Norfolk couple uses cancelled holiday to start martial art dream
PUBLISHED: 09:02 08 May 2020 | UPDATED: 09:02 08 May 2020
A Norfolk martial arts teacher is opening his own school after his holiday plans fell through.
Richard Calver, 32 from Dereham, is planning to open his school in the Fakenham sports centre once the lockdown is lifted. He is planning to hold free online classes to get people engaged with the sport.
Mr Calver has been involved with Kuk Sool Won, a Korean martial art form, since he was 13. He has been teaching since he was 17 and has gone on to achieve a black belt.
After Thomas Cook folded last year and his holiday was cancelled, he and his wife Katie were discussing where they should go instead. But instead of a holiday, they decided to use the money to open the school.
The coronavirus has meant they have had to delay opening their doors. Despite this, Mr Calver is feeling good about the plans and said: “I feel confident about it. I feel good because we have got over the first hurdle of deciding to open.
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“It’s a slow process and COVID-19 has put us back but it is just a hurdle we can jump and clear and it will help us to come out stronger the other side.”
He has always wanted his own school but he has never had the opportunity in the market town. When they got the refund around Christmas time last year they believed if they didn’t do it then it would never happen.
The couple were planning to spend the summer months advertising the Fakenham Martial Arts school ready for the opening in September.
But with events across Norfolk being cancelled the pair are now hosting free online classes over Zoom to promote the school and get people through the door.
While there is the fear that people will take advantage of the free classes with no intention to join, they believe it is the right thing to offer in the current climate. Mr Calver said: “There is an element of trust with people joining the free classes.
“But it is about building that trust with people and showing them what we have to offer so they will want to learn more.”
The school will have three classes suitable for all age groups and abilities.
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