Legal Jiu-Jitsu Across the Pond?

There’s no social distance in a fight” – Joe Rogan

In the UK Jiu-Jitsu is very much at a stand still with people only training with their housemates on limited mat spaces at home. With it not looking likely for our beloved Jiu-Jitsu academies to open their doors again at least until the end of the year. However, it is a different story across in America, specifically in Las Vegas. I asked Vince, a Purple Belt from Cobra Kai to tell us what has been happening over there in regard to COVID-19 and training. Keep reading to find out what he has to say.

Training in America During COVID-19

Guest Blog by Vince Cacciabaudo.

So Lisa asked me what it’s like to have trained in America and specifically Las Vegas during COVID-19 and to be honest I dont know if I have the words to explain because it’s been crazy. As I’m writing this now things are even crazier due to the George Floyd murder. Like many states in the US and countries around the world jiu jitsu and everything involving close contact was locked down for an initial 30 days.

Many in the Jiu-Jitsu community here of course agreed to shut down as this virus is real and we needed to know more about its behaviour and mortality. During the first two weeks of quarantine I only trained with my roomate who is a fellow BJJ practitioner. This was fine, until while riding his motorcycle he was involved in a hit and run (the car driver ran a red light and crushed the left side of his motorcycle and his ankle in several places). My roomate has since healed however, for myself the lack of training was tough. Jiu-Jitsu is the only thing that balances myself and many others physically, mentally and spiritually.

Illegal Jiu-Jitsu Training

After around 30 – 45 days of quarantine a shift occurred where more and more of us became comfortable with training together. As the evidence around the virus grew, including the average age of mortality, preventative health measures and a decrease in the rate of infection. We decided to train together at my friend Anthony’s place. He lives with another BJJ practitioner and constructed a large mat space, where I’d say groups of usually 3-15 met to train. It was still difficult to find time and places where we could all meet but it was all we could do while many people in our country literally never wanted us to have close contact again.

The last week of illegal Jiu-Jitsu in May was especially difficult. We trained in 100 degree heat in the garage! I myself understood we had to wait to go back to our academy as our instructor could not afford to permanently lose his business license. In a small way I believed we trained on and did what we could to do so that our coach could stay safe legally. This past weekend I entered into one of the only BJJ competitions that occurred behind close doors, at the Ventura Hells Angels motorcycle club. They were the only ones that would let Jeff Glover host our tournament and I am forever grateful.

Garage training.

Legal Jiu-Jitsu has returned!

However legal Bjj training has returned this week! (1st June). We are definitely cleaning more but we are back at Cobra Kai training hard gi, nogi, wrestling, and everything else. “There’s no social distance in a fight” as Joe Rogan said and there is just no way we can train, but to drill hard with one partner. Then have multiple live rounds with different partners. I don’t think many of us know what else to do. To quote Chris Haueter, one of the dirty dozen, “You know I don’t know what exactly it is I love the most about jiu jitsu. It’s something that I can’t not do. I don’t have a reason. I just can’t not do it”. I hope that Jiu-Jitsu continues to be the solution for many of us. I hope we are seen as part of the herd and not part of the asymptomatic. I hope we are loved and not hated for what we wish to do.

Thank you for reading.

Are you still training during COVID-19? If so, how? Let us know in the comments below!