Coronavirus / COVID-19 Update #9

Well we can’t say this wasn’t unexpected.

As we said in the previous update:

We are currently getting ready behind the scenes so that we can open from Friday 25th June, or in case Phase 3 of the lockdown is extended, then as soon as possible after that.

As you may know, yesterday the Government announced the lockdown would indeed be extended, with the lockdown now extended until Monday 19th July. As such, we are now planning on reopening on Friday 23rd July.

We’re also moving the date we were planning on cleaning the mats and opening up for students to re-register, to Friday 16th July.

Coronavirus / COVID-19 Update #8 – Reopening Plans!!!

At long last, we are able to reopen!

We are currently getting ready behind the scenes so that we can open from Friday 25th June, or in case Phase 3 of the lockdown is extended, then as soon as possible after that. For now though, we are going ahead assuming that Phase 4 will be happen on Monday 21st June.

When we return it won’t be completely back to normal. In order to ensure that we maintain a safe environment for everyone involved, we are implementing the below conditions.

Some of these come from the UK Government guidelines, some from the World Ju-Jitsu Federation, and a couple from the Scouts. Please make sure you read all of these completely. If you have any questions, there is a contact form at the bottom of this page.

Covid-19 Reporting

  • Each WJJF club is required to have at least one nominated ‘Covid Officer’. The Covid Officer is to keep a secure record of any cases of Covid-19 within their class along with continuing to monitor those who have been asked to stay away from the club due to illness.
    They are also to contact all other students who have attended the same class to anonymously advise them that a fellow student has Covid-19. We will not disclose the name of the student(s) who have Covid-19.
  • For our classes, Julia and Adam will be sharing this responsibility. In the event that you / your child tests positive for Covid-19, you must report it to either Julia or Adam as soon as possible.
  • Notifications will be sent via your declared contact method. Any emails relating to this will come via the dragonspiritaylesbury@gmail.com email address.
  • Any student who displays signs of illness known as, or related to Covid-19, will be asked to stay away from the club for at least 10 days. Those displaying cold or flu like symptoms may also be asked to stay away for the same time period.
  • To help facilitate reporting, we have a dedicated reporting page on the website – Not yet enabled. We will enable the page once our classes resume.
  • Alongside this, our class is a registered location on the “NHS Covid-19” app. Students will be able to scan a QR code using the app to document their arrival at the club. Should any student subsequently test positive, the app should notify everyone else who scanned in.
  • Download links for the app can be found here:

Clothing

  • Face masks are not compulsory and will be optional. If you choose to wear a mask, please remember it should cover both the nose and mouth.
  • All students need to arrive ready to train, either in their ‘Keikogi‘ uniform or other suitable workout clothing. Students will not be permitted to change clothes on site.
  • Socks must be worn on the mats in order to minimise the amount of sweat being absorbed by the mats. Students will not be allowed onto the mats barefoot.

Training

  • The large hall can have a maximum of 18 people in it at any one time. with the second smaller hall able to have 12. As we use the large hall, this should not effect our class sizes as we base our numbers on the size of the mats not the hall itself. However we may split the class, taking a small number of students into the smaller hall to practice off mat.
  • It is important for us that we minimise the number of interactions between students. Allowing students to constantly swap partners is ill advised and could increase transmission.
  • Students of the same household should train together if possible.
  • Students who are in the same class at school/college can be allowed to train together.
  • Students who work together in their place of employment can also be allowed to train together.
  • If any of the above are not possible, students will be given the choice of who they wish to train with. However, once that decision is made and mutually agreed the person they have chosen will remain their training partner for the foreseeable future until social distancing is lifted altogether.
  • While we will try to avoid this, if we find a pair of students who struggle to work together, they may be re-assigned to train with other students.
  • Everyone who does not need to be in the training area will have to watch from outside. For us this will mean parents and visitors will be unable to sit in the hall for the duration of the class, and will have to observe from the hallway or wait outside.
  • To maintain proper ventilation, doors to the hall will be kept open at all times.

