Over the weekend I sent out an email to members advising on the best way to approach the how and when of reopening, as state and federal governments ease restrictions.
The letter outlines the Australian Institute of Sport’s framework for “rebooting” sport (available from their website), and provides guildelines for using that frame work withing the plans for restriction easing put in place by each state and federal government. We have advised that Wing Chun schools should follow the rules for “gyms” or “indoor fitness classes” where martial arts isn’t specifically mentioned in these plans.
Each state faces a very different challenge in the coming weeks and there may be cases where restrictions differ from state to state. I understand many of us are eager to get back to training but through the year we will have tolerate and adapt to varying conditions even after schools re-open. These could involve training outdoors, limited numbers, social distancing, not being able to have chi sau or close contact, and having to form new habits around the sharing and cleaning of apparatus, equipment, and training spaces. Social distancing should be the new norm for all of us and restrictions may vary back and fourth as states respond to outbreaks and progress within the community.
If you are lucky enough to be able to attend training again, please do follow your sifus instructions very carefully, as not only are these restrictions in place to keep us safe, they are also enforceable. Breaking them could result in fines and we think there is enough financial difficulty for schools already! Sanitation and cleaning are of the utmost importance and it is vital to stay home if showing symptoms or exposed to infection. If you have time to help with wipes downs, mopping, or can simply byo sanitiser it might help ease the burdens on schools.
It seems likely that chi sau and sparring will not be permitted for some time. Form study, shadow boxing, and fitness are likely to be the main activities that are feasible, although I am keen to see some discussion and sharing among the community about other ways to train, engage, and teach Wing Chun effectively.
Best of luck and health!