Dear Friends,
I hope this finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy.

As our city, state, country, and world continue to adapt to changes on so many levels, we will continue to adjust our practice and offerings to ensure maximal safety while still allowing rewarding and much-needed practice.

In light of today’s return to a ‘Modified Phase 2’ of contact for the city of New Orleans, we are making some changes to how we practice in our outdoor classes for the sake of everyone’s safety.  All changes since our last update of October 21 are highlighted below.

For maximal flexibility, all outdoor classes will be practiced with masks and live-streamed on Zoom.  Our offerings will include:

* Outdoor Bokken (Sword) and Jo (Staff) classes (bokken and jo) for adults will now be conducted without weapons contact five days a week.

* For some classes, student pairs will hold opposite ends of a a 10 foot PVC pipe  to work on Aikido techniques, exercises, principles, and connection together.

* Outdoor Aikido for Children (and their parents) will continue to allow full contact for those in the same household, three days a week. (Mondays for younger and newer students, Tuesdays for older and more experienced students, Wednesdays for more advanced students.)  Also streamed live.  All COVID pods of students will stay separated from all other COVID pods by at least 10 feet of distance, including from the class instructor.  

* Outdoor Tai Chi / Qigong for Adults (all levels) three days a week will remain socially distanced.  Also streamed live.

* Livestream-only classes (for children) are still being offered one day per week.

Please see below for more details on our classes for adults and children.

1) For the outdoor adult classes:

  • All students must wear masks at all times during practice.
  • GEAR
  • Keiko gi/hakama are optional, we will still be doing ukemi (rolling) on the grass.
  • Please bring your own bokken and jo if you have one.
  • You may also borrow a bokken or jo from the dojo; I will have several on-hand to loan out, and students may keep them at home for home practice and bring them to each class until we are back in the dojo itself.

2) For the outdoor children’s classes:

  • All students will wear masks at all times during practice.
  • Full contact is permitted between siblings and children and parents living in the same household.
  • We will use 10 foot PVC pipes and jo staffs to allow physically-distanced contact between students and instructors.
  • If a child tests positive for the virus, parents agree to let me know and to allow me to let others who were in class with that child recently know so they can get tested.
  • GEAR
  • Keiko gi are optional, we will still be doing ukemi (rolling) on the grass.
  • Shinai (bamboo swords/staffs) will be provided by the dojo for each class.

3) For all classes:

  • Temperature checks will be done by infrared thermometer for each student before the start of each class.
  • Hand-sanitizer will be provided by the dojo and we will all use it before and after each class.
  • All borrowed bokken and jo will be sprayed with hand sanitizer before and after use.
  • We will be using a new COVID-19 related waiver form for each student wishing to participate in contact practice with bokken and jo.
  • If you test positive for the virus, you agree to let me know and to allow me to let your partner and others who were in class with you recently know so they can get tested.
  • Please do not come to class if you are showing any possible COVID symptoms the day of the class.
  • All classes will be be held in City Park (location, based on weather, will be shared with current and new members via text the day of the class.)
  • Classes will be limited to 10 people (1 instructor plus 9 students), and must be pre-booked via our website, or by simply texting me at 504-644-7351 or emailing me at [email protected]
  • For out-of-town dojo members and those not comfortable coming to the park to practice, these classes will also be live-streamed, via Zoom.

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me via email, text, or phone with any questions, suggestions, or requests you may have.

Thank you all for your ongoing adaptability and dedication to our dojo, community, and this practice we all love.

With more and more vaccines being administered each day, our return to full contact practice in our beloved dojo is getting closer.

Until then, see you on the grassy mats of our beautiful park dojo, and on Zoom!

Brian Levy

Chief Instructor
NOLA Aikido