Martial arts colleges all through Ventura County are getting battered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to restrictive stay-at-home orders which have led to the lack of a lot of their paying college students, among the dozens of native colleges have been pressured out of enterprise. They’re amongst many different companies laborious hit by the pandemic like eating places, lodges and gymnasiums whose house owners are dealing with powerful selections about their futures.
One in all them is Ojai Valley Blended Martial Arts and Health in unincorporated Oak View.
The varsity primarily taught Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which includes nearly fixed body-to-body contact and thus cannot be taught whereas sustaining social distancing.
“So, as quickly because the preliminary (COVID-19) tips got here out, I used to be mainly out of my major enterprise,” mentioned the college’s proprietor, John Jensen, a former skilled MMA fighter with a second-degree black belt in BJJ. “So, I needed to shut down.”
Subsequent tips allowed him to show non-public classes of as much as 5 college students if social distancing was practiced, he mentioned. So, he started educating kick boxing which does not contain fixed body-to-body contact, he mentioned.
“And I used to be in a position to get by with the assistance of my landlord,” Jensen mentioned.
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However with the most recent COVID-19 spike, he is now not allowed to show indoors.
“So, I needed to name it quits” in November, he mentioned. “Clearly, I used to be shedding cash each month” by having to pay lease. The varsity had opened in 2015.
Jensen mentioned what frustrates him probably the most is that whereas he respects and adheres to the COVID-19 tips, different BJJ colleges within the county apparently do not – and are nonetheless open.
“I am doing the proper factor, and I am not in enterprise due to it,” he mentioned. “And all the people who find themselves not following the rules, they’re nonetheless in enterprise.
“It pisses me off.”
Could not survive financially
One other college that has gone underneath is Martial Movement Academy in Simi Valley, which taught a wide range of martial arts, together with Kali, which is Filipino stick preventing, and the Southeast Asian martial artwork Silat.
A giant a part of the academy, which opened in 2014, was an after-school program for teenagers, mentioned proprietor Rene Susim .
Susim would choose college students up following college and convey them to the academy to do homework and take martial arts lessons. Afterwards, the children’ dad and mom would take them residence.
However when Simi Valley colleges stopped holding in-person lessons in March due to the pandemic, that a part of Susim’s enterprise ceased, he mentioned.
“With the colleges closing down, it was actually tough, and I made a decision to go forward and shelve the enterprise in late April and put all my tools in storage,” he mentioned.
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