Alexandria, VA

Stuck at home? Potomac Kempo has been teaching Japanese martial arts virtually through the pandemic.

The dojo has a number of locations in Alexandria, and while hundreds of students are starting to come back the business is transitioning from offering online-only services.

Jeff Gibbs manages the Huntington location and has practiced Kempo for nearly a quarter-century. He’s a third-degree black belt and said that online courses can be effective, but not as impactful on developing real skills.

“Contact is necessary for training and self-defense,” Gibbs told ALXnow. “Now, if your interest is just to stay in shape while doing something mentally engaging, then sure, that is not a problem. If it’s a kid looking to just have improved focus or having a half-hour of focusing on something, and their parents need a break, then we can focus on that.”

Gibbs said instructors have been told to take their fighters outside if it gets too crowded indoors.

“It turns out martial arts can be learned just fine in the rain,” Gibbs said.

Potomac Kempo isn’t the only local dojo in the virtual training arena. Seichou Karate in Old Town has also been hosting courses online to keep students training through the pandemic.

Photo via Potomac Kempo/Facebook

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