With the latest easing of restrictions, we have returned to open hand training.
We have not, however, returned to our old indoor dojo, and, indeed, may never do so, as the university is unlikely to reopen this year and in addition, are talking about eliminating small clubs regardless.
This opens up a number of challenges.
Do we start searching for a new training space, with all the attendant financial and logistic difficulties, so that we can again use mats?
Or do we continue to train in the open?
Does this mean students need to learn to do their ukemi on dirt and grass?
Should we be exchanging our uniforms for something more suited to a less pristine environment? I stopped wearing my white hakama months ago. Maybe the white gi need to go as well?
Outdoor classes have lacked the ritual formality of the indoor space, but that can easily be remedied.
The lack of a kamiza as a focal point would also need to be addressed.
There is something very appealing about the outdoor training with the flying foxes, curlews and uneven ground.
Do we embrace the current circumstances and extend our ronin school status to our dojo as well?