UKBJJA statement on the further easing of lockdown measures 17 July 2020

We note the Prime Minister’s statement on the further lifting of lockdown measures announced on 17 July 2020. We share our members’ frustration that there is still no clear guidance for a return to contact sports.

It is our belief that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (and other contact sports) can be practised with minimal risk to both participants and the general public, provided appropriate mitigating steps are in place. Thanks to our Elite Athlete programme, we believe we have a robust set of procedures in place to roll out to all our member clubs as soon as we are permitted to do so.

We note the desire by the government to run large sporting events (e.g. County Cricket, Snooker World Championships, Goodwood) as a pilot for large spectator events,  and believe the right course of action is for us to push for a similar pilot for recreational contact sport. To this end, on 3 July our chairman Richard Martin submitted a letter to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (along with supporting evidence from the Elite Athlete programme) pushing for just such a pilot scheme for BJJ.

In the immediate future we will be submitting to the DCMS our Action Plan for a Return to Recreational BJJ based on the the criteria specified in July for a Return to Recreational Team sports [LINK].

We have also been in touch with MPs, MSPs and members of Senedd Cymru to argue for an easing of restrictions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and will keep our members updated as we make progress.

We will continue to lobby hard and work in close cooperation with other contact sports. It is not feasible for our member clubs to be barred from training indefinitely, with the subsequent risk to jobs, livelihoods and physical and mental wellbeing. We will be doing everything we can to ensure a safe return to the mats at the earliest opportunity.

Mike Williams,
CEO, United Kingdom Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Association