The official rules for avoiding infections with COVID-19 differ depending on the state, region, province, canton etc. The first task for those responsible for the dojo is to study these formal rules carefully and to follow them.
Behind all these rules is the will to avoid infection. This is also the main principle, which you should always be aware of.
We like to promote Aikido by emphasizing the training with other persons. We don't want to train with manikins or mechanical devices. Now we have to think about how to organize the training without losing the relationships with the exercise partners.
There are exercises that should not be practiced at the moment. These include Misogi and breathing exercises in a limited space, Teateho, Kenkodo and Sotaiho. There is a number of examples in which choir singers have infected each other. Speaking loudly at short distances with droplet infections is just as inappropriate. Likewise close body contact with chlinging techniques and too intensive practice with a breakout of sweat.
For the time being we have the Hitoriwaza. There are some older hitoriwaza forms of current tsuzukiwaza. Other tsuzukiwaza should be checked whether they can be performed without an uke.
In dance sport there is e.g. the requirement not to change partners during a training session and to wear a mask. We can consider which forms of exercise in aikido make sense following these rules.
The mats should be cleaned before each lesson. Lists of training participants must be kept and be available to the authorities for a certain period. All participants have to think along and must not fall into the mistake of only interpreting the rules formally.
Rules for training during COVID 19
Jean-Paul Lett made a good listing which I translated. Depending on the conditions on site, the rules may need to be adjusted somewhat. The original paper is linked below.
Arrival at the dojo
- In case of doubt, do not come (cold, headache, fatigue, loss of taste and smell).
- Bring a mask and hydroalcoholic gel.
- Put on a mask in the dressing room.
- No hugging, no handshaking and keeping the distance of 1 m. On the tatami
- Open windows for ventilation.
- Enter the tatami with a gel and mask.
- Sit in Seiza, 1 person per 1 tatami.
- Rub hands, feet, tanto, bokken, jo with the gel and put the gel away.
- Start training. During the exercises
- Keep at least one tatami distance without a mask.
- Only use your own weapons.
- No breathing exercises and no misogi. You can practice this at home!
- Without mask preferably exercises with distance: hitoriwaza, kenkodo, bokken, Jo, Bo.
- Put on the mask for Ki tests and Kumiwaza. Avoid longer exercises. After training
- Wear a mask in the locker room.
- Keep your distance when showering.
- No hugging, no handshaking and keeping a distance of 1 m.
Link to the paper (FR): Corona rules by Jean Paul