Despite a nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, one club is hitting back hard to keep all of its members as close as ever.
BKKC (Barry Kyokushin Karate Club), founded in 1978, didn’t initially expect to be spending one of their busiest planned years, training together, whilst remaining in their own homes.
After moving to their new premises at SWMAA (Spartan Martial Arts and Sports Suppliers), located at the bottom of Holton Road, in March 2019, the BKKC were off to a champion start. By the end of the year, 19 new champions were crowned at the Welsh championships, an official awards evening was held, and the club had hit over 130 members.
With a strong 41st year under their belts, BKKC had big goals on the horizon for 2020, but despite their best efforts to provide training for as long as possible, the United Kingdom’s lockdown forced the club to close its doors for the first time in 42 years. The nation was stopped in its tracks, and the Dojo shut down but that didn’t mean that training had to stop!
With continuous powerful efforts from club leaders, Sensei Phill Sedgmond, and, Senpai Rhian Evans, the club has so far pushed through the pandemic; proving their determination, unity, and a tight family bond. In fact, it seems the club has grown even stronger.
In a recent statement, Sensei Phill Sedgmond expressed the following:
"These times are challenging everybody. This pandemic has certainly put fear into a lot of people, what we have tried to do is keep minds and bodies occupied."
"The live streaming classes have certainly been strange to deliver, but we have had some great fun with it. Younger students are practicing more now and are really engaging in the online classes and parents are getting a chance to not only see what their children can do but also join in with them which is great, adults are getting their ‘social fix’ along with some great training and fitness."
"We're making the very best of a bad situation. I'm very proud of how well our students have done during lockdown."
Lockdown provided the perfect opportunity to develop not only knowledge, skill, and ability, but also the facilities of the club itself. Whilst practising social distancing guidelines, BKKC extended the entirety of the downstairs Dojo, freshening up the outside, and performing a deep, thorough clean of the premises, in preparation of the eventual return to normality.
Socially distant outdoor training, focussing on the non-contact areas of this intricate martial art, is set to commence as of Monday 13th July. With the club so far unfazed by the ongoings, it is hoped that training will return with the same vigour and pride it always had… with a knockout start!
Although there are many uncertainties in light of the current situation, one thing that is for certain is that it will take more than a pandemic to beat this club’s firm, unshaken spirit!
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