One small Vernon business has had a breakthrough during COVID-19.
Breakthrough Martial Arts owner Rob Rinas has transitioned his Vernon studio off Highway 6, across from Polson Park, and his former studio in Kitchener, Ont. into online learning communities. This gives his students aged four to adult a chance to keep active, share with one another and continue to advance their kung fu skills from the safety of their home.
Close to 150 students have been participating in Breakthrough’s Facebook community where Rinas uploads six interactive video classes per week (he also has videos available for gym members on YouTube).
“Students can then ask questions online and even send in videos of themselves for remote skills testing in order to advance to the next belt level,” said Rinas, a Level 10 black belt instructor. “After passing testing, new belts are dropped off outside the students’ homes – something that gets the younger students very excited.”
With the news that B.C. is reopening its economy as of Tuesday, May 19, Rinas has been working toward reopening his studios.
He acknowledges while he doesn’t have the biggest space in Vernon, he will offer classes outdoors at Polson Park on Saturdays starting May 30.
Adults will be able to take part from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., the four-to-six-year-old Little Ninjas program will be on from 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. That’s followed by the seven-to-10-year-old Rock Solid program from 12:15 to 1 p.m. Teens aged 11 to 14 will have their class from 1 to 2 p.m.
“Those classes are also open to the public to come out and try a drop-in,” said Rinas. “It’s a chance to see if you’ll like the sport.”
Online training, meanwhile, will continue. More information is available at martialartsvernon.com.