what FMA is doing about covid-19

March 27, 2020

We have been monitoring the situation closely and, although optimistic about reopening on March 30th, realize that it was not a realistic goal based on newer COVID-19 developments. The United States now leads the world with COVID-19 cases and the current figures are only projected to climb. Illinois is under a “shelter in place” order until at least April 7th, and we are monitoring the situation closely to make an assessment about when we will reopen our dojos. We will continue to post updates on this page.

Until we re-open, please join us for online training. All members have received a link and passwords to enter online training and we encourage you to join us whenever you can! We are constantly updating our database of on-demand videos for our members and we are excited to continue to build this database for the future. We are also running livestreams for our members at a frequency of 5 times per week starting on March 30th in order to give our FMA Family the most out of their membership.

During this very trying time, we want to remind you how important your tuition is to our business and to our staff and their families. Small businesses everywhere are struggling to stay afloat in the current climate, and we are no exception. We understand that you, too, might be under financial strain at this time, just like we are. But we ask, if you can manage it, please continue your membership. The future of our business and our staff depends on it. We are working hard to ensure that the online training platform is sufficient enough to make up for the in-person classes missed.

If you’d like to do a little extra to help rally around FMA at this time, we need it more than ever. You can   purchase a new gi or sparring gear for pickup when we re-open, purchase a   single, 5 pack, or 10 pack of private lessons  purchase photos from classes our tournaments, or   buy a gift card, e of your friends or family members. You can also help FMA ensure a quicker bounce back by writing a positive review of your dojo on Yelp, Google, or Facebook.

We miss you all and are very excited to get back to the dojos!


March 14, 2020

ALL DOJOS CLOSED FROM MARCH 16 – 29

Back when FMA was first founded, our goals were simple: to provide martial arts to the local community, to develop that community into a family, and to enrich and protect that family. Current events have caused us to realize that we can protect our FMA family in a way we never anticipated: by closing our dojos for two weeks. This decision was not made lightly.  All of our dojos will be closed from Monday, March 16 through Sunday, March 29. At this point, we plan to resume classes on Monday, March 30th at all locations.

We know that this may seem like an inconvenience to some, and we are sorry for that. But we know that this was the most responsible decision to make to ensure the health and safety of not just our students and their families, but the population at large, especially the most vulnerable. We all have a role to play in this, and it is so very important that we act as responsibly as we can and consider not only ourselves, but the entire community. With that being said, we are working  around the clock to put up an  online training platform for all of our members, which we hope to have up and running by midweek. This online training platform will allow you to practice at home, review the curriculum for your next belt, virtually meet with your instructors and classmates, and watch / practice along with live streams of your favorite sensei, or even a sensei you’ve never trained with before.

During this very trying time, we want to remind you how important your tuition is to our business and to our staff and their families. Small businesses everywhere are struggling to stay afloat in the current climate, and we are no exception. We understand that you, too, might be under financial strain at this time, just like we are. But we ask, if you can manage it, please continue your membership. The future of our business and our staff depends on it. We hope the online training platform will be sufficient enough to make up for the in-person classes missed. Two weeks will be up before you know it and we can all go back to doing what we love: practicing martial arts at the dojo. More importantly, practicing in a safe, clean environment.

If you’d like to do a little extra to help rally around FMA at this time, we need it more than ever. You can  purchase a new gi or sparring gear for pickup when we re-open, purchase a  single, 5 pack, or 10 pack of private lessons purchase photos from classes our tournaments, or  buy a gift card, e of your friends or family members. You can also help FMA ensure a quicker bounce back by writing a positive review of your dojo on Yelp, Google, or Facebook.

If you were thinking about signing up for  Summer Camp we have extended the early bird pricing registration deadline to May 1 as a courtesy for those who are waiting to commit. We know that most of the world is just taking it one day at a time and we want to do as much as we can to reflect that in our policies and practices.We care deeply about every single one of our members, and we want you to take care of yourselves, both physically and mentally. If this has affected your mental well-being or if you’re just feeling lonely as you stay home and wait it out, we are here to listen. Shoot your favorite sensei an email or join us for the upcoming video conference style classes coming up in the next week. We would love to see all of your smiling faces!


