We can all agree that 2020 was by far the longest and craziest year of the new millennia. From politics and protests to the COVID-19 pandemic most people were glad to see 2020 come to an end. The year began as it usually does in the YKI with our annual Winter Testing and Aikido Cross-Training events.
However, on the horizon, our US dojos watched as the coronavirus swept over China, Australia, and Europe. By March, the US had begun reporting massive numbers of cases of this virus and by the conclusion of the Sylacauga Spring Training massive travel bans, mandatory quarantines, and required mask-wearing became the norm. Even with all these setbacks, Yoshukai Karate carried on. Government restrictions and safety precautions forced the YKI Board to cancel our annual Tai Kai for the first time in decades, training seminars, tournaments, and any in-person gatherings with our fellow martial arts brothers and sisters were abandoned for the next several months.
Thanks to today’s technology and creativity, many of our dojos were able to incorporate virtual training programs that kept students engaged and training. By August, restrictions on gatherings had relaxed enough for many of our dojos to reopen and we began to hold association events with limited participation numbers. As we enter 2021 with expectations of a vaccine and the hope of a return to some form of normalcy, we need to keep going to the dojo and keep Yoshukai in our hearts!