WALL TOWNSHIP, NJ – Joe Gregory is the owner of World Karate in Wall Township on Belmar Road, secondary thoroughfare along the main road into Belmar. As traffic mounted on Saturday along Route 138, just two blocks from his plaza, Gregory decided to drive to Belmar to see what’s happening. When he got to Belmar, nothing made sense. Lines of people, at some point hundreds deep lined up for beach passes all day long. The beach badge business is operated by the Township of Belmar, but just 1/2 mile away from the boardwalk, World Karate remains shuttered.
“I own a martial arts school and could very easily follow social distancing protocol and get my business going again. It is so maddening to watch what is going on,” Gregory said. He could probably enforce better social distancing than was seen in the long lines at Belmar today too. While his school is closed down, Gregory said his students are following him through zoom sessions. Some of his students are even using his workouts for credit for their gym classes.
“I have been teaching classes via Zoom since March 18th to keep our kids focused, engaged, and healthy through this,” he said. “Many parents are using my classes for Gym class credit for school.” On Sunday, crowds will once again pass World Karate as the school remains shut down by Governor Phil Murphy…and Gregory will have to watch thousands of more cars heading east down Route 138 en route to stand on long lines, waiting to purchase beach badges. None of it makes any sense anymore, especially for Gregory.
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