The Vital Importance of The Martial Arts School in the time of Covid-19
By Sean MacFadyen, 7th Degree Black Belt
One could speak endlessly about the benefits of martial arts training, from health, fitness, and confidence, while earning a sense of accomplishment, developing strength, power and toughness, and a sharper mind and focus. This often translates on and off the mats to improved school grades and increased earning power, as well as the feeling of being able to protect oneself and one’s family.
Covid-19 swept across the world in a flash. Pushing close to a year now, much has come out regarding who is most largely affected. Mass unemployment, anxiety, and social isolation are suspected to be the main drivers for the surge of suicides across the country. Two-thirds of these deaths are among people under the age of 44. Canada has witnessed a sharp surge in this mental health tragedy and the Covid-19 Pandemic is predicted to result in between 3,235 to 8,164 excess suicides between 2020 and 2021in the United States, representing up to an 8.4 percent increase in unnecessary deaths (McIntyre and Lee,2020). According to research carried out by the CDC, a considerable number of adults suffered mental health problems associated with Covid-19 in June. However, “younger adults, essential workers, and unpaid adult caregivers reported having experienced disproportionately worse mental health outcomes, increased substance abuse, and elevated suicidal ideation,” researchers wrote.
When the first lockdown came, Tina Takahashi Martial Arts switched to online learning. What they found was that the children were starved for interaction and the chance to see their friends even though it was only on a computer screen. We have seen many children suffering from depression, isolation and loneliness on top of feelings of guilt for fear that they could spread this illness to a grandparent or loved one. Elderly people in particular have suffered additional loneliness and neglect and even death because of not being able to see their loved ones.
Children need to interact and get back to training. We have hope that students will be able to begin living their lives to the fullest, optimizing their physical and, especially, mental well-being. It has been an isolating time. There is immediate connection and benefit that can be gained from even online sessions. One way or another, we can’t wait to see you again soon.