As traditional martial artists, our training is a way of life. It continues when we leave the mat. At the end of class, we bow toward the Dojo Kun on the front wall to remind ourselves to take those values with us and use them every day. We can also use our five core principles not only to help us become stronger martial artists, but in all areas of life. I illustrated these in my blog here. The third core principle is coring. We can use karate’s coring in the time of COVID-10 in order to survive and succeed.
In strengthening our physical karate, coring consists of having a strong guard. We use arm positions that are naturally the strongest. Structural integrity of the arms comes into play. We make a safe place with the habit of a strong guard. When we have a safe place to start from and work from, we can then go temporarily out of our guard in order to accomplish our other life protection techniques, making progress toward whatever result is needed at that time. With good coring, we consistently and regularly return back to the strong guard.
To use karate’s coring in the time of COVID-19, we start by making our personal safe place. Some great ways to do this are following current health recommendations for this particular virus.
Those include: 1) Not being around people who are sick, or if you must be, wear a mask, wash your hands, up your immune system. 2) Staying at home as much as you can and avoiding large groups. 3) Social distancing of at least six feet when you must be out around others. 4) Boosting up your immune system by getting rest, stress reduction and having a healthy diet and lifestyle. 5) Getting outside in the sun a little daily. Sunlight not only kills this virus, it also helps our bodies make Vitamin-D which is helpful in immune health.
The prior recommendations are safe space makers for the current moment. We can use karate’s coring at this time to plan for a safe space for our families and ourselves in the near future as well, in case of illness. Have on hand your cold and flu remedies that work for you. Also consider the home remedies that moms and grandmas used. Maybe make some large batches of easy-on-the-stomach soups to freeze now, for use later, in case of sickness. And later, if you haven’t used them, eat frozen foods within six months so they don’t go to waste.
If you live alone, I recommend pinpointing a family member or friend who you will check in with daily or more often if you do start to feel ill. They can help assess the emergency warning signs of new confusion or inability to arouse. It would be nice to discuss this plan with them right away, while you are feeling well, just in case.
Also, my advice for everyone to create coring in knowledge, is to become familiar with the CDC’s COVID-19 symptoms lists here. They tell what to do in the case of standard symptoms as well as in the more urgent case of emergency warning signs.
Here, Arizona is creating a hotline for novel coronavirus FAQ. Your local government likely has and/or is putting systems in place to help deal with this. They are working hard to create safe spaces as and for the larger community. As in karate and in all areas of life, we each have the responsibility of creating our own personal safe space before reaching out to help others. Then we can more effectively and safely help our families, friends and communities.