Judo Class Fights Viral Obstacle

By Nelson Cruz

Most classes at Los Angeles City College have converted from face to face to online classes.

It may be a tad bit easier for professors who do not teach kinesiology classes. A class like self-defense can be more challenging because it requires students to physically participate in what is being taught.

In the “virtual dojo,” Sensei Jojo Aguilar sounds determined. The self-defense instructor talked about the transition he and his class had to go through during these tough times.

“Switching to the online class platform is definitely “uncharted waters,” but not impossible,” Aguilar said. “At first glance, the assumption is that the self-defense class is entirely physical; however, although we do change the students’ physical fitness, we also have to change the way they think and react to their environment.”

We’re fighters in KIN-217 Self-Defense Skills. In our class, we make students tougher mentally and physically. We don’t let a setback like a worldwide pandemic stop us from being successful.

JoJo Aguilar L.A. City College Martial Arts Instructor

Aguilar describes how he can replace the physical component of his self-defense class when he teaches online. He has an extensive background in martial arts instruction. Aside from the courses he teaches to college students, he also instructs younger martial arts students in the LACC Community Services Program. He adapts his experience and applies it online.

“In order to change their cognitive behavior, we have to offer situations and choices on how to react to those situations,” he said. “Because we switched to an online platform, we have to cut back on one-on-one “demonstrate and correct” lessons and increase the psychological learning aspect of self-defense.”

Students must show respect to the practice area and judo.

Japanese martial arts are a specialty for the LACC sensei, but he also teaches kids less formal, but practical skills in a class called “Quick and Dirty Self Defense” for the LACC Community Services Courses. He knows modifies his classes. Sensei Aguilar explains why the switch to an online format may not be that difficult for him and his students.

“This a switch in the platform is similar to what happens when you experience an injury in the martial arts,” Aguilar said. “Just because you cannot physically participate doesn’t mean that you have to stop learning. Asking our students to think about Self-Defense can be just as effective as physically practicing Self-Defense. This whole situation with Covid-19 may be new but it is not entirely different from any challenges we’ve had before.”

Let us know what you think.

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