With the closures of gyms amid this pandemic, a taekwondo studio is getting creative to continue their lessons.
Self-control, perseverance, and integrity are just some of the values Adirondack Taekwondo has been teaching for almost two decades. Owner Michael Yuhasz opened the studio 19 years ago in April.
“Through the taekwondo activities, we’re teaching students; we're going to help students find their self-esteem,” explained Yuhasz.
However, because of the pandemic, it now takes some technology to accomplish the teaching. The Clifton Park studio had to close its doors when the pandemic hit, so Yuhasz had to get creative.
“They love taekwondo, so why would you take away something that is so enjoyable for them?” said Yuhasz.
With the help of his kids, who are also black belts, the trio is now teaching about 15 online classes a week. That number is about half of the amount of classes the studio teaches under normal circumstances.
“This gives our students the opportunity to continue that routine, but keep that extra energy,” Yuhasz said.
Since then, the classes are packed, even though the floor of the studio is empty. But, much like the martial art itself, the classes are much more than just some exercise.
Jeffrey Wheeler is one of the students behind the screen. He’s been taking taekwondo with Yuhasz for the past two years.
“As he progressed, he’s just got more confidence. It’s more than a spor;t he’s learning lessons he’ll have for his entire life,” says Jeffrey’s dad, Paul Wheeler.
He says it’s been great way for his seven-year-old to keep a routine amid all the changes. Jeffrey has even earned a high blue belt in the process. The school has offered ’zoom testing,’ an online test to achieve their color belts.
“It gives him something to look forward to; it gives him a break from the school education,” said Wheeler.
He also says it brings his family together as Yuhasz says the parents get a kick out of joining in on the classes.
“The family are holding the targets, the family is kicked with them, so it is a family time,” said Yuhasz.
Yuhasz adds that the online classes have even brought his own family together, with his daughter home from college amid the pandemic.
“This is really an opportunity where we can look back on this from now and say “remember when we did this in our basement,” said the master.
While both the teachers and students wait for the day the students can once again flood the studio, they’ll continue connecting, just from a distance.
Adirondack Taekwondo will be hosting a community class. To join, all they ask is a donation to Albany Med for their COVID-19 relief.