Here in Texas, the COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted this week.

As martial artists and instructors, specifically in states currently lifting mandates, we must thoughtfully consider our response. No matter how you respond, there are large segments of your student base that will be upset. That’s what leadership is…making difficult decisions based upon the best information, free of bias, with the right intention, and allowing the outcome to be the final arbiter. I believe the key is to consider our collective responsibility in helping people live safer lives. With that in mind, I wrote the email below to my community. To the extent this helps you navigate during this time, I am grateful to be of use.

As the mask mandate for Texas is lifted this Wednesday, the classes at Krav Maga Houston schools will continue to require masks in the short term. And while I personally do not like (in any way, shape, or form) wearing masks, the context and proximity in which we train requires additional consideration. My priority must be your safety – after all, that’s the mission at Krav Maga Houston.  

My plan is to assess what has transpired 14 days after the lifting of the mask mandate. After that assessment, I will email another update with policy changes. This process will continue until we have eliminated masks (soon I hope). We will also continue to check temperatures of all incoming staff, students and guests, and we will require that everyone be asymptomatic to enter the facility. As an added measure of safety, we will also continue to run the UV lights through the HVAC systems to eliminate bacteria and viruses that pass through that system.  

To be clear, I don’t like this anymore than you do.  

Yes – I believe COVID-19 has been politicized in wildly inappropriate and cynical ways.  

Yes – I see the hypocrisy, double-talk and lies coming from the politicians.

No – I don’t trust them to tell us the truth. I don’t know anyone who does anymore.

However, I personally know two people that have passed away due to a COVID-19 infection. I’ve spoken on several occasions to well-regarded doctors who have confirmed that COVID-19 can due terrible things to your body (heart and lungs included) – and perhaps leave lasting health issues. Thus, I trust my experience with COVID-19 and the doctors treating the disease. And, I’m acting accordingly – with your safety in mind.

Lastly, I do have faith that COVID-19 will be brought under control soon – perhaps as soon as June 1st. We have three promising vaccines, several effective treatments for hospitalized patients, and a new in-home 5-day treatment (similar to using Tami flu for the flu virus – that has done well in early stage trials). I also believe the U.S. could be nearing herd immunity due to the number of unreported cases over the past year – prominent doctors have said as much in recent days. This is all very good news. Hang in there…be smart…we’re nearing a resolution.

See you on the mats…

Chief Kirk

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