Returning to the mats – official UKBJJA statement and guidance, July 2020

Returning to the mats – official UKBJJA statement and guidance, July 2020

On 9 July 2020, the UK Government published its latest update on the phased return to sport and recreation – which included the provision for indoor gyms to re-open under certain conditions on 25 July.

The United Kingdom Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Association (UKBJJA) has been taking time to fully understand and reflect on the new guidelines and how they might apply to the sport that we love. As always, our primary concern is the health and wellbeing of our members and the wider community and we want to ensure that BJJ clubs re-open safely, in full compliance with government guidelines and Sports Council recommendations.

For clubs in England, we are advising that they can re-open for non-contact based training, e.g. strength and conditioning, solo drills or other activities that can be conducted while maintaining social distancing.

For now, clubs should not resume sparring/rolling or full contact training – the only exceptions would be for individuals who live in the same household or for athletes registered on the UKBJJA Elite Athlete programme.

Clubs should also ensure that a full Covid-19 risk assessment is undertaken before any training resumes and that all necessary precautions are put in place to minimise the risk to employees, athletes/students and members of the public. We hope to offer our members template documents and additional resources to assist in this process later this week.

We are aware that this advice falls short of a full return to training, but it is a step forward and hopefully this limited return will help keep BJJ clubs financially viable and help BJJ students stay fighting fit for when we do resume full contact training.

Please note that this advice currently applies to England only – clubs based in the devolved nations should refer to local guidelines and restrictions before making any return.

We would like to thank all of our members for their patience and fortitude during this period and would also like to express our concern and condolences for the families and friends of those who have lost their lives or suffered serious illness during the pandemic.

Mike Williams