The coronavirus outbreak has forced Lani and Conrad Jones, who operate a karate studio at the TOA sports complex in Franklin, to spend most of their time at home.
But last Saturday they spent five hours driving all over the county to drop off new belts to their students. Students usually get promoted to a higher belt every few months.
“It was kind of fun for us to get out because we haven't at all," Lani Jones said. "Just to see that the kids missed Mr. Jones so much, they were so excited to see him from a distance. They jumped up and down and waved.”
After a stay-at-home order in Franklin closed gyms, Conrad Jones has been hosting virtual karate classes from his driveway. With a basketball hoop and a grill in the background, he demonstrated punches, blocks and kicks.
Lani Jones said most families decided to stick with the classes during the virus outbreak.
“We had a couple of families put it on hold for the time being because they're not making any money,” she said. "A lot of the families, they need this outlet ... and they are in a position where it's not affecting them.”
The Jones’ are offering both individual and group classes. Lani Jones said students probably get better instruction during the one-on-one video classes, but most students prefer the group classes because they get to see their friends.
“That's a big part of it, the social aspect of it,” she said.
Lani Jones said it’s hard to plan for the future of their business. She said they are worried that even when stay-at-home orders are lifted, there will still be obstacles that make it hard for people to gather. They are taking things day-by-day.
"All we can do is keep going like we are and hope that things improve,” she said.
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