Black Belt : 2020-05-19

ESSENTIAL GEAR : 75 : 75

ESSENTIAL GEAR

75 JUNE/JULY 2020 BLACKBELTM­AG.COM § With the coronaviru­s ravaging communitie­s and shutting down martial arts– related businesses all over the SODQHW VRPH DUH ÀJKWLQJ EDFN DJDLQVW WKH RXWEUHDN WKH EHVW ZD\ WKH\ NQRZ KRZ Century Martial Arts, one of WKH ZRUOG·V ODUJHVW PDQXIDFtur­ers of martial arts equipment and uniforms, has turned a portion of its production IDFLOLW\ LQ 2NODKRPD &LW\ RYHU WR PDNLQJ PHGLFDO PDVNV “We actually saw this coming a little earlier than others because we have partners over in China,” said Michael 'LOODUG &HQWXU\·V YLFH SUHVLGHQW RI VSHFLDO SURMHFWV ´6R ZH NQHZ IURP WKHP KRZ serious the situation was and how it completely shut down WKHLU LQIUDVWUXF­WXUH μ The company began testing whether its employees could PDQXIDFWXU­H VXUJLFDO PDVNV LQ HDUO\ )HEUXDU\ 7KH SURcess required a certain type of sewing machine, and fortunatel­y, they still had a few of WKH ROGHU PRGHOV LQ VWRUDJH Although it was a costly proFHVV WKH FRPSDQ\·V PDQDJers learned that they could do it — just in case there turned RXW WR EH D QHHG By the middle of March, the worst had obviously come to pass, and medical personnel DURXQG WKH 8QLWHG 6WDWHV ZHUH IDFLQJ VKRUWDJHV 7KH QHHG IRU all sorts of protective equipPHQW EHFDPH GLUH When Century discovered local hospitals were about to UXQ RXW RI PDVNV LW UDPSHG XS LWV HIIRUWV ZRUNLQJ ZLWK 28 Medical Center to improve the TXDOLW\ RI WKH PDVNV WKH\ KDG manufactur­ed while bringing GRZQ WKH FRVW 7KH FRPSDQ\ was able to supply 1,000 PDVN FRYHUV ³ RXWHU PDVNV WKDW NHHS FOHDQ WKH KLJK TXDOLW\ 1 PDVNV WKDW PHGLcal profession­als employ, thus allowing for longer use — just LQ WLPH The company anticipate­s that it will continue to manufactur­e 1,000 medical-related PDVNV SHU ZHHN DV ORQJ DV WKHUH·V D QHHG IRU WKHP %HVLGHV WKH PDVN FRYHUV Century also has begun producing standard surgical PDVNV DQG LW·V ZRUNLQJ RQ D version of the high-end N95 PDVN WKDW LQFOXGHV D ÀOWHU While limited by the number of sewing machines that FDQ PDNH WKHVH LWHPV &HQtury has turned 20 percent RI LWV ZRUNIRUFH RYHU WR PDVN PDQXIDFWXU­H $OWKRXJK LW·V prohibited from selling its PDVNV WR WKH SXEOLF WKH FRPpany has received 10,000 GLVSRVDEOH PDVNV IURP RYHUVHDV ZKLFK LW·V GRQDWLQJ WR ÀUVW UHVSRQGHUV DQG NH\ members of the local martial DUWV FRPPXQLW\ Perhaps surprising­ly, the FRPSDQ\ KDVQ·W VHHQ D downturn in the overall sales of its standard martial arts SURGXFWV ,QVWHDG PDQDJHment is seeing a shift in HPSKDVLV :KHUHDV RUGHUV IRU WKLQJV OLNH XQLIRUPV DQG belts have decreased, the purchase of training equipment has increased as marWLDO DUWLVWV FRQÀQHG WR WKHLU KRPHV ORRN IRU QHZ ZD\V WR FRQWLQXH SUDFWLFLQJ ´:H·YH VHHQ RXU VDOHV FRPSOHWHO\ ÁLS ÁRS OLNH WKDW μ 'LOODUG VDLG ´%XW PDUWLDO DUWists are inherently adaptable WR WKH VLWXDWLRQ μ Fortunatel­y for medical perVRQQHO LQ 2NODKRPD PDUWLDO arts equipment companies are DGDSWDEOH DV ZHOO — Mark Jacobs

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