Who knew that things would get this interesting when 2020 started out? From “Perfect Vision” to “Vision Impaired”, this year has really turned the tides on our expectations and made us re-evaluate what is, and is not important.
For those items, activities, and objectives that have become our lifestyle, we have had to adapt to a new norm, however temporary it is, and figure out a way forward to make the changes our reality. What happens after this passes (and this too shall pass), what our expectations will be of our ourselves, our neighbours, and those that have meaning to us, will be an interesting discussion that needs to happen.
Locked Down, but not Tied Up
In the meantime, what is Valente doing to help keep the curve flat? We have been very proactive in continuing with the weekly routines of classes conducted through Zoom from Piranha’s living room to your home, and more recently from the Academy following the relaxing of the lockdown to Level 4. The music, the instruction, the exercise, and the familiarity has kept us together and provided a link to the outside world that has offered comfort and routine for adults and family alike, ensuring that exercise, no matter how disjointed, is still maintained. I have a feeling that flattening the curve will take on a new perspective soon, where people aren’t talking about the rate of infections, but more about the circumference of their waist, which our snack cupboards and treaty-tins are wholely responsible for (not us, naturally).
We have adjusted our teaching methods, moving away from interactive instruction, to easier, but certainly very demanding, high tempo sequences. With the absence of instructor-led technical direction, the movements and lighter high-energy sequences continue to elevate heart rates, break a sweat, and get the endorphins pumping. Our focus on body conditioning, core muscle development, crossing the midline, and following step-by-step instruction continues to assist in the integration of fine motor skills. The online instruction enables us to continue with the ordering and processing of events, which aids in the planning and sequencing (Praxis) of tasks. We do this by informing the students as to what we want to do (ideation), then demonstrating how are we are going to do it (planning), and finishing with exercising and achieving what we set out to accomplish (execution).
The limited training area of our homes also provides us with a unique opportunity to help us understand our place in space, our special awareness, making us more in-tune with our surroundings and how to move in them. It is a commonly unrealised benefit of exercise and one of the easiest skills to learn while not being aware that you’re learning it.
While our schedule isn’t as full as it normally is (2 classes a day, instead of 3 or 4), we have certainly gone to every effort to make sure that the needs of all our students are met. Our first class focuses on beginners and the littlies, while the second class accommodates for the more advanced and adult Capoeirstas. A bit more technical, but engaging and invigorating and a great way to end off the afternoon. We’ve also opened our Thursday and Saturday classes to all skills, so jump on in and be a part of the energy. As a bonus, because we are running off Zoom, anyone with the invitation can join in the sessions; if you know of anyone that would like to join, please send the links to them, or contact us to be included in the invites.
Opening the Doors
So one of the obvious questions that need to be addressed…when does this all end? The Valente committee is always in contact with each other to discuss reopening of the Academy, how long to keep on waiting, new ways of adding value to your subscriptions, and what more we can do to deliver a high-end workout and Martial Arts experience that inspires and motivates all the time. Suggestions are always welcome, and our team is open to conversations, so please reach out to any of us to voice your concerns or comments. You can also complete our online satisfaction questionnaire should you wish to remain anonymous, and we will take all criticisms and compliments in our stride.
We have familiarised ourselves with the South African COVID-19 Risk Adjusted Strategy which details the various Lockdown Levels, and will be informing you in due course as to when we will reopen our Academy doors, and what the expectations will be for the students and families to train. Some of the considerations (but not limited to) will be:
- Which Level do we open doors back to the Academy? Level 1 is suspected, but we wait for clearer legislation to provide definitive guidelines
- Confirm what students must bring, e.g:
- Face masks
- Own water bottles filled with water – unfortunately no communal sharing for the time being
- Valente to source a quality supply of hand sanitisers
- Education on COVID-19 Symptoms, and what to do if concerned about yourself or someone else
- Adjustment to training schedule to fit into curfew (if any still exist)
- Combining Academy attended classes with online services (Zoom) for those who would feel happier training from home
These questions that need answering aim to take your considerations into account, ensuring your health and safety as our top priority, making sure we act ethically and morally, and that we do not compromise your principles in establishing a new norm. We know that with your support and dedication to Capoeira Valente, that this will be another success story in the history of our Academy, and a great lesson to learn how to enrich that inner strength we all have, and to feed your ingenuity and passion that brought us all together.
We have had an overwhelming response during this difficult time. We would like to thank those who have already paid, it makes all the difference in keeping Valente alive. We would also like to thank those who have been taking part in the online classes, as the Valentee’s seem to be getting value from it, as well as the Instructors. If you have not yet taken part in these classes we would encourage it. They keep you sane and help negate those extra calories lockdown is creating. If you aren’t in a position to pay fees, please drop Piranha a direct message through WhatsApp so that we can adjust financials on our side.
From Valente, we would like to say Thank You So Much, Obrigado, for your commitment. It is a truly awe-inspiring and humbling experience from us, and we wish you all the best through these times. It’s getting a bit hairy out there, and in here (when are those hairdressers going to open up?!?), but we are thinking of you all the time and cannot wait to see you all again. When that does happen, prepare for long awkward hugs – it’s going to get weird.
Be well. Keep safe. Miss you all!