CMAC – Back in the Dojo Letter #2

Dear Chandler Martial Artists! 

What an amazing week we just had!  Life is slowly emerging out of the stillness of sheltering — blooming in our hot desert sun.  Our streets have movement again and the gentle bustle of life has started to crescendo.  It is soothing and comforting to see the normalcy of it all.  I hope your hearts and spirits delight in these simple little signs of hope.  

Like our city, we have slowly and cautiously begun to re-engaged in our old routines as well.  We had such a great time seeing everyone who chose to train in the dojo this week… it was wonderful.  It was such a pleasure to see all of your beautiful smiling faces!  We were able to train hard while maintaining good social distancing.  We protected ourselves and one another.  We were able to be safe and strong.  And it was so FUN!  It is my hope that more and more of us will be able to reserve a space to practice karate on our tatami’s and again feel the joy of your favorite way to workout!  The mats are here and disinfected when you are ready:)  All you have to do is log into Band at 8PM the night before you wish to train to reserve your spot.  Simply click on the post containing the schedule.  Instantly, the signup sheets for each class will unfold.  Choose the class in which you want to train and click the corresponding dot.  Band will populate your name in that spot reserving your 6 feet by 20 feet of tatami mats! It is that easy!  

You know, it occurred to me that we went from one core dojo in Chandler to around a hundred home dojos all over the valley!!  How fun is that?  If you are still training from home, please feel free to include anyone in your circle of family or friends who may want to try karate from the safety of your space.  As long as you are comfortable and safe.. you can start to take small social steps by bringing others into your training space!  Please use the totality of the tools before you in the Band App.  It is there for your edification and education!  It is a wealth of information and options to be a blessing you, your family and your friends.  Please do not hesitate to use it and share it.

Three Quick Point of Business: 

  1. There seems to be some confusion about Belt Stripes.  We decided to restart the Saturday morning Belt Stripe Zoom Calls for those who are still training but are unable to return to in-person classes.  This class will have to be pushed back 30 minutes in order to not interfere with the 10:00 Little Dragons Class.  So look forward to the newly reinstated Belt Stripe Zoom Call on Saturday mornings at 10:30 AM! 
  2. We have decided to continue with our quarterly Belt Testing to honor all those dedicated martial artists who trained so hard in such a difficult setting.  You were amazing!  I am so impressed with our dojo!  However, we will be moving it back another week to June 8th with the Belt Ceremony on June 22nd.  Which means next week will be the official pre-testing week!  If you are interested in pre-testing, please speak to your class-sensei at the start of training or message Sensei Atisa or myself.
  3. All Inner-Dojo Shiais, Summer Shiai, and other such tournaments have been cancelled until further notice.  I keep forgetting to remove them from our Band calendar.  So in the interest of clear communication, I wanted to officially state that all tournaments are on hold for the time being. Thank you!

In closing, please allow this one bit of encouragement:  Be warriors against the spreading darkness of fear. This is another way to train, an important way to train; the training of the mind and the spirit!  Be wise for sure.  Be strong in your wisdom – of course, do not be pressured into things that are unwise.  But definitely keep your eyes on the Light.  I heard an amazing Veteran speak this weekend for Memorial Day.  He faced unimaginable pain from wartime injuries and despite all odds, he survived a truly horrific explosion.  After years of excruciating healing, his words of wisdom was this: “do not look into the darkness.. it will look back and when it does, that is when you will loose your Hope.  Keep your eyes on the Light.”  I think his words are wise and can be very applicable to us as we all begin to decide how to proceed.  Keep your eyes UP!  And above all.. do not let anyone or anything rob you of your Hope.  Guard it as the warriors you are.  


Atisa Vargas and Kelley Hutta

Chandler Martial Arts Center