We went live today on Facebook.com/2020armor for our webinar with Martial Arts Industry Expert Master Tony Kook on how to reopen your School Safely and Successfully. The seminar ran from 2PM EST to 3PM EST. The video for the Live Seminar will be posted above for you to watch in its entirety.
Master Tony Kook discussed best practices for re-opening your school when your local health authorities allow it in your area. He not only provided the baseline precautions everyone in the industry must be taking but also how to take extra precautions that make your school stand out from the crowd.
Master Kook is a successful school owner with 4 schools and over 1200 students. He is an industry expert with over 30 years experience and a sought after Speaker for the Martial Arts industry specializing in “Small School Success”.
The most important bullet points from the discussion will be posted shortly. For now please take a moment to check out our How To Open Your School Safely and Successful guide where we collected best practices from across the industry.
Most Important Bullet points: 5 Minute Read
Master Tony Explains His Own Situation
We have flattened the curve in Vancouver. Our provincial health authorities has announced on May 19th we can reopen the club. We can go back to some level of normalcy with safety precautions. I have made the decision to reopen Monday, June 1st. We are installing some extra safety precautions and use the two-week gap to communicate to our students.
I read the article 2020 Armor prepared and was loaded with great information. The first thing it mentioned is that you have to communicate the changes to your students and parents. We communicate through mobile apps, through emails, on a regular, weekly if not daily basis. Things about what you are doing. The signage for physical distancing. The classes will be smaller. Use face masks. Use hand sanitizing stations. The point is that you are communicating with parents and students. It has to look visibly different than it did before they left. Going back to the old normal is now negligent.
Has to Be a Different Feel
The feel has to be different. Students and parents have to feel you have gone the actual steps. It’s not enough to say to wash their hands or stay at home if they are sick.
New protocols need to be implemented. Safety measures must be implemented to keep our students and parents and our staff safe. But Perception is also important. Parents are going to want them to do these programs to have time to themselves. Getting new students is dependent on the optics and public perception of showing it's safe.
A Lesson From an Elderly Lady at Starbucks
Starbucks is taking orders through mobile order or through the window. Three baristas could make the coffee but she only wanted the one in the mask. The elderly woman wanted the person in the mask to make it. It wasn't that it was safer but it felt that way. Some of your parents and students will live with grandparents. You are catering to some students who have members of their family who are at risk. Yes, it might be considered over the top. Let's put ourselves in our parents and students shows. To increase safety measures in our dojang to make people comfortable to come back. Let’s push ourselves to go further than we are being asked to go.
How Trends At Returning To Public Schools Might Reflect People's Return to Martial Arts Schools
Schools are reopening but they are having less than 25% going back to school. If you are a small school operator, you have a 100 students, maybe only 30% will return. Before you are opening you need to show the measures that you are taking. Send video, text messages, show safety is the number one concern.
We are using professional cleaners. We are going to have them do a professional spray of the whole facility. Where they kill 100% of bacteria and viruses and spray the whole facility. It's a financial investment and shows we are going the extra step for our parents. To provide them the safety they need.
We are doing UVC filters and UVC lights that kills harmful bacteria and viruses. Used afterwards. Because you can’t look at the lights directly. These are hospital grade.
Special Glass Partitions
Ordered lexicon glass, to create 12 stations so that each student will be training in their own glasses off training. They each get their own wave master or kid kick. In between classes all of that will be sprayed and wiped down for the next kids to come in. These are extra measures we are taking to reinsure a successful reopening.
We have considered ozone machines. We have already ordered it. A lot of professional cleaning companies can offer that service. We call associations and call professional services and see if we can do it together with other schools. Its hospital level grade. It’s a wonderful way to communicate to everyone at the dojang to ensure a safe return. You take video and some pictures and have safety stickers and signage in place. You show them this is how they are preparing when they come back to class.
No Holding Regular Targets or Paddles
The majority of our industry has transitioned to zoom. We have been doing it through the TV screen. They can’t kick a target. There will be no contact between students or instructors. They can only kick the target. They can kick on the spot. They can do self defense drills. We need to be creative. You want to disguise repetition. The reality is that class sizes will be smaller. Class content will be different. You need to come up with a new training template for your class.
One template is risk management and safety guidelines is revised and modified class content. Punching and kicking you can use music and use the long noodles and instructors can hold it at a safe distance. You can’t hold a hand target and have your students kick it. You may need pool noodles or training equipment that allows you to be further away from each other.
2020 Amor is connecting to the kid kicks and doing the optics and improving the class. It’s not just what you did before but doing it better with that level of never before seen interaction. With 2020 Armor you can actually add to the experience you had before this by providing real analytics for their scores.
