All around the world members of the public are being recommended to take precautions amidst the coronavirus outbreak. More recently, in the USA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a set of guidelines labeled “Mitigation Strategies for Communities” (check here) set in an attempt to stifle the spread of COVID-19. These recommendations include “Social Distancing”— a term epidemiologists are now using for a conscious effort to restrict close contact between people in the hope this will slow down the transmission of the virus.
Given the generalized scare supported by the current media narrative, 1000s of paying gym members in Europe have rushed to cancel their memberships in the past couple of weeks. This frenzy has put plenty of small business owners in severe financial stress, Jiu-Jitsu gym owners are among that group.
Outside the glamorous lifestyle lived by jiu-jitsu coaches (read sarcasm), most grappling gyms survive in a month by month structure, or close to it. They operate lean and with tight profit margins. Without the support of their community, they will be in dire straits very quickly.
In a recent interview, BJJ Heroes had with a Jiu-Jitsu academy owner regarding this recent student exodus, the disheartened grappler said “we had about 100 student cancelations in the last few days and no new members. I have to pay my rent in 10 days if this keeps going there is a real risk I will lose everything“. This was one example of many we have heard and contacted.
In one of the most recent episodes of the Joe Rogan Podcast (see below), epidemiologist Michael Osterholm referenced the virus would likely keep spreading for the foreseeable months, possibly even one year, though he also laid out a positive blueprint for success.
If Dr. Osterholm’s timeline is correct, one year is a long time for a lockdown, and it is highly unlikely that our social infrastructures will sustain such an extended confinement period. We do not claim to have an answer here, what we would like to do, is plead to the jiu-jitsu crowd not to give in to the panic. Take precautions, always, but whenever possible, support your local community. Pay your membership, keep in touch with your workgroup.
Why keep paying? Would all you bjj coaches give training/seminars for free? Teach bjj for free? Promoting non paying /non members students? Would Ibjjf will let you compete if you cant aford to pay their prices? Would they register you as a black belt in their list if you stop to pay their ridiculous fees?
For what it’s worth, I’ve been training since the 90s, have been a black belt for 9 years, and have never paid for a belt or affiliation in my life. Not every coach out there is trying to squeeze you out.
Msg to Deni, you’ve missed the point entirely. take up knitting.
“Pay your membership, keep in touch with your workgroup.”
Yeah…. No. Not gonna happen. No one is giving you money for no reason lol – why would we pay you if there’s no BJJ classes anymore? I agree with Dani. Edwin is an idiot.
If the tables were turned is there a jitz school that would allow me to train for free? Highly unlikely.
I live in NJ there are plenty of schools around and I am also a student. When I have tried to arrange for a small discount because I wanted to continue training not one school was willing to work with me. This goes from all the schools from Ironbound Newark all the way up to Saddle River NJ. You guys, for the most part, charge ridiculous prices and have like 50 students attend class in one session. So I say darwinism at its best. Only the strong will survive. By the looks of it this will way past summer, only the real strong will survive.
NO I will not keep paying a fee for no class.
I agree with this 100% about the prices and cult attitudes ” you must buy our gi with our patches on it” what a bullshit scam. That it why I moved to boxing, its the real deal no bs no A/C just get to the point. Also Bjj its so overrated and lie about many things lets not forget about that too!
Gentlemen…I believe there is a middle ground here and helping, in any way, pay the rent while this virus wreaks havoc is nothing but positive.
I will be doing so as I feel a profound obligation to my academy and to JJ as a whole…it’s a privilege to help, as best you can, when times are tough.
Best to All…R
I always love to read your bjj guides, keep it up