So 2020 started off like any other year. Transitioning into another year of BJJ just like any other. I found a group of BJJ academies owners on FB that were wanting to help and contribute to the betterment of all BJJ school owners. I personally got a new look on the school as a business and an owner. I started feeling much better about how the school was going but at the same time got some great ideas and motivation about the future. I had composed a plan to kick start a few new Jiujitsu classes and even a new beginners program. I spent a bit of money on new gear as well started new ad campaigns. I was gearing up to make a big push to grow the school. Then BAM... Covid-19. A straight kick to junk. In March it really started to sink in in our area how this was effecting our community. Jiujitsu class attendance in March began to decline. The fear of the virus spread much faster than the virus itself. I tried to remain open as long as possible. Mid March Governor Abbott announced the closing of all Martial Arts schools. Reluctantly I closed my doors unsure of the future of my little business. 1week. 2weeks. 4weeks go by so yeah, now I'm freakin out. To try and mitigate a mass cancellation of contracts, I shut down my billing of all our students. A few dedicated students as to keep paying and believe me I will be eternally grateful for that. So bills start piling up, landlord wants their money and now its been a month and half since any money has come in. Goernment says help is on the way. PPP/SBA loans for small businesses. HA... what a joke. Millions get sent out to large businesses while I see people I know shutting their lifes work down. A scary thought but doom and gloom is all we could see. My application for a loan comes back OUT OF FUNDS... Wow, within less than a week they were out of funds, we slowly find that some larger corporations ravaged the funds screwing all the little guys waiting on the help. New phrases hitting the scene, stay at home, essential jobs, essential workers, wear a mask. WTF. Life as we know it was changing right before our eyes. Not just for myself but for everyone. Stay 6 feet away. Social distancing. Wear a mask. For how long? We dont even know. For Jiujitsu, social distancing is impossible. May 1st is around the corner and the stay home order is to be lifted. Will my little piece of the American dream survive? Time will tell. We are optimistic and hopeful, but also pragmatic. The future is definitely uncertain. 27 million people out of work. A virus that kills the weakest of us. Misinformation and mass hype and hysteria. Fear generated out of fact or fiction? Whats the end game? The economy is in the tank. Jiujitsu has been the the better part of life. WILL MY BUSINESS SURVIVE THIS?
Owner and head instructor of Davis Martial Arts Academy in Humble Texas