U.S. Kuo Shu Academy uses interactive technology to continue training and keep its students connected
It’s not an understatement to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the Americans’ lives. People are living and working from home under shelter-in-place orders and small businesses are doing what they can to survive.
The U.S. Kuo Shu Academy (USKSA) is overcoming both plights by offering its classes in an interactive, distance-learning setting.
“During these unprecedented times, we are doing our best to help kids, parents and families keep some form of normalcy by helping them stay active, engaged and entertained,” said USKSA owner, Master Michael Huang.
Using the video chat platform Zoom, USKSA offers video tutorials, live virtual sash-rank classes, fitness challenges, leadership lessons and homework. There are also “Mat Chats” on teamwork and keeping up a positive attitude at home.
Master Ian Chisholm, USKSA’s director of kung fu, said that under its new virtual platform, the academy has continued all of its regular classes for all of its students, from the very young to senior citizens. USKSA conducts virtual classes six days a week, holds group sessions and provides private lessons.
“We’ve been following all of the CDC guidelines and the directives from the state governor, so we had no choice but to close in the interest of our students’ health and well-being,” Chisholm said. “But at the same time, we wanted to try to find a way that we could continue to support in their ongoing training. So, it was really a matter of looking at available platforms and figuring out what would work best to meet our needs. By using distance-learning technology we are able to continue to deliver instruction.”
And you don’t even have to be a current student to take advantage of distance learning. USKSA is now offering two free weeks of virtual classes until the academy re-opens. In addition, once the academy re-opens, potential students will still be able to get two weeks of free classes.
USKSA’s philosophy had already laid the groundwork for this unprecedented event. Through its courses, USKSA not only teaches self-defense, discipline and focus, it prepares all of its students to cope with the unpredictability of life.
“I think anytime there’s a dramatic shift in how you do things, no matter what it is, there’s always some anxiety or maybe even some resistance in relation to that,” Chisholm said. “But everyone has really embraced the distance learning and a lot of that has to do with the mindset that we instill in our students in all settings, which is to always try to do everything that you can to continue your personal development.
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