| Dec. 30, 2021, 12:14 p.m.
There was a time when online training was extremely frowned upon. When Rener and Ryron Gracie premiered Gracie University in 2008, they were met with stiff opposition from not only the at-large jiu jitsu community, but also some fellow family members. Today, however, we find that most schools who are trying to survive in a post-COVID-19 world have transitioned to offering some form of online and/or video training.
By now, especially if you have been training through the pandemic, you most certainly have experienced some form of video instruction. If being an academy owner is a part-time job, maybe you also had to endure it at your regular office or from your children’s academic classroom. It seems that even those who have criticized it in the past have embraced it in order to keep their businesses alive.
A young student perfects her reverse punch through online training.
So, the real question should be why offer online training post-COVID? Couldn’t we just go back to offering live classes with no need to hassle with an online lesson offering? I believe that the answer is found in the fact that we just truly do not understand the pandemic’s lasting effects for gyms and martial arts schools. Will this return again next year like as a new ‘flu-season?’ Will there be other strains that threaten herd or vaccine immunity? Clearly online training has proven to be a valuable way to maintain your proficiency in these uncertain times. It has also allowed you as a student or school owner to maintain your connection with your school and fellow practitioners. For some, being able to continue training, albeit with some restrictions, allowed a continued sense of normalcy and routine that is so valuable for being able to maintain health and means of coping in a crisis.
School owners will have to decide what kinds of online training they would like to provide for their students. As we have seen during the pandemic, most schools transitioned to offering virtual classes in a live format. Some larger schools who already had their own online platform were able to archive their live sessions and then offer them to their existing students via their online “university.” There was also potential to increase your student base by winning students from schools that were not able to adapt to an online reality. Thus, students would migrate to another competing school that provided them a means to continue studying and progressing in their skills and abilities.
As a school owner, you’ve now weathered an unprecedented event during our lifetime. If your business survived, you must have adapted successfully to the threat of potential shutdown and restrictive mandates via Zoom or some other live, virtual training platform. If that is the case, there is no need to continue wasting time trying to convince you that an online solution is something that is a must to ensure survivability. You understand. You also have most likely come to the realization that today’s youth are extremely capable at transitioning and thriving in online learning environments. You must also adapt to these realities to compete in the martial arts marketplace.