As the Covid situation goes on, we’ve been checking with some Dojo how their classes are running at the moment. This week we spoke with Kacubó Kenrikai from Czech Republic. In the beginning of the pandemic, they closed for 2 months (March and April). Also all the events (seminars, gradings and tournaments) planned since April were cancelled.
During the 2 months of lockdown, they organized online Suburi sessions to cover for the regular practices. These were soon joined by members from other Kendo and even Iaido clubs, so they started to do the sessions almost every day. “It was a lot fun and the practices got more demanding. It helped us greatly to be in shape when we got back to the Dojo.” They also added “Online Beer Keiko Sessions” after the Suburi ones to keep the community in touch.
As the situation in Prague got better they were allowed to start practicing again in May. Since then they’ve been training pretty much without any restrictions. They need to wear a face mask in the building, but they can take it off in the training hall for the duration of Keiko. “However the situation is getting worse now (late September) and tougher restrictions will probably be imposed. So we shall see.”
There is a new regulation that came in September, allowing only up to 50 people at one place for indoor sports. But because there are usually less than 20 members present for each practice, this is not a problem for the club. “I would like to add, that all our members continue to be very responsible and cooperative. Everyone is wearing a face mask when they need to, disinfecting their hands when entering the building and the training hall and not attending the sessions, when not feeling well.” They are practicing pretty much as usual, doing everything from their normal training menu, like Kata, Kihon, Ashisabaki, basic strikes, Kirikaeshi, Waza practice, Uchikomigeiko, Oikomigeiko and Jigeiko.
If it comes to another lockdown, they will surely restart the online Suburi sessions again to stay in shape and, perhaps more importantly, to keep the club community together. “I think that a sport activity of any kind helps the immune system to get stronger and more resistant to infections. So perhaps stopping these activities would actually make the population weaker and the pandemic could spread more. Hopefully, the Minister of Health will consider this!”
If you are in Prague or plans to visit the city in the future, don’t hesitate in visiting Kacubó Kenrikai Dojo for a friendly practice. It’s the oldest Kendo club in the Czech Republic, practicing in Prague since 1986. Regular training sessions are held in the district of Dejvice each Wednesday and Friday evening, additional and special practices (like all popular Asageikos) are also being organized.