Sanitation

  • All students must upon arrival wash their hands (in the bathrooms or kitchenette) OR apply alcohol based hand gel to their hands.
  • All students should bring a drink or water bottle clearly labelled with their name. Bottles can be refilled from the kitchen sink, but we will not be able to use the cups in the cupboards.
  • Students are encouraged to bring their own hand gel if they have any. The Scouts have installed hand-gel stations and both Julia and Adam have brought hand gels as well.
  • When using hand held equipment (Fomites) such as kick-bags or punching mits, students must wear rubber gloves. Latex and powder free gloves will be provided for this and must be disposed of after use. This is to avoid direct contact with the equipment itself.
  • Such equipment must also be wiped down with anti-bacterial wipes, which will also be provided.

Memberships
As we have been closed for well over a year, all of our members licences will have now expired, including our own! These will need to be renewed before members can re-join us on the mats. To aide this, you can download a copy of the membership form here – WJJF-Membership-Form.pdf (840kb)

When you bring in your signed and completed form you will also need the correct membership fee with you. As a reminder:

  • The registration fee for the children’s class (7 – 15yr olds) is £28.
  • The registration fee for adults class (16+ year olds) is £32.
  • We can accept cash or cheques (made payable to ‘J Davies’) but not any credit or debit cards.

Cleaning
Even though no one has been on the mats for over a year, it also means that the mats haven’t been cleaned in over a year either, presumably having collected quite a lot of dust. As such the coaching team plan on giving all of our mats and equipment a thorough cleaning and disinfecting, so that they will be ready to use from the first week back.

At the moment we are planning on doing this on Friday 18th June when we would usually be running a class. As we will be at the hall, if any expired members wish to hand in their membership forms and fee’s to Julia or Adam that would be welcome and appreciated. We will also have some blank membership forms and pens should anyone not have their forms ready.

Questions
We are aware that this is a lot of information to take in, and that you may need to re-read this a few times to find the information you need. If there is a topic you think we have missed or would like to ask us about, then please contact us though the usual methods or using the form below.
We will edit this page as required to add in any missing information based on your questions.

Coronavirus / COVID-19 Update #7

You will have no doubt seen in the news that from today, gyms and swimming pools are able to reopen. You may have also seen that some martial arts classes are reopening in limited fashions.

However this is not the case for all martial arts as contact sports are still banned up until 21st June 2021 when the full lockdown should end. Group exercise classes (such as Yoga for example) can resume from the 17th May as these don’t involve person-to-person contact.

To quote the Gov.uk Government roadmap:

Step 2, no earlier than 12 April:
“Indoor leisure facilities, such as gyms and swimming pools, will also reopen – but only for use by people on their own or with their household.”

Step 3, no earlier than 17 May:
“Indoor hospitality, entertainment venues such as cinemas and soft play areas, the rest of the accommodation sector, and indoor adult group sports and exercise classes will also reopen.”
Link – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/prime-minister-sets-out-roadmap-to-cautiously-ease-lockdown-restrictions

Our position is still unchanged. We will not be able to re-open until:

  • The lockdown has ended,
  • The WJJF have confirmed member clubs can resume training, and;
  • The 9th Aylesbury Scout Group have given us permission to resume using the hall.

Until all 3 factors have been met, we will not be able to resume our classes.

WJJF Headquarters closed due to damage

This morning the WJJF shared with us an announcement regarding the ‘Clark Centre’, the building named after Sōke Robert Clark and which was the headquarters for the WJJF.

The WJJF HQ as seen from the outside.

To partially quote their statement:

When we re-entered the building, after twelve months off, we were faced with a horror story! The roof was leaking into the Dojo and onto the Tatami and also into the changing rooms. The resulting damp throughout the building had turned to mould on all the furniture and equipment. The paint was peeling from the walls due to the gutters falling off and water ingress soaking the walls. The smell of damp and mould was not only repulsive, but it would also have had a detrimental effect on the health of anyone entering.