How Often Do You Clean?
How often do you clean? We clean everyday. Professional service comes in two times a week. it’s expensive. It’s an investment we are putting in to let everyone feel good about returning. My approach is to communicate in advance this is the limit in class sizes.
Transform smaller classes into scarcity and eagerness: You need to reserve your spots. Which class slots you are going to be using. I think it will be very worthwhile to do a hybrid of live classes and online training to provide for students who aren’t ready to come back to class. One or two classes online and online live.
We are implementing the use of face masks. We are asking students to wear one. Part of the training policies. If they don’t have one, then we will some on site they can purchase. We have some branded facemarks we have ordered. We ask them to come in socks or Taekwondo shoes to wear.
Gaps Between Classes
Even though we are allowed on the 19th. We are opening on the 1st. My locations are larger. We have to limit our class sizes. We are finalizing our schedule next week. So that they are five minutes shorter to allow a gap to control flow of people.
Staying More Than 2 Meters Apart
If you have 10 people two meters apart that are inside a room it looks crowded. That’s another thing we have to take into an account. Maybe it’s 3 meters apart inside. It comes down to public perception.
With precautions, we need to go overboard. Nothing is better than keeping people safe. Bad reviews can really sink a business. You need to gain public favor.
Using Your Online Training As Your Main Form Of Training: Live Classes as an Upgrade to Private Lessons
Are you limiting the number of days people can train with 10-12 students?
If return to class is your main curriculum then we limit to 2 days a week. Monday or Wednesday, or Tuesday and Thursday. Another way you can do it is use your online platform as your main form of training.
Right now your students can do as many zoom classes as they want. Now that you are coming back, and say you are doing semi privates. All the white belts come in, we limit to 2,4,6,10 in class. For the rest of the week do your zoom classes. You can structure it that way. You don’t need permanent time lines. Until we feel safer returning to our old lines. No reason why online couldn’t be your normal and use smaller classes as a supplemental.
How are You Planning to Recoup the Loss From the New Equipment? Are You Charging More?
When they come back they return to regular tuition. We had been offering lower prices for just online training. The professional services you scale it back. Thats an expense I can control. Lexion Glass is bullet proof and I can easily resell it. I’m not modifying the sheets, just securing it with duct tape on the corner so they are free standing. When I’m done with those I’ll be able to sell those. I’ll keep the extra equipment. So I can allocate that through our locations. Its an expense we wouldn’t have to incur. I’m asking what will allow students and parents to return. My hope is that there are waiting lines after we tell them we are limiting class sizes.
Stagger Online and In-Person Classes
Are they tied together? My plan is to have some of my instructors teach live classes. Go to a modified schedule. Concurrently we will be running a live classes at a separate location. They can do Zoom or the Live class. If they miss the Live they can do the Zoom class. You can do pre-recorded videos or allocated different days or times to have room to keep both types of classes going to suit students needs. Come up with a creative solution that is flexible.
Everyone is thinking July and August and have summer camps. We need to adjust to the new reality. With 2 meter distance at all times we have to see if its feasible and what modifications we can make to make it successful. Usual Taewkondo is under an hour to safely manage that. How can you do that for 6 hours? Which is a typical summer camp.
How do you make after school programs work in this way? My tip is to contact local health authorities. A lot of the parents rely on us and we are providing an amazing services that allows families to do what they want to do. What are some safety measures and best practices I can implement to carry out in a safe manner. DO you have resources I can share with my parents?
Local authorities have been so helpful. Their agenda is keeping people safe. Talk to them to find a way of making us move back to normal. No one has been restrictive or defensive. It’s not what you say. It’s how you say it. It’s this is my program, what resources do you have that can help me do this in a responsible measures. DO you have extra guidelines to keep my students safe? Don’t sit back and rely on the news. Get out there. Network. Make phone calls to ensure a successful return!
The Black Belt Mindset
We aren’t in control of what happens to us. We are only in control of how we react. We had our doubts about our yellow belt tests. But they loved it. We have another online test coming up. You learn from each experience. My last piece of advice is a general piece of advice. But truly embrace what’s happening and tackle it like the Black Belt Master and leader we are perceived it to be. Run towards problems and find solutions. We are presented with this big challenge. Embrace it. Look for solutions. We are going to get through this together. Our primary concern is the development of our students through martial arts. This situation isn’t going to stop us. With your support. Thanking the parents for showing the kids indomitable spirit so we can out even stronger through all of it. We are going to teach them the resilience they need to survive situations like this.
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