Before the pandemic struck, Patrick Carty had 90 students, ranging in age from 5 to 80, who took his defense training classes at the Krav Maga Cape Cod studio he co-owns in Hyannis.
Like many gyms and fitness centers, as well as other businesses considered non-essential and forced to close to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Carty turned to social media to keep his business going and his students engaged.
His Facebook Live events have kept about 30 of his students busy, with as many as 14 students tuning into a class. Recently, he’s been conducting classes through the popular video conferencing tool Zoom.
Krav Maga means combat contact in Hebrew. Developed for the Israeli armed forces in the 1940s, Krav Maga incorporates several kinds of defensive training including aikido, boxing, wrestling, judo and karate. Carty’s studio offers classes to children, adults, women-only and law enforcement.
“We like to call ourselves a self-defense discipline, based on the martial arts,” adds Carty.
With Massachusetts’ schools now closed through June, parents have had to take on home schooling and keeping their children occupied all day. Online instruction and now fitness has become part of a normal day.
“My family and I began taking Krav Maga classes last fall for a few reasons: to learn a great skill, to get exercise, and to do something constructive together,” said Dale Shadbegian of Dennisport. “Then COVID hit. Krav Maga Cape Cod quickly adapted with Facebook lives, and Zoom classes. With no school, sheltered in place, and added stress at work, it was a really important part of our new ‘normal.’ The class is great in person and at home and we are grateful the school kept going remotely rather than closing down. We really look forward to the classes, and are still getting everything we wanted out of it. ”
Carty says it took some creative thinking to figure out how to train remotely and via a computer screen, but he’s added props to communicate the techniques.
He’s waiting for the Commonwealth’s guidelines as to how to proceed when restrictions are eventually lifted, but he’s already envisioning outdoor classes in good weather where social distancing can be practiced.
Check out Krav Maga’s Facebook Live classes at https://www.facebook.com/Alphakravcapecod/