COVID-19 hit martial arts hard, but the Kodiak Karate School knows how to get back up when it’s been knocked down.
After many months of closure, Kodiak Karate was finally able to have classes on a regular basis again in February, and head instructor Daniel Eubanks is pleased.
“Classes started out really small. It took a while for students to start trickling back in,” Eubanks said. “There’s a lot of fear in the populace, because of COVID. And so people are being overtly cautious. And it’s hard to blame people for that. So now classes are starting to build back up again. And I’ve actually started accepting new students again, now that Kodiak has gone to a green threat rating.”
Eubanks, who has been teaching karate locally for two decades, says that younger students have been especially glad to get back to class.
“They were looking for that outlet. Not just the social outlet, but the physical outlet, the ability to exercise, the ability to do something that gets them off the couch, it gets them away from the computer, it gets them out of their room,” Eubanks said.
When schools locally had issues with COVID-19, class attendance slowed down a bit. The Karate School combined classes to make them more practical. And that came with challenges and benefits.
“Let’s say you have 12 kids in the room, and you have six of them that are advanced, and six of them that are beginners. It’s hard to find something that everyone can do, and keep the advanced students motivated and engaged, because they are doing something that they learned how to do two or three or four years ago,” Eubanks said. “Though that’s challenging, it can actually work to an instructor’s advantage, because they can take the advanced students and put them into more of a leadership role.”
Eubanks said that while the Karate School takes care of its students during class time, during the pandemic it was the students who took care of the school.
“It’s been somewhat expensive- paying rents while you’re shut down for three months is hard to do. And fortunately, Kodiak is a wonderful place, and the people of Kodiak are great. And several of the families of students, or that are students of mine, have contributed to assist in some of the challenges that we faced,” Eubanks said.
“And I’m eternally thankful to those people who are trying to contribute to keeping this open and keeping the opportunity for the kids there.”
Those interested in learning more can do so at Kodiak Karate’s Facebook page, or can find them in person at 326 Center Ave on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Beginners classes at 5 p.m. for children, Intermediate children at 4 p.m., and adults of all skill levels at 7 p.m. Fees are $40 a month for kids, $50 a month for adults.