As Directors of our Organisation, we have always taken our responsibilities seriously and worked hard for the benefit of the members. We were left with no choice other than to consider the future viable use of the building with regard to the Federation. Taking into account all the aforesaid implications we had to make some extremely hard decisions as we felt that we could not allow our members to return to this unsafe environment. The cost to put everything right, into a building we were purely renting, without any financial help from the landlord, would have been an unfair and unrealistic epic financial burden to place on our members.

Therefore, it is with much sadness and deepest regret that the Board of Directors can confirm that we have closed the Clark Centre.

The full statement can be found herehttps://www.wjjf.co.uk/official-statement-from-the-board-of-directors/

The main training area inside, showing off the newly laid Tatami floor mats.

Coronavirus / COVID-19 Update #6

A belated ‘Happy New Year’ to you all.

This update is somewhat of a formality, as our previous update was from November 2020 and covered our plans up to the end of December. As we are now into January 2021, we felt we should update you all with our current plans.

Last Monday 4th January, the WJJF once again closed all of its clubs nationwide regardless of what tier group that club was in. Later the same day, the UK Government announced the 3rd national lockdown, rescinding the previous system of tiers.

At the time of writing we are not sure when the lockdown will end, with some sources indicating mid-February while others giving the end of March.

Our position has remined unchanged. We will not be able to re-open until:

  • The lockdown has ended,
  • The WJJF have confirmed member clubs can resume training, and;
  • The 9th Aylesbury Scout Group have given us permission to resume using the hall.

Until all 3 factors have been met, we will not be able to resume classes.

We are anticipating that once this lockdown ends we will go back to the tier system, and that we will not be allowed to operate while Buckinghamshire is at Tier 3 or above. At Tier 2 we should be able to operate with provisions in place, based on the previously issued Government guidelines.

However this is all very speculative as we do not know when the lockdown will end or what the rules will be after then. Of course this means our plans may change as regulations change.

All we can do is encourage you to stay safe. Follow the Government guidelines. We miss you all and really do want to see you all again safely on the mat.

Coronavirus / COVID-19 Update #5

As you will have no doubt heard, we have another national lockdown coming into effect this Thursday 5th November, which we are all being told should end on Wednesday 2nd December. As we are yet to re-open anyway, this just means we will be closed for a while longer.

That potential date of 2nd December does raise a point for us. Assuming we are able to, it would mean that we could reopen on Friday 4th December. However that would only be for three weeks before the Christmas holidays – Fridays 4th, 11th, and 18th of December.

With that in mind it would not make sense for us to reopen for just three weeks only to take another two week break. So it is most likely that we won’t open for the rest of this year, and we will now wait until after the New Year to decide when we will reopen. As we have stated in the past, this is just a provisional date because we don’t know what’s going to happen between now and then!

If you have any questions then feel free to contact us through the usual methods.

Coronavirus / COVID-19 Update #4

A short update this time around. In our last update we said that we were waiting for the 9th Aylesbury Scout group to give us the OK to return, because as our landlords they wanted to make sure the hall was ready.

Unfortunately we can’t say much has changed. The Government guidelines have changed more than once since then and we can only presume the Scouts have had to make changes to their plans. But as it has been a couple months since the last update we felt that we should at least check in to let you know what’s going on. Or in this case, the lack of anything going on.

Just to be clear, we’re not blaming these delays on the scouts. We’ve been keeping tabs on the guidelines and trying to keep track of what we will need to do so that we are ready to return, so we know full well that it’s not the easiest thing to do. We all want to return to normal as soon as possible, and we all want it to be as safe as possible too.

22/09/2020 EDIT: Less than 24 hours are publishing, and the Government has today published new guidelines implying that indoor team sport for more than 6 people will not be allowed, which will no doubt apply to us and the Scouts.

