OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - Like most small businesses across the country, Pruitt's Martial Arts had to shut its doors to customers, forcing them to adjust their routine.
“What we found ourselves doing was virtual training through computers using different apps and sources,” owner and instructor Derek Pruitt said. “We have found that we had a great influx of our students tuning in and training every single week.”
After noticing how many kids remained active and motivated, instructors wanted to give the students who earned their next-level belt something special, while still maintaining a social distance.
“We wanted to present them with their next belt and certificate and basically just honor them for their dedication and hard work during this time,” Pruitt said.
Remaining motivated through such a difficult time is never easy, but these kids have earned every bit of recognition.
“It means a lot that we’re able to do this for the kids. It’s not really so much about me, as much as it is recognizing their hard work and what they achieved," Pruitt said. "It’s going to be exciting to see them in person. It’s going to be hard not to give them a hug, of course, we can’t do that right now. The next best thing is we can honor them and we can reward them, and that’s what we want to do today.”
After so much success after being forced to go virtual, Pruitt and his team are excited to keep moving forward.
“We’re just continuing our virtual training for our existing students, and we’re accepting registration for new students who want to be a part of that,” Pruitt said. "We’re just excited to be able to do this for the kids; that’s our number one goal.