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Staying Alive: Pivoting through the Pandemic

By Alex Potter, Programme Manager East London (Member Legacy martial arts London)

We have all heard the importance of shopping local, increasing sustainable consumption habits and supporting our local businesses. From podcasts to news articles, we’ve been inundated with the importance of resilience in times of crisis; easier said than done – especially for businesses that have historically had less help in terms of community, resource and business support.

Forgotten Ltd – a campaign raising awareness of the lack of government support for the small business community across the UK – has shown that even for the best companies responding in the best way, they can often be overlooked and underserved by the status quo. As directors of small, limited companies, many are not eligible for the self-employment income support scheme. In addition, many do not qualify for small business grants, due to not being in commercial premises.

Due to this overwhelming wave of negative economic effect with little to no support, the underappreciated solutions implemented in traditional brick and mortar businesses may well challenge us to think differently about our local wine vendor – and how they can survive.

Throughout the pandemic we’ve seen countless examples of resilience from our NHS and key workers, families and friends. From well-known heroes like Captain Sir Tom Moore to the unsung heroes of the pandemic at your local supermarket, humanity has shown that nothing can keep us down. The same is true of your local business owner, they have pivoted, innovated, and fought tooth-and-nail to stay afloat this last year.

Here are some founders we know or have worked with, who are challenging our perception of innovation and embodying the very definition of resilience; and their stories, both before and after.

Before: With London martial arts group lead by the ‘Godfather’ of ‘Jeet Kun Do’ in Europe (the martial art developed by Bruce Lee) Bob Breen, these VERY physical classes involved boxing, kung fu, kickboxing, wrestling, grappling, stick fighting and more – all based locally to Hoxton.

After: Launching their ‘Virtual Academy’, one can now train in JKD, Boxing, Kickboxing, Kali and others, from their very own home – as long as you clear some space in your living room!

With exercise having a massive effect on mental wellness, this ensured that you can kick your way through the crisis and allowed their community and livelihood to expand online – instead of closing the dojo doors for good!

They say:

“The essence of JKD/ 4D Combat is to adapt to your surroundings. Our Zoom sessions offer a unique way of learning martial arts from your own home. We offer a wide range of live online combat sessions, including 4D Combat, JKD, boxing, kickboxing, stick fighting, knife play, Penjak Silat, BJJ ground conditioning and Filipino Panantukan. We also offer members, classes in stretching and mobility from a combat point of view – this balances the holistic nicely with the cardio element of our offerings.

During this time when community, training and health couldn’t be more important, we are proud to launch our virtual academy”.


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