How this Fresno martial arts academy will keep students safe amid COVID-19

No one knows when martial arts studios will be allowed to reopen, but Rudy Carrillo's Ultimate Martial Arts Academy has started getting ready.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Many parents enroll their children in martial arts classes to help improve their mental strength and discipline, but what are families to do when studios are shut down across the state?

Rudy Carrillo's Ultimate Martial Arts academy in north Fresno has been closed since mid-March but that hasn't stopped the longtime sensei from improving his 3,000 square foot studio and making it COVID-compliant.

"We've upgraded our AC unit systems with UV lights in them to sanitize the air when they're being used during the day. We have ozone generators used at night to sanitize the air, we have ten gallons of hand sanitizer, we have markers across the entire school to designate where people can stand and sit to be with their children," says Rudy Carrillo.

At this point, no one knows for sure when martial arts studios will be allowed to reopen or even what the guidelines might look like, but Carrillo says he's ready.

He's invested in new equipment like grappling dummies to eliminate contact combat and has gone the extra mile to ensure social distancing for members and their parents.

"We have an entrance and an exit designated just for people to have one flow of traffic throughout the school. We're going to sanitize our mats. We already sanitize our mats every day but we're going to sanitize the gear used to ensure the next person using it has clean fresh gear they can use and enjoy it," says Carrillo.

Without a steady stream of enrollments, Carrillo has been instructing members on how to karate chop from home by offering virtual classes to his members.

"We've been working our Zoom classes and community events and story times with our instructors. We take pride in not being face to face but being able to have an impact even when they're in their home," he says.

Carrillo admits he's poured his heart and soul into this business since opening his academy more than 12 years ago but its the idea of teaching young people life skills through martial arts that keeps him motivated to open his doors again to what he calls his family.

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