16 Mar COVID-19 Class Closure Announcement
To our jiu-jitsu family,
It is with a heavy heart that we announce the temporary cancellation of all group classes starting this Monday, March 16th, 2020 through March 31, 2020. Private classes will still be taking place. Depending on the information available at the end of the month, we will assess if it is safe to resume classes or if extended closure is necessary.
Even though we’ve had no confirmed cases of Novel Coronavirus in our school, the health and safety of our students has, and always will be, our top priority. Based on the latest information available from health professionals surrounding Coronavirus (or COVID-19), we are taking this proactive step to help reduce the spread of the virus.
Tuition Continuation Program
We love jiu-jitsu, we love our students, and we love the strong community we’ve created at our school. As you can imagine, our school relies entirely on the tuition payments of our members to cover the overhead expenses and employee payroll for our instructors and administrative staff. If we were to freeze or cancel all tuition payments simultaneously, we would almost certainly be forced to permanently close our school after 60 days of downtime (hopefully it won’t be that long). In order to make sure this downtime has minimal impact on the awesome staff members that make it all possible and to avoid the risk of permanent closure, we intend to keep the monthly tuition payments in place for all active students (keep in mind that 100% of these tuition payments would be credited back to your membership account once we reopen the school). As a token of our appreciation, we’ll be providing some awesome jiu-jitsu benefits during this time (outlined below). We know this is a big request and we recognize the global financial impact of the Coronavirus, so if it is totally unfeasible for you to continue your monthly tuition payments, just let us know and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.
For those of you who remain on the Tuition Continuation Program, here are some of the exclusive benefits you’ll receive.
100% TUITION CREDIT
First and foremost, students will get full credit to their membership account for all tuition payments made during the closure period. That credit will then be applied in the form of a discount over the 10 months following the reopening of the school (10% of the total credit discounted per month). Going about it this way will greatly reduce the immediate impact on the school while still giving students full credit for every tuition dollar paid during the closure period. For example, if we are forced to remain closed for 2 months, and you pay $200/month, you would accumulate $400 of credit which would be applied as a $40 discount (10% of the total credit) every month for the 10 months following the reopening of the school.
STREET CHOKE MASTERY SEMINAR
Last month we released the first-ever Street Choke Mastery Seminar online. This seminar is currently available online for $85, but as a token of our appreciation, all active students will be granted access to the seminar in their Gracie University online lesson libraries for free. This seminar will change EVERYTHING you think about chokes in a street fight!
WEEKLY WEBINARS WITH THE GRACIE BROTHERS
During this downtime, Ryron, Rener, and other head instructors at GU will be hosting regular live webinars on the different positional chapters of jiu-jitsu (mount, guard, side mount, etc). The seminars will be very comprehensive and there will be questions and answer opportunities from live viewers. Each time a webinar is scheduled, students on the Tuition Continuation Program will be notified so they can log in and grow with the family.
AT-HOME PROGRESS PROGRAM
Unlike any other jiu-jitsu school on the planet, Gracie University has a complete online curriculum that mirrors exactly what is taught in live lessons at the school every day. Utilizing Gracie University’s online system, all students who remain on the Tuition Continuation Program will have the opportunity to study their classes online, learn from home, and earn official class credit for any techniques learned during the closure period. Upon the reopening of the school, students will have the chance to demonstrate the newly learned techniques at a free in-person Verification Seminar, and for each completed lesson that they successfully demonstrate, they will get a checkmark on their official attendance card.
Another great benefit is if you have any questions during your at-home training sessions, you can schedule a free Facetime call (or Skype) with one of our instructors to answer your questions.
Much more detail on this program below!
At-Home Progress Program
At a time when large group gatherings are being advised against, it will be very important for all of us to find activities that we can engage in with family and close friends. Given that Gracie University’s online learning program is the most robust of its kind, and the fact that the online lessons mirror exactly what is taught in our live classes, we have created a special at-home progress program that will allow you to continue your jiu-jitsu journey and earn actual class credit (on your attendance card) once the school re-opens, for any and all classes completed during the closure period.
Here is how the process will work for our students:
STEP 1: LOG ON AND LEARN
Log on to GracieUniversity.com from any computer or mobile device, to access the online lessons that correspond with the program you are currently enrolled in (if you have trouble logging in let us know and we’ll get you set up). Watch the lessons, and although not mandatory, if possible, practice the techniques with a friend or family member.
STEP 2: TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
Keep a simple training log, and each time you complete a lesson (or review a lesson you’ve previously completed), write down the date and the name of the technique(s) learned.
STEP 3: ATTEND A VERIFICATION SEMINAR
Once our school officially re-opens and classes resume as normal, we will host a series of free in-person Verification Seminars at the school for active students in each of our programs: Gracie Combatives, Gracie Bullyproof, Women Empowered and Master Cycle. In these Verification Seminars, you will have a chance to demonstrate the techniques you learned during your at-home study sessions.
