An Open Letter To BJJ Gym Owners During The Coronavirus Outbreak

To all BJJ gym owners,

I wanted to take the opportunity to acknowledge your efforts, and let you know we see and appreciate all you are doing to keep your students engaged during this tumultuous time. 

The current state that we are in is undeniably affecting several businesses, gyms included. In such an unpredictable and unusual climate, your timeliness in responding and adjusting is nothing short of impressive. In a time where we are advised to practice social distancing, jiu jitsu is taking a hard hit. Jiu-jitsu is so reliant on partnership and community, and that has been stripped away from us right now. Through all of this, I have seen BJJ gym owners rise to the occasion and be proactive about keeping a positive outlook. 

It’s hard to stay motivated and fitness conscious when we are spending most of our time sitting at home. Being confined to my house has made me realize the privilege it is just to go to the gym every day, one I certainly took for granted. These coaches, however, have somehow maintained putting on a strong face and encouraging their team members to continue to exercise and prioritize health. Much as they are motivators within the walls of their facilities, they have made conscious efforts to extend that communication from afar. 

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My social media platforms have been flooded with professors offering at-home workouts, video lessons, suggestions and multiple ideas to keep our minds and bodies moving. It’s hard for me to elect to sit on the couch for hours when I scroll through my phone and see so many at-home workouts being offered. I have seen them offer virtual classes, solo drills, and even just simple updates to open the line of communication. They have shown that the communities within their gyms will not diminish, but perhaps grow stronger through all of this. These BJJ gym owners are leaders, coaches, partners, and much more. They have adapted their leadership efforts to a virtual level and that is not easy to do, especially in such a tough time. 

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In a time where I’m sure they’d enjoy sitting on their couches as much as we would, they’ve brainstormed ways to reach students regardless of the situation. Despite their classes being canceled, they have continued to work. I’ve seen them continue to put on the same positive persona they do in classes, and put in a continued effort and dedication towards their students’ fitness goals. 

I want to thank these professors because they are the same individuals we often look to for inspiration, motivation, and help. Many have gone above and beyond to maintain communication during this time, and keep that same level of positive influence. These are the people in my life I often regard as very strong, but this is affecting them too. They have simply chosen to make the best out of it and encourage others to do the same. Their continued dedication and proactiveness speak volumes about who they are as coaches, business owners, and people. 

We all miss training right now, and most of all the community aspect that comes with jiu-jitsu that has been hindered. But these coaches’ efforts to continue to adjust to this and create new opportunities have helped extend that community to a virtual and universal level. Their resilience and gumption have been inspiring in these hard times. It is a privilege to be a part of such a dedicated community of individuals.

“Tough times never last, but tough people do.” – Robert H. Schuller

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