To our Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Phoenix family,
As we have been very aware of the ongoing global impact of the Coronavirus, we have maintained a ‘business as usual’ approach while maintaining the safe, healthy, and clean training environment we always strive to provide. Outside of the international and national strategies, tactics and measures being taken, we have been monitoring closely how schools throughout the valley are running and responding. Earlier this week ASU cancelled all campus classes and went to an ‘online-only’ format. As of today, multiple public and charter schools and districts have announced closures and the word is that more will be following this preventative measure.
It is with a heavy heart that we announce the temporary cancellation of all GJJPHX group classes starting this Monday, March 16 through March 31. Private classes may still be taking place. Please connect with the individual instructors that you take private lessons with to determine if your lessons will continue and in what capacity. Depending on 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 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 take this proactive step to help reduce the spread of the virus.
This is not a panic, but a precaution. We believe this is truly the right thing to do. We take pride in the clean facility that we operate. Jiu-Jitsu practitioners tend to be healthy individuals, but that does not mean that every one of us, or everyone within our families, social circles, and our communities are in the best of health. We must do our very best for our community as a whole.
If the situation does not improve quickly and we feel that it is irresponsible to open, or we are mandated by local or federal government to remain closed, below is a comprehensive explanation of what we plan to do at this time to assist in our students training, and in direct partnership with Gracie University. There is also a link to a video of Rener explaining this program as well.
Tuition Continuation Program
We love jiu-jitsu, we love our students, parents, and friends. We love the strong community we’ve all 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 keep the doors open. 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 (hopefully it won’t be that long). In order to avoid the possibility of permanent closure, and with your permission, we intend to keep the monthly tuition payments in place for all active students. Conversely, we recognize the global financial impact of the Coronavirus, and fully understand if you are unable to continue your tuition payments. If this is your case, please let us know.
For those of you who remain on the Tuition Continuation Program, here are some of the benefits:
100% TUITION CREDIT
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 impact on the school while still giving all students full credit for every tuition dollar paid during the closure period.
AT-HOME PROGRESS PROGRAM
Unlike any other jiu-jitsu schools on the planet, Gracie University has a complete online curriculum that mirrors 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 check mark 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 and additional benefits below!
STREET CHOKE MASTERY SEMINAR
Last month we released the first-ever Street Choke Mastery Seminar online. As a token of our appreciation, all active students will be granted access to the seminar in their Gracie University online lesson libraries. This seminar will change EVERYTHING you think about chokes in a street fight!
WEEKLY WEBINARS WITH THE GRACIE BROTHERS
During the 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, we’ll be notifying you via email so you can tune in and keep your jiu-jitsu fire burning.
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 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 from home and earn actual class credit (on your attendance card) once the school re-opens, for any and all classes completed from home 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 CONNECT!
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 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 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 corresponds 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.
OUR SCHOOL IS ABLE TO STAY AFLOAT & REOPEN
With our community’s continued support, we will be able to reopen and get back to teaching, training, and running the amazing programs that we all love as soon as possible!
One of the main benefits of training at a school is the amount of unique and 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 jiu-jitsu to, now is the time! Chances are they too are 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 some instructors may 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.
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 updates to keep you informed of everything on our end.
Adam and the entire GJJPHX Instructor Team