STEP 4: GET CREDIT ON YOUR ATTENDANCE CARD
For each technique that you demonstrate correctly (it doesn’t have to be perfect, as long as the core concepts of the techniques are understood) you will get official class credit on your attendance card.
GOT QUESTIONS? LET’S SKYPE!
Regardless of what program you’re in, if at any point during your at-home study/practice, you have a question about a technique, simply send us an email (indicating the program you’re enrolled in and the preferred time of day for the call) and we’ll set you up with an instructor who can schedule a Facetime (or Skype) video call with you. Naturally, the call schedule will be affected by the volume of inquiries but rest assured that we will get to each and every one of you!
Attendance Card Considerations
As you know, each of our programs has a unique attendance card on which we track progress for each student. Depending on which program you’re enrolled in, there are some special considerations to keep in mind when it comes to at-home tracking, progress verification, and the issuance of class credit upon the reopening of the school.
GRACIE COMBATIVES CARD CONSIDERATIONS
Since each Gracie Combatives (GC) group class features two separate techniques, GC students will need to learn both techniques in a particular class in order to get a checkmark on the card for that class. Issuance of class credit is not limited to new classes you haven’t done before; if you repeat a previously completed class, and you successfully demonstrate it upon your return, you will get a checkmark for that class as well. For your reference, we’ve inserted the Gracie Combatives official card below. We’ve highlighted the online lesson numbers for each technique in red, so you can easily locate them when you log on to study from home.
WOMEN EMPOWERED CARD CONSIDERATIONS
Since most Women Empowered (WE) group classes features two separate techniques, WE students will need to learn both techniques in a particular class in order to get a check mark on the card for that class. Issuance of class credit is not limited to new classes you haven’t done before; if you repeat a previously completed class, and you successfully demonstrate it upon your return, you will get a check mark for that class as well. For your reference, we’ve inserted the Women Empowered official card below. We’ve highlighted the online lesson numbers for each technique in red so you can easily locate them when you log on to study from home.
GRACIE BULLYPROOF CARD CONSIDERATIONS
If you are the parent of a child that trains with us, there is a good chance that many of their regular activities (not just jiu-jitsu) are, or will soon be, temporarily cancelled. Using the Gracie Bullyproof online program to continue their progress from home is a great way to keep them active around the house while also building the bond between you and your kids. Start by watching the “Parent Preparation Course.” Once completed, move on to the Gracie Games and Jr. Combatives courses. The lessons are short, very fun to watch, and specifically designed to be practiced between parent and child. Keep the at-home sessions short (15-30 minutes) and keep track of each lesson in a log. Upon the school’s reopening, your child will have the opportunity to demonstrate all the techniques they learned from home (with you or with an instructor), and for each technique demonstrated they will receive a check mark on their official attendance card.
MASTER CYCLE CARD CONSIDERATIONS
If you’re an active Master Cycle student, you have been granted access to the Master Cycle online Blue Belt Stripe (BBS) courses that correspond with your rank. If you are a purple belt or higher, you should have access to all four BBS courses. Keep a log of each BBS lesson you complete and upon your return to class you’ll have a chance to demonstrate what you learned. For each lesson that you can demonstrate all the slices/variations, you will get a check mark on your card.
One of the main benefits of training at a school is the plethora of awesome training partners to choose from every day you come to class. Given the circumstances, there’s no doubt that you’ll have fewer partners to choose from, but here are some recommendations that might help.
FRIENDS & FAMILY
If you have friends or family members that you’ve always wanted to introduce to jiu-jitsu, now is the time! Chances are they are also experiencing the cancellation of many of their favorite activities so they’ll be much more open to trying something new, especially if it means they can spend more time with you. Just be sure to start them gradually from lesson 1, don’t be overly critical, and praise every bit of progress.
Although all group classes are on hold, as of now we will continue offering private classes to our students. Whether or not you currently participate in private classes, if this is something you’d like to explore, simply reply to this email and let us know which instructor (if any) you had in mind and we will put you in direct contact with him/her.
Even though large group gatherings are advised against, there is no reason why a small group of healthy people can’t get together to practice jiu-jitsu. Use social media to contact your friends from the school and set up small training sessions using the online curriculum as a guide.
GRACIE UNIVERSITY ONLINE STUDENT DATABASE
GracieUniversity.com has over 240,000 online students and we’ve created a very sophisticated member search tool that helps you find people in your community that are also looking for training partners. Give it a try, click here!
Gracie Garages are unofficial at-home training centers led by one or more dedicated students who have access to the online curriculum and at least 100 square feet of grappling mats. To search for Gracie Garages near you, or to learn more about starting your own Gracie Garage, click here.
We’re in This Together
One of the greatest benefits of jiu-jitsu is that we learn to find comfort in worst-case scenarios. This will be a very tough time for our business, and a very tough time for all our dedicated students who love coming to class as much as we love teaching them. We are in this together and we are determined to make the most of these challenging circumstances.
We can’t thank you enough for your support. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to ask. We will be sending out weekly updates to keep you informed of everything on our end.
Tom Chuckerel & Steve Walker