SAN ANGELO, Texas – Last March, thousands of martial arts academies across the nation were forced to shut down in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. In San Angelo, several academies slowly adapted through online classes and ongoing communications with members. Fast forward to present day, in-person courses are back in action following safety guidelines.
“We are very excited about the fact that we can do live classes in person, but we’re still running zoom classes for those that don’t necessarily feel comfortable or can’t quite make it in,” Team Chip Martial Arts San Angelo master instructor Kyle Johnson said. “The zoom classes are still running and we even have what we call a virtual classroom, which is done via Facebook and it’s done via video submission posts.”
Studies say people who suffer from anxiety and depression can benefit from physical exercise like martial arts. It’s considered a mood booster and can improve an individual’s confidence. Concho Valley Martial Arts Center master instructor Frank Galindo III says it can help people feel empowered.
“Martial arts have always been seen as a physical component of a training, but there’s more to it than that,” Galindo stated. “There’s social development or psychological development and some people even take it so far as to include spiritual development.”
Learning martial arts helps people learn to avoid fights and increase their self-control skills. These teachings have been helpful to many participants throughout the pandemic.
“One of the biggest things that’s recommended to those that do suffer from depression is to get out and do something,” Johnson expressed. “We highly encourage anybody regardless of what it is to get out and do something. If it happens to be martial arts, that is amazing because then you’re also getting the self defense aspect, plus the life skills that we teach you.”