The question has come to me a couple of times now. “Given the news about virus concerns, what are you doing differently at the dojo?” I’m going to give a long answer, and then a short answer to this question.
The long answer… as our standard procedure- we have cleaning personnel on staff. These are specific staff members whose only job is to disinfect and clean the academy from top-to-bottom, and the cleaning takes about four hours every day. These are not instructors who are also tasked with cleaning. Instead, these are specific cleaning personnel. We use a hospital grade antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial solution that is sprayed down, scrubbed into, and then vacuumed from the mats by a multi-thousand dollar machine. I’m a nut about hygiene, and I’m also somebody who believes in being overly prepared. So, just in case this machine breaks, we have one on back-up. That’s right- another machine that literally does nothing, just in case the one we have needs to be sent out for a repair. This way, there’s absolutely no down time.) The bathrooms and showers are all scrubbed appropriately, as are the other items.
Also of great importance, maybe even more important, we remind all the students to take proper hygienic care. We clean like crazy. With that said, it’s up to our students to continue to help us keep the environment clean and healthy. Being clean and healthy- across the board, not just with the actual building, but in our whole approach to martial arts training… that’s somewhat of a niche that we have. We don’t allow profanity on the radio, nor do we allow profanity in the dojo. We ask that students do everything they can to keep the dojo clean in all respects.
Different arts require more contact than others, and we ask that those that require the most contact (i.e. no-gi grappling) gain extra consideration. For example, we ask that people involved in no-gi classes wear either gi pants and a long sleeve rashguard, or shorts with spats underneath and a long sleeve rashguard.
With viral concerns more in the news now than before, people are listening to us more in regards to attire. They also seem to be staying at home more if they have a cold.
I’ll also take this opportunity to say that people seem to be taking preparedness and health more seriously. I’m happy to see that. We teach self-defense. Part of that is helping people understand that they are more likely to die from eating too many hamburgers than from a viral disease or even a violent crime. I don’t play on fear. I do teach people how to be prepared and how to live their lives the best and healthiest way that they possibly can. That means going about your daily life in an intelligent fashion.
So, now for the short answer. “What are we doing differently?” What we’re doing is pointing out that what we’ve been doing is exactly what we need to keep doing in order to help keep the dojo safe and healthy. We’re just glad that more of our students are now taking proper hygiene more seriously.
Now, come train! (Unless you’re sick… then come train in a week or two.)