COVID-19 precautions

As we return to kendo training, we must take precautions and work together to keep everyone safe. We need to be vigilant and responsible. These procedures and guidelines will help us do this.

To re-start kendo at any Reading Group dojo you must be a member of the RSS Kendo Clubs Whatsapp group.

You need to bring these items to each session:

  • hand wash gel or spray
  • a disposable or washable face mask (not medical)
  • on resumption of bogu practice, a pair of men shields – face and eyes
  • cleaning wipes for hands and feet
  • plastic bags to store outdoor clothes and used kendo clothing and equipment in
  • a large cloth or towel to put on the floor before placing your equipment

You may also want to bring a yoga mat or large towel for core exercises (Saturday sessions).

Before training

Before training begins, you must:

  1. Have your temperature taken. You cannot take part if you have a fever (that is, over 37.5 centigrade).
  2. Register your name on the attendance sheet for each session.
  3. Change into training gear at home or use changing rooms in small groups and maintain good social distancing.
  4. If changing at the venue, store your outdoor clothes in a plastic bag.
  5. Help clean and disinfect any surfaces that could transmit virus (such as floor, handles, screens and equipment).
  6. Before keiko thoroughly wash your hands or apply sanitiser to disinfect them. Sanitiser gel will be available.

At the venue

At the venue, these rules must be followed:

  1. To reduce the risk of infection, practices should only be one hour long.
  2. No visitors are allowed in the dojo, either for practice or watching.
  3. Wear a protective mask whilst in the dojo but avoid wearing tight-fitting medical masks during training.
  4. Open doors to ventilate the dojo.
  5. Before training begins maintain a safe distance from others.
  6. Don’t handle or borrow other people’s equipment.
  7. Place a cloth (Furoshiki/Tenugui) on the floor near your bag to place your equipment on. Change into bogu by sitting on the cloth at this location.
  8. Perform gorei standing, as the floor may be a source of infection.

During practice

The BKA recommends that keiko in a well-ventilated room using a men mask and shield offers the best protection against spreading COVID-19 during kihon or keiko in bogu.

During practice, follow these rules:

  1. When doing warming-up exercises and suburi do so in a spaced line with everyone facing the same way.
  2. If there is insufficient room for a safely spaced line make two or more rows but maintain a minimum distance of 2m between the rows to avoid close contact or clashes
  3. The distance between Motodachi should be 2m or more, irrespective of government social distancing guidelines. The number of people that can do keiko at the same time will be set with this distancing in mind. There will be tape markings for the Motodachi’s positions on the floor at 2m intervals.
  4. Refrain from vocalizing kiai (Hassei) during all aspects of kihon and keiko.
  5. Don’t do Tsubazeriai. If you do end up in Tsubazeriai, quickly separate or do hiki-waza, but do not kiai at this close distance.
  6. When taking a break, remove your men but continue wearing your mask. Avoid close contact with other people.

After practice

After practice, you should:

  1. Remove and put the used men, tenugui, shields and kote in a plastic bag to take home.
  2. Wash and sanitise your hands.
  3. Keep a safe social distance when doing standing rei.
  4. Help to clean and disinfect any surfaces that could transmit the virus. For example changing areas, shower room, entrance and exit door handles, window handles, screens and other places that people may have touched.

Once home

Once you are home, you should:

  1. Wash your hands, as per government guidelines.
  2. Air and sanitise your equipment before your next training session.
  3. Take home, wash and sanitise the floor cloth, kendo-gi, hakama, tenugui, and shinai.
  4. Wipe out or steam clean and dry your bogu in sunlight.

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms within 14 days after training or are contacted by a member of the NHS Test and Trace service, you must inform the person that led the practice through our Whatsapp group or by phone. This is so that appropriate actions can be taken to reduce the spread of the virus.