Teddy Bear Squad
Teddy Bear Squad

"Do what you can, where you are, with what you have." ~ Teddy Roosevelt

I think we have all been hoping for the CMCO to finally end so we can do proper, full-contact judo but as the cases continue to rise in the Klang Valley, it's painfully obvious that the CMCO will not be lifted any time soon. In fact, there is now talk that a targeted MCO might be implemented. Whether KL will be affected and whether it means our club has to actually shut down temporarily again, I don't know. Let's hope for the best and be prepared for the worst.

If we are allowed to carry on with our indoor, socially-distanced training, we will continue to do so. If we have to train outside in parks and playgrounds, we will do so. And if even outdoors training is forbidden, we will do online classes. None of this is satisfying and cannot come close to the real thing but the alternative is no judo activity at all.

Given the current situation, my advice is to accept the fact that we are going to be in some form of lockdown (whether it's CMCO or targeted MCO) for some time to come. If you are hoping for a return to full-contact judo, don't hold your breath. It's not going to happen in the coming weeks and possibly not even in the coming months. We have to be prepared to train under restricted conditions for the long-haul.

There is a core group of members in our club — I call them the Teddy Bear Squad — that has been consistently training with social distancing for the past few months. They come very regularly and consistently. Some twice a week, some three times a week; one of our members even comes four times a week. If you ask any of them whether the socially-distanced classes have been beneficial, I think you will find that the answer is an overwhelming yes. Some have even managed to get graded during this period.

The benefits are obvious:
a) You get a good workout (moderate and not too intense)
b) You develop some judo skills: for tachi-waza it's mainly footwork and movement skills; for newaza it's everything (with the Teddy Bears, there's nothing we can't train in newaza).
c) You get to catch up with judo friends several times a week, to break the monotony of a CMCO lifestyle.

With several vaccines having been found, there is light at the end of the tunnel. We don't know how long it will take before 80% of the population get vaccinated. I suspect it will take a long time. But we will eventually get there. And one day, we will be able to do full contact judo again. Until then, we do what we can, be it indoors, socially distanced judo or outdoors, socially distanced judo or online training. In short, some form of training will always be available for those of you who want it.