On Monday, March 1 the Commonwealth increased the allowed attendance in fitness facilities to 50% of their capacity. For ZenQuest this means we can have as many as twelve students in each class. This required us to reconfigure the training rooms a bit. In the ‘Black Room’ where most of our Jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai classes happen, we repositioned our Wavemaster punching-bags so that we can use the spaces closest to the entry and exit doorways. In the ‘Blue Room’ we redrew the lines for the training spaces to accommodate two more students in each class. Based on the 50% rule, we could actually have a maximum of 14 students per class, but we feel that its important to keep students more spaced out and make sure that everyone feels safe.
On March 8 the Centers for Disease Control issued new guidelines for individuals who’ve been fully vaccinate against COVID19. This includes new privileges for those vaccinated which can be applied to fitness facilities. Based on this, ZenQuest will soon implement new rules for students falling into that category. Part of this will be holding open mat sessions on Saturday afternoons at 1:00 PM. This will likely take affect by May 1st, provided the metrics continue in the current direction. As a significant number of students become fully vaccinated, we will also begin to add other privileges for those individuals. In order to qualify for these opportunities students will be required to show proof of their vaccinations.
We are proud of the fact that we have been open and running classes for eight months at the time of this newsletter and not had any issues. Our strict safety policies have gone a long way towards keeping students and staff safe. Of course, none of it would've worked without everyone’s cooperation...right down to our smallest students! Not only has this all prevented spreading events at the school, but it has also avoided any problems with local authorities and consequences that could have resulted from that.
Based on the progress currently being made we are confident that we will be able to open fully and return to normal training within a matter of few months. This will likely continue to happen in stages with safety precautions lifted gradually. Eventually we will be back to a fully open facility with free movement throughout the building. We will also be back to a full spectrum of partner drills and training that so many people have missed for the last year. This will also mean a return to special events like advanced trainings, and seminars with some of the most notorious figures in the martial arts.
Now is the time to begin ramping up our training to prepare for a return to full and open mode. Along those lines we will start stepping things up in our classes so that everyone is ready when that does happen. We will also continue to follow the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe. We need to stay focused and finish strong as we get close to the finish line on this thing.