be on hold until further notice. Once a student passes all of their tip tests satisfactorily, we’ll be awarding new belts in class.
If you have any questions or problems booking into classes, please call me on 9531 7648 or send me an email from this link:
I look forward to seeing you in class soon!
Master Gary Simmons

P.S Remember this is the link to book your classes:

Shire Martial Arts crowd celebrating