JKA instructors teaching karate online for free
Karate, probably the second most practiced individual physical activity after ‘freehand exercise’ in our country is paused during this complete lockdown period. As the schools, gyms, fitness centres, sports centres and clubs are closed, the teaching and practice of karate came to a total halt since the announcement of lockdown.
Karate-Do, the way of empty hand was introduced in mainland Japan by an Okinawan scholar of the art Funakoshi Gichin in 1917. The Japanese people found karate is physically demanding, effective as self-defense, intellectually stimulating, beneficial for both physical and mental health, a means of character development, discipline, helps improve concentration and will power; and karate training does not require any special attire or shoes, location or equipment. Karate can be practiced anywhere; on a terrace, in a park, or even in one’s living room. To satisfy the huge demand Funakoshi was compelled to settle in Tokyo, Japan permanently in 1922 to teach and promote the new martial art in Japanese universities, schools, and companies. The first-ever karate organization, the Japan Karate Association (JKA) was established in the year 1948 with Funakoshi as its emeritus chief instructor. The JKA started sending its qualified teachers to teach karate abroad since the late fifties and to date, karate is one of the most widely practiced individual events that recently received the recognition of the Olympics too.
Karate is hugely popular amongst the Indian kids as a means of both physical & mental development activitythat increase cognitive capabilities, enhance the power to concentrate and lot more. Each student of karate has their own goal which they strive to achieve through karate. Some want to improve flexibility & agility while others want to win medals in tournaments and some want to free themselves of day to day stress. All Karateka (student of karate) walk different path but the aim is to achieve the same end goal of self-realisation and self-improvement.
All these came to a halt with the announcement of complete lockdown and maintain social distancing to fight against COVID-2019 Coronavirus disease in India. The Indian branch of the Japan Karate Association in Kolkata, the JKAWF INDIA Kolkata had immediately decided to replace their classes, continue their teachings in a pan-India basis in all their branches all throughout the state of West Bengal, Assam, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Kerala, etc. Somnath Palchowdhury Sensei (teacher), the chairman of JKAWF INDIA did initially started conducting online classes for the association instructors, brown and black belts only; thrice in a week that was duplicated and multiplied by all the association instructors that are in turn have started conducting the same for their respective karate students. The initiative met with a huge response from both the students and parents and at the moment NRI students from abroad are also taking part in such classes on a regular basis. For the students residing in remote villages of our country where the net is not very powerful to attend online classes, the organization has started shooting small clips of karate teachings and forwarding the clips through social messaging apps and providing service for all. Students of karate are in turn sending their video clips doing karate to their teachers for their assessment and tips. Teachers have also announced token rewards for the one whose karate clip would be selected best on the basis of merit on a weekly basis. When asked by us about the charges of these online classes, Somnath Sensei said that all these initiatives and services are being provided to the students and interested karateka for free. Some of the association’s karate teachers are even conducting additional fitness training in the morning and interestingly many of the parents are also taking part online in such classes besides their children. In the process, over 4000 karate students are training online by JKAWF INDIA Kolkata teachers.