If you have any questions then feel free to contact us through the usual methods.

A message from the WJJF

The World Ju-Jitsu Federation has shared this message via their Facebook page, which we are re-sharing here as we know not all of our members use Facebook.

Dear members,

We want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your valued support during these difficult times as some of our clubs begin to re-open others are still unable to as much as they may want to.

Trust in us, we have your best interests and students health and welfare at heart.

As you all know the WJJF is run by its members for its members, we are a non profit organisation run by volunteers, but like most other businesses we have still had overheads to cover, with no income , we understand your concerns in not training and your memberships running down, however if you want your club and your federation to survive this pandemic we must continue to rely on your full membership support, some groups have asked students to continue paying fees whilst closed, this was not for the WJJF, all we now request is your FULL support in returning to your club dojo’s when you feel comfortable to do so.

Please do not be concerned about returning to training, only clubs that have proved to us that they are Covid safe and have all the documentation in place, vetted and signed off will be allowed to reopen, we will advertise the clubs individually when they have been approved as SAFE on the WJJF website starting tomorrow.

Stay safe with the WJJF

Kancho Robert Hart

(Source – WJJF UK Facebook page, 30/07/2020)

Coronavirus / COVID-19 Update #3

You may have seen in the recent news about the Governments decision to allow gyms, indoor pools and leisure centres to reopen from 25th July, so you may also be wondering what our plans are in this regard.

Up until this news was announced we were still following instructions from our governing body the WJJF and remaining closed. Last week we received an email from the WJJF HQ regarding the reopening of clubs and the potential return to training, and as such Senseis’ Julia, Adam and Andy had begun looking into what requirements we will have to follow and working out how we will meet them.

However a couple days later we received an email from the 9th Aylesbury Scout group who’s hall we operate out of. As the landlords they want to make sure everything is ready first before they let us and the other ‘tenants’ use the hall.
As such they have asked us not to use the hall just yet.

When the Scouts let us know we will be able to use the hall again and when that happens we will have to follow any instructions set by them. With that in mind, it’s very likely that any changes they implement would be the same as or similar too any changes we anticipated implementing, such as using a one-way system, mandatory face masks and hand washing. We will in due course let everyone know what those changes will be once we know we can re-open again.

On the plus side you will like to know that we have plans in place for how we will likely operate, and that we have being doing some online training on COVID safety. We can announce that all 3 of our coaches have passed and are ready for when we return.

Finally, we do now have a provisional return time-frame of ‘after the summer holidays‘, though we aren’t setting any specific date just yet because as we’ve mentioned above we’re waiting on the Scouts to OK our return, and of course the government advice may change again. Thankfully we have a few more Kata videos left to post before we run out of them.

If you have any questions then feel free to contact us through the usual methods. Otherwise enjoy the summer and hopefully we will see you in the Autumn!

Coronavirus / COVID-19 update #2

At our last update we set a provisional re-opening date of Friday 15th May which is of course today. However we are again extending our decision to remain closed for the time being. Previously we set a new provisional re-opening date but this time we are not going to, opting instead to simply remain indefinitely closed until the lockdown is fully lifted.

We stress the emphasis on ‘fully’ lifted for a simple reason. While the Government has this week set out plans for schools to begin re-opening in June and issued guidance for personal trainers and coaches to begin a phased return, as Ju-Jitsu is martial art based on throwing, grappling and striking opponents, it is near impossible for us to do so while maintaining a 2-meter safe distance between people!

We would love to be able to say when we can re-open but at the moment we can not. When we are able to reopen we will let you know here on the website, through our Facebook page and group, on our Twitter account, and everywhere else we exist online!

In the mean time, we have been posting a new Kata video as revision aides for students to practice at home on our YouTube channel, and we have a few more still to post. We’ve also found some educational resources to share so even if we’re not practising Ju-Jitsu, we can all still learn something!