As martial artists, as athletes, we want to excel at our sport. We want to achieve peak performance, to continuously improve, to thrive.

Focus on Deep Health

Consider Precision Nutrition’s approach to wellness. They encourage a focus on “deep health:” on the whole person, and on all domains of human experience, in order to potentially excel as human beings. You can read their article on deep health here.

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Martial Arts Contribute to Deep Health

Karate satisfies all areas of health:

  • Relational – Our dojos offer a place of support and belonging.
  • Existential – As martial artists we feel a sense of purpose while practising our sport.
  • Mental – Karate hones our focus, and improves our alertness and cognitive functioning.
  • Physical – Karate boosts our energy, and improves our physical functioning and fitness.
  • Emotional – Our sport gives us both an outlet for our emotions, as well as the skills to control those same emotions when required.

COVID-19 is Affecting Our Ability to Stay Connected

Unfortunately, with this COVID-19 pandemic, our usual ease with staying connected has been compromised. Self-isolation, quarantine, COVID-19 protocols, dojo closures: these are all having an impact on our relational health, leading to feelings of loneliness, isolation and disconnection.

Focus on Social Connection to Improve Your Health

A renewed focus on our social connections can help ease these feelings of loneliness and isolation. Reaching out to members of our social network can help ease our stress and deepen our health and well-being.

Now is a great time to focus on our martial arts family. To stay connected, check in, and offer support and encouragement, in any way possible.

Dojo is family.

And right now, during COVID-19, our family needs our help.

Support Your Dojo Family

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented difficulties for our dojos, Senseis and fellow martial artists. Now is the time to show support for our dojo family in any way we can.

Keeping those connections strong can help us during this difficult time, while we are experiencing so many challenges to our health and well-being.

Together, we can take action to improve our own well-being, as well as the well-being of those who mean so much to us.

Take care of your dojo family. Together, let’s build a community of strong, healthy, awesome karateka!

Here’s my video on social support. If you prefer the written version, you can find it below.

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Video Script

A dojo is an indescribably special place. A place of kinship. A source of support. A place to belong.

Not just a convenient space in which to pursue our fitness goals; a dojo supports our well-being, offering a safe space in which to feel connected, be challenged, explore our purpose, and express ourselves as martial artists.

And right now, during COVID-19, our dojos need us. Our Senseis—our leaders—need us.

They are shouldering that weight. Trying to keep us safe. Trying to navigate as best they can with the cards they’ve been dealt.

Our Senseis do what they do out of love. This is their life and their livelihood, and a dojo is their way of giving back to the martial arts community. Of showing their gratitude for that community and for their sport.

Now is OUR chance to do the same. To show OUR gratitude. To have THEIR backs, as they have had ours through so much. Our Senseis have stood by us through it all. Through our training. At our competitions. At our belt tests. Always present, loyal, and supportive. Respecting us, pushing us, and encouraging us to thrive. Steadfast as teachers, coaches, leaders, mentors, and friends.

Support our Senseis and our dojos in any way you can. They need us now just as much as we need them.

Thank you for watching, and take care of yourselves.

Dojo is and always will be family. We’re all in this together. Feel free to share any challenges you’re facing or supportive comments for your fellow martial artists below.

Recommended Resources

You’re reading Social Support During COVID-19 Pandemic by Sabrina Bliem, originally posted on The Karate Shrimp. If you’ve enjoyed this post, be sure to follow The Karate Shrimp on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!