The mat is once again filled at Adirondack Taekwondo in Clifton Park. But, this time it looks a little different than it has for the past 20 years. The owner Michael Yuhasz is opening his doors, but now there are new guidelines in place.
“I would gladly wear a mask and teach live Taekwondo classes every day of the week. I’m thrilled, we’re so happy,” said Yuhasz.
The classes never stopped even during the shutdown, as Yuhasz went virtual with his classes. However, now that students are allowed inside, they have to follow strict guidelines.
“There’s a lot of things we had to do in order to make this happen,” said Yuhasz.
Things like masks are a must. Students must sanitize hands and feet before stepping on the mat. The classes are smaller than usual, with a maximum of 12 students at a time. Each student must remain in their own roped off space, which is a 9x9 area in Yuhasz’s studio. He says he’s trying to turn a difficult time into a positive.
“I’ve noticed that some of the students are fine tuning their techniques, so it’s really nice to see that as well. I feel like smaller classes have been a blessing,” he said.
While it’s under some unusual guidelines, the students are getting much more out of these classes. Cecily Cullinan takes all three of her children to Yuhasz’s studio.
“It’s a thread of consistency where everything else for them has been weird and different,” said Cullinan.
He also is taking advantage of the summer weather holding larger classes outside. Those classes can safely accommodate more than 30 students on the lawn.
“The children love it and the kids outside set up their little area,” he said.
Whether it’s outdoors, on the mat or online, Yuhasz will keep teaching, as he has for the past 20 years.
“So I think it does bring back a sense of normalcy and I think it does for all of us. And having the opportunity to come to a taekwondo class and have the ability to hit a heavy bag, it does bring back what we used to do and some of the students are flourishing right now,” said Yuhasz.