Karate instructors go online to keep students, public sharp

2020-04-07 06:01
Hennie Bosman and Neill Bruce perform a demonstration while shooting a video for students to access online.

Hennie Bosman and Neill Bruce perform a demonstration while shooting a video for students to access online.

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With South Africans well into the second week of a national lockdown, many have found inventive ways to be active and stay in shape.

Fitness fanatics have splashed their ideas and self-made demonstrations all over social media. For many, it has helped fill a void while, for others, it has improved their quality of life.

Using social media as a tool to stay fit is nothing new but for certain sporting bodies the time has come to adapt to these challenging times. Where they previously relied solely on face-to-face coaching to hone their respective techniques, now they are using online platforms.

The Kyokushin community, with Shihan Hennie Bosman and instructors, is now conducting various classes and demonstrations to people of all levels, including novices, on both YouTube and Zoom.

These videos can be of use to children as young as four as well as those who have never trained in karate before. Students, who have already enrolled in the academy, have dedicated content tailored for them.

Bosman says while the lockdown comes with limitations, it has not limited the opportunity to continue teaching the art of Kyokushin or for those practising karate to progress.

He admits that this is new territory for him, his team, the business and his students.

“We are entering challenging times and in the spirit of Kyokushin it’s imperative we adapt to thrive. The message is clear. Karate must still go on and our students must keep on training, the only difference is that training will no longer be at our dojos in group classes but will take place in your own home,” says Bosman, adding that they respect the decision made by president Cyril Ramaphosa.

Bosman and his assistants, whom include his son Henry Bosman Jr, have recorded and produced videos for their YouTube channel, which includes tutorials, tips and even full classes.

“We made the decision to share our content with not only our members but opened it up to everybody. This includes our followers and the public,” he continues.

He encourages people from all spheres to take part, emphasising the importance of being active or keeping fit while also combatting the isolation challenges and boredom the lockdown my bring.

“Training and keeping fit is the best way to handle stress and also the boredom everybody is experiencing in lockdown. We can use this time to improve our physical condition and even to start to learn the art of Kyokushin as a way of self-defense.

“Kyokushin training is based on discipline, perseverance and respect. Even 10 hours of training will make a difference and influence a person in a positive way,” says Bosman.

While the videos are helpful and largely available free of charge to novices and non-students, Bosman’s team has put together a three-month plan, with the aid of live video streaming and feedback sessions with instructors for their enrolled students to maintain their progress and not to lose valuable training time.

“The goal is to prevent regression during this time and I challenge every student to strive to improve their skills over this time and we will make sure you have the tools to achieve this,” says Bosman.

He explains that karate is one discipline that does not require a lot of space to manoeuvre in, and while equipment is used, it is not entirely required to hone one’s craft.

“Whilst the coronavirus will impact us all, we are fortunate we can continue with our training albeit from our home via the use of technology and we will do everything in our power to provide uninterrupted service. We encourage active participation on the platforms we have available,” says Bosman.

V Subscribe to Hennie Bosman School of Karate on YouTube or visit www.kyokushinsa.co.za.

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