New “Safer at Home” guidelines and member options
If you haven’t heard, the city of Philadelphia is instituting new “Safer at Home” restrictions on businesses until January 1st (with an option to extend). This includes a total shutdown of all indoor gym services, which we will partially observe. This e-mail will lay out the various options our students will have during this period.
Before we get into the roadmap for the next six weeks, I want to “break the 4th wall” a bit with you all.
It’s considered a major faux pas in business to discuss what happens behind the scenes, but given the circumstances I believe it’s important that everyone here knows what we’re up against, and what we need to accomplish in order to make it through to the other side.
The academy, like most small businesses in Philadelphia, cannot survive a second sustained shutdown. Earlier this year we lost over 75% of our member base and wiped out a substantial safety net that we managed to build in the three years we’ve been in business. Due to the amazing staff, a wonderful landlord, and an incredible core group of students here, we were able to rebuild, reinvest, and reinvent much of our programming to accommodate the constraints placed upon our industry (while also acting in good faith, and doing our best to abide by the health and safety standards necessary to keep everyone safe).
To date, no student or staff member has contracted COVID from our facility. Our COVID stats are as follows:
- No student or staff member has attempted to enter the facility with a temperature of over 100 degrees.
- No students exhibiting flu or cold-like symptoms have attempted to enter the facility.
- Two students have tested positive for COVID (contracted elsewhere, and these students did not attend any classes after exposure to the person from which they were infected) and have quarantined for over a month before returning. Both students suffered mild symptoms and are otherwise fully recovered.
- Five students have placed their memberships on hold due to suspected exposure to symptomatic friends or familiy members, but in these cases neither the student nor their symptomatic friends tested positive for COVID.
- In short, we have had zero issues.
In our initial lockdown, we paid our instructor staff for six weeks, and our administrative staff for the entire period, at 100% of their normal rate while also paying rent, utilities, insurance, taxes, and everything else.
I write this because, despite all of this, we have invested a ton into new equipment and facility upgrades since July, including:
- 12 freestanding heavy bags
- 5 new bag racks and 100% leather heavy bags
- 1 reflex bag
- 3 ozone air purifiers
- Weekly professional deep cleaning and disinfecting of all bathrooms
- 1 professional HOCL generator and atomizing fogger
- And much, much more..!
The academy always comes first, and you can have confidence in our campaign to constantly reinvest, adjust, and improve what we’re doing month over month, year over year, and maybe even decade over decade if we are lucky 🙂 We will continue to invest and improve the training experience here whenever possible, with or without a pandemic, in both good times and bad.
Any student who wishes to suspend their membership, or reduce their tuition during this time, will absolutely be accommodated graciously and without issue or judgment. Furthermore, we do not want any student who finds themselves financially compromised due to the current state of affairs to support the gym at the expense of their own security and welfare. Again, please note that our default action will be to keep all memberships active unless otherwise requested.
MEMBER OPTIONS DURING THE SHUTDOWN PERIOD
Here is how we will be accommodating students moving forward:
- We will do our best to offer a minimum of two periods per week of 45 minutes each, for you and up to five additional people, to train in either room of the facility privately. You will have access to the heavy bags, kettlebells, ring, jump ropes, thai pads, and any other equipment in the facility. The equipment and mats will be cleaned between uses. These sessions will occur at the same time, on the same day, each week, with the same people. Students who opt for non-prime time spots are greatly appreciated! Students are encouraged to select their own training group, but we will also create groups based on schedule and interest whenever appropriate. Jiu-jitsu students will also have access to the TV and online library in the Garden room, including a number of premium BJJ instructional videos. Stay posted for additional information on scheduling your time and group.
- Youth classes will be offered online twice per week, at 4pm Monday and Wednesday, via our Zoom platform. Students will receive attendance and stripe credit for all classes attended. Outdoor classes will be held on a pop-up basis when possible, weather permitting. We will reschedule the days and times of the virtual classes if there is a consensus to do so.
- Adult virtual classes will be offered live 1x/week for both striking and grappling, and we will establish our skills of the week in these classes (which students will then practice during their private training time at the academy if they choose). Classes will be uploaded to our student section for review at any time. Adult students following our Intro to BJJ curriculum will have access to all 17 modules (we will have these available in their entirety by Saturday). If additional adult virtual classes are requested, we will add them as necessary! Just ask!
- Outdoor classes will be offered on a pop-up basis when possible (likely on weekends, weather permitting).
- Individual study goals will be provided for any student who asks, based on your personal goals and skillset.
- Students may request a reduction in tuition during this time.
- Additional privileges, accommodations, or amenities will be provided upon request if they are reasonable and possible. Never hurts to ask, so fire away!
For students who would like to purchase, or rent, one of the freestanding heavy bags ($599 retail):
- The used freestanding heavy bags will be leased out at a rate of $120/mo, and after three months will be yours to own. You can also purchase a used bag up front for $300. We provide no warranty, no refunds, and no guarantees on any of the used bags.
- A brand new freestanding heavy bag can be ordered at a cost of $450 ($150 off retail, to be picked up at the academy).
- A smaller version of the freestanding heavy bag we use, suitable for youth students, will be available at $350 ($100 off retail), to be picked up at the academy
- Payment is due in full upon preorder unless other arrangements are requested.
- Delivery of bags can be arranged for an additional fee or $25
- If you are interested in purchasing a new heavy bag, or leasing one from the gym, please reply via e-mail ASAP.
- You can review the specs of the heavy bag here.
For students who would like to temporarily pause, or permanently cancel, their training (and please note, no adjustments to any students membership or payment schedule will be made unless requested):
- Students may request a freeze on their account, which will last for the duration of the shutdown period and will resume as soon as indoor training is available unless alternative dates are requested. Please note that, per the enrollment agreement, we request a 7 day notice on holds. We will do our best to accommodate hold requests as soon as they come in but cannot guarantee the hold will take effect on the same day the request is received. Please refer to your membership agreement for additional hold information.
- Students may request a cancellation on their account and will be subject to whatever cancellation policies are associated with their membership option. This information is provided in the membership agreement that was e-mailed to you upon enrollment, and can be resent to you upon request.
- All requests must be made in writing and sent to [email protected] or [email protected]
- Text or phone requests will be redirected to e-mail. We strictly process hold and cancellation requests in writing so that you have a written copy of all correspondence, and there are no miscommunication.
- If you have any questions about any of the above information, please reach out! Thank you!