November 17, 2020 · 9:39 am
Well, here in Philadelphia we had a good run of relaxed restrictions when it came to gatherings, going to the gym, etc. Unfortunately due to a stark climb in cases over the past few weeks, starting this Friday we will be back to more severe restrictions- which includes a ban on indoor gyms.
As I mentioned before, this is a complicated issue when it comes to whether or not it’s the right call: on the one hand, it’s an effective way to slow the spread of the virus, ensuring those who are more vulnerable to contracting and dying from it are kept safe. On the other hand, I know that jiu jitsu and physical activity can be a comfort for many in uncertain times, and is seen as a form of therapy for some, such as military vets who suffer from PTSD. Also, there were some studies that suggested those in poor health were more likely to die from the virus, and so it would make sense to continue with physical activity to avoid that. And, not to mention that a lot of small gym owners will have to shut their doors with no guarantee that they will open again. In a perfect world there would be enough funding and maybe even some rent freezes to support these gyms as they weather this lockdown, along with supplementary services for those who have been dealing with anxiety and other issues with jiu jitsu- not exactly how this has all played out but as I said, perfect world scenario.
The ban is supposed to start this Friday and go through January 1st, 2021: hopefully the city will see a drop in cases over the next 6 weeks and we can try to reopen again. In the meantime I might try to put a gi on my dog and work on how to deal with a super squirmy opponent….
Have a great day everyone!
July 9, 2020 · 7:15 am
So in our little corner of the world (by that meaning Philadelphia County), gyms are still not allowed to open. More western parts of the state have begun to reopen, including allowing jiu jitsu gyms to resume operations, but the original “green phase” (the state organized their phases of restriction in color categories: red, yellow and green) start date for Philadelphia was originally July 6th has been postponed to August 1st.
It’s definitely been trying, if I’m being totally honest: I’m lucky enough to have a job at this point, one that hasn’t been furloughed, one where I can work from home and even one that was lucky enough to receive the small business funding needed to keep our payroll going. On the flip side of that I have also been working anything between 10 to 12 hour days to keep operations going when others on our staff had reduced hours or shifting responsibilities to keep the business going.
That being said, and maybe some of you are in the same position which is pretty much the only reason I’m saying it, to share in commiseration: life without jiu jitsu leaves a lot to be desired. A lot of us use jiu jitsu as a means of stress relief, of active meditation, a means to pull ourselves into the here and now, which gives us an opportunity to approach a problem with a fresh perspective. While some of these things can also be achieved with yoga, meditation, a run, there’s also the sense of community that you miss when you aren’t able to see the people that you roll around on the floor with as you attempt to choke one another.
As awful as it may sound though I still think it’s a necessary measure: we all have had our teammates sweat on us, and while we seem to be at a place where we have some grasp on the virus and what it does, it feels like new information is being released practically every other day so there’s still a LOT we don’t know. We need to work together to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe, even if it means wearing a mask in public and even for the time being not doing jiu jitsu in an area ripe for an outbreak.
I sincerely hope we’ll be able to hold the August 1st start of Philadelphia’s green phase. I can’t totally recall how that is evaluated, but there needs to be a continuing downward trend in cases, with x amount of cases per x amount of people in the area.
Anyway, I hope you and yours are keeping safe, and have a good day everyone.