The winningest lightweight in UFC history, Jim Miller is looking for not only the jiu jitsu, but the entire mixed martial arts community, to come together during these trying times as the world deals with coronavirus pandemic that is sweeping the globe.
Miller, who along with brother Dan, owns Miller