Jiu Jitsu is Back!

in #bjj2 months ago


Things Have Changed

Martial Arts, especially full contact varieties, were first and perhaps most justified of closures. I could think of few activities more risky than grappling when it comes to the potential to spread a virus like Covid-19. Returning to active training was a pipe dream that lasted too many months.

I have trained BJJ leisurely for approximately 7 years and hold a purple belt. It is so great for the mind, body and confidence but I appreciate equally the close friends I have made and missed over the last few months.

Here is a look at the first day of reopening through my eyes.



Stratford Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy http://stratfordbjj.com/ has been closed since the lock down process started in March. Responsible business ownership, conscious patience with the lock-down, and a disciplined approach to being a good example of gradual return to normal.

It has been a few long months and I am rockin' a little covid padding so it is great to be back.



Familiar faces assemble with masks and plenty of space for the anticipated dry run of the first evening class. 7:00 three times a week so there is a great mix of students, professionals, actors, and beerologists.



The class before ours is the popular Women's Jiu Jistu with the most dangerous ladies I know and coach Kris supervising the safe training.



He prefers to not wear a mask but has REALLY gotten ugly over the last few months.



After signing in, declaring our personal training partner (someone in our 10-person bubble we trust to be a antivirus ninja,) we stay away from each other and cannot take our mask off 'til we get to our defined training squares.



Professor O'Shea is obviously as happy to be back instructing as much as we are to be back. The process is explained and we get through our vigorous in-place warm up instead of the standard laps and drills. Brand new padded cage in the back ground which will up the game for the MMA fighter training camps.



Technique is demonstrated in the center square with masks and plenty of space between instructor and student. We went over the basic arm bar from the guard with advanced details on foot placement, control and sequence.



We are all responsible for being overly careful and diligent to protect each other, our loved ones and especially our high-risk family members. You can tell that we put in some solid specific time with our partners by the shredded marking tape on the mats. Every surface needs to be cleaned and disinfected between classes. Extra work, happily undertaken, as a necessary evil that enables a safe return to all that BJJ means to all of us.


After a conservative yet challenging class, there is nothing like the familiar sensation of walking out the back door, fatigued, and breathing the cool outdoor Canadian air. This time, it is wearing a mask til we are alone but that is a small sacrifice to be safely back.

I hope you can train where you are!




I am honoured to curate for:


What's your preferred exercise in these strange times?


I'm glad to see the gym is getting back to it.

Now I'd like to see some back ground and head movement.


I will tell it this week. Today is #beersaturday and I have to spread my bjj content out so everyday isn’t Kickass! ;).

JJ with a mask seems a tough one. I did a year of it in the 80's. A great way to keep fit and the warm up was merciless, taking up almost half the lesson!

Yah I still feel a little ashamed when I look of out of breath 15 minutes into class and realize it has only been 15 minutes. It is definitely challenging and part of what keeps me young and relatively in shape.

Glad to see you're back to practicing being a bad ass

Those ceiling fans will spread any air borne water droplets around like warm butter on toast.


With all the tracking, bubble leverage and the fact that we haven't even had a case in the region will hopefully be caution enough. I should advise him to keep them off and sacrifice air flow/overheating for viral safety.

That's amazing that no cases have been found in your region. I guess either you are really lucky, or just none of them have been particularly bad enough for anyone to take notice and get tested?

Actually it is lower-density population area and we are just collectively being over cautious and conservative. Plenty of testing, just very contained cases.

I spoke to the owner about the fans and he said airflow is actually encouraged by the safety board. Ventilation and circulating air evaporates the water droplets and kills any virus quicker?

Either way, we are just taking every precaution short of not training. Best case scenario, we become a leader in safety and sanitization.

Lower population areas does make it far easier to control. Although I know some small communities in Ontario, especially retirement communities have been badly hit. My grandmother's town (she's fine) has one of the highest mortality rates in the world and it's all from one or two senior's residences.

Airflow is an interesting one. As far as I know, ventilation fans which take old air out and put new air in would be great since the air is being changed and the currents go towards one direction.
Ceiling fans don't really do that. But, he may be right with them promoting evaporation which would kill the virus in water droplets. It could be faster at killing the virus than just stale air.

I know there was a case here where 60 people got sick in a Starbucks because one sick guy was sitting in front of a fan. So it seems a fan scatters around the virus faster than it destroys a virus.

In another case, I saw someone trying to blow out a candle while wearing a mask. Give it a go. I tried and I couldn't even move the flame with the cheapest blue masks that are like 10 cents each.

So if everyone is wearing a mask, it's likely if they are sick the virus is just going to sit in their mask and not have a chance to spread around fan or not. So be cautious if there is one person who thinks they don't need a mask because they are standing off in the corner.

Yah Bobcageon or that area north of Peterborough was hit hard early on. I think that is more a product of Doug Ford's cuts to seniors healthcare and having the military step in to help manage seniors home? Just a goat rodeo.

With those fans, he also has 4 intake ducts, 2 A/C ducts (with outside air) and there is a front and rear door he leaves open for airflow right through the building.

Again, not sure it is 100% safe but nothing really is nowadays and he is definitely following the guidelines and then some.

I realized i forgot to tag @doctorcrypto who so graciously engaged with my Weekly Zekely https://hive.blog/powerhousecreatives/@zekepickleman/the-zeke-peek-slowly-getting-back-to-normal in the BJJ section.

It is not the 'How I Got Started" story yet but will give you a bit of context as to where I am now and what it looks like today. I wouldn't even propose to tell the story if it wasn't funny and self-deprecating and leave you with the "well if THAT guy can do it..." feeling.

Friggin awesome!
This is exactly it. :)
What happened?!?


I will tell it this week. Today is #beersaturday and I have to spread my bjj content out so everyday isn’t Kickass! ;)