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Florida MMA gym calls for self-defense instruction to be deemed essential

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Orlando’s Jungle MMA and Fitness is appealing to be part of the state’s essential business list.

Palestinian karate instructor continue to exercise with his family in spite of Covid-19
Karate training in a Rafah, Gaza rooptop during the pandemic.
Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

An Orlando MMA gym is appealing to be made part of the essential business list, citing how the stay-at-home orders mandated by the state of Florida has apparently caused a spike in domestic violence incidents.

The concern was raised by The Jungle MMA and Fitness owner Mike Lee.

“People have different ideas about martial arts and gyms but staying healthy and being able to defend yourself is a great empowering feeling, both physically and mentally,” Lee said told WESH, Orlando’s NBC-affiliated network.

“Self-defense is paramount, yeah. It’s just, no matter what you believe in self-defense or different levels of it, you need to protect yourself, you need to defend your loved ones,” he added, while assuring that social distancing guidelines will be implemented, as well as smaller class sizes, temperature checks at the door, and the use of grappling dummies instead of training partners.

The Jungle MMA and Fitness is where UFC women’s featherweight title contender Felicia Spencer trains and teaches. It offers boxing, kickboxing, karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and MMA classes for both kids and adults.

Florida governor Ron DeSantis recently deemed the WWE’s Performance Institute as “essential” to the state and allowed it to remain open. New guidelines were also released, allowing live sporting events to be held as long as it closed to the general public.

As for martial arts learning while quarantined, there has been a boom in online instructionals as of late, with some of the best athletes and coaches shifting from the days of keeping “school secrets” to now openly sharing the best techniques.