We are looking forward to business as usual, and we hope you are too.


Wishing you health,

Sensei John Fonseca + The FMA Team

Letter: March 9, 2020


Dear Students and Parents – 

In light of the global COVID-19 situation, we wanted to reach out to you all to let you know what FMA is doing to prevent the spread of the virus and mitigate risk at our dojos.

Right now, there is no cause for concern or panic, as the United States, and Illinois in particular, have relatively low numbers of the virus. And, as we have seen in other countries that have successfully 
kept their numbers low, the best action to take is to employ proactive and preventative measures to ensure the virus can spread no further.

With this in mind, here is what FMA is doing to make sure its members and staff are as safe as possible:


• We will forego iPad check-ins until further notice. Instructors will now make attendance part of class, checking students in on their cell phones.

• No more high fives. This doesn’t mean we won’t congratulate you for a job well done, but we will be more careful about how we do it! We will start implementing more creative ways to tell you or your student “good job”, like a CDC recommended elbow bump. If you have a little one, and you think this might upset them, please take the appropriate measures to create a frame of reference for them moving forward. We will do our best to implement this as gracefully as possible.

• We will ensure we are fully stocked with hand sanitizer or alcohol based spray (if no hand sanitizer is available), hand soap, and other personal care solutions, and that it’s available for public use. We recommend you use it both on your way in and on your way out. We’ll make sure each class uses it at the end of their session.

• We will implement a more frequent and thorough cleaning of our bathroom areas, including making disinfectant wipes available to bathroom users who would like to help do their part in wiping down handles and knobs before and/or after they use them.

• We will now require shoes to be worn in the bathrooms. We will also make bathroom shoes available to all, keeping an array of different sizes of flip flops near the bathroom doors. We will also be cleaning these shoes often. We invite you to carry your own shoes over to the bathrooms if you’d prefer to use them instead.

• We will implement more frequent and thorough cleaning of our other common areas like stadium seating, counter surfaces, lockers, entrance doors, and shoe areas.

• The mats will now be wiped down after every class, instead of just twice per day, making sure each class gets a fresh, clean mat on which to practice.

• Physical corrections in class will be limited. Instead of straightening your elbow or knee using physical touch, we will now attempt to correct all of our students verbally.

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The most important thing to remember in all of this is that 
we are all responsible for taking care of each other . We have seen that COVID-19 is especially dangerous to those who are elderly and medically compromised. Just because an individual is young and perceives their risk to be low, they should still be mindful about how  easily this virus is transmitted, and take extra care to ensure that they are not responsible for transferring it to someone who doesn’t have the same strong immune system. As they say, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. We must ensure the whole chain is healthy to guarantee success.

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Here are some recommendations for you to rise to the task of being a responsible dojo member:
buy a gift card, e of your friends or family members. You can also help FMA ensure a quicker bounce back by writing a positive review of your dojo on Yelp, Google, or Facebook.

If you were thinking about signing up for  Summer Camp we have extended the early bird pricing registration deadline to May 1 as a courtesy for those who are waiting to commit. We know that most of the world is just taking it one day at a time and we want to do as much as we can to reflect that in our policies and practices.We care deeply about every single one of our members, and we want you to take care of yourselves, both physically and mentally. If this has affected your mental well-being or if you’re just feeling lonely as you stay home and wait it out, we are here to listen. Shoot your favorite sensei an email or join us for the upcoming video conference style classes coming up in the next week. We would love to see all of your smiling faces!We are looking forward to business as usual, and we hope you are too.Summer CampWishing you health,

Sensei John Fonseca + The FMA Team

resource center

Information is the greatest power we can have.

World Health Organization

CDC

Illinois Department of Public Health