The third season of the Netflix series Cobra Kai is introducing a new generation to karate. And one Edmonton dojo is working to foster people's passion for the sport, even amid pandemic restrictions.
Jamie Hanlon has been studying karate for 43 years. He remembers the surge in interest when the first two Karate Kid movies came out in the 80s and says the excitement has returned with the new series.
"Just the buzz and the hype and the momentum around that, really hoping there's some lightning in the bottle here and people will be interested in coming to check out what karate is about," Hanlon said.
The Kaizen Dojo has been offering online classes during the pandemic lockdowns.
The studio was forced to close a second time in December when the province put in new restrictions on indoor gatherings to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Hanlon said he's doing whatever he can to help his students continue their practice.
"You don't get that same technical correction but I try as much as possible to break it down for people," he explained. "Trying to make this situation, for everybody, as painless as possible and give them the most opportunity to keep learning and keep progressing."
Classes are available via Zoom and Facebook Live on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 6 p.m.
Edited versions of the live classes are posted on the dojo's website.
Despite the challenges of staying apart, Hanlon sees value in staying connected.
"Here are the circumstances, here are the situations we find ourselves in," he said. "The most important thing right now with this is keeping people active."
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Galen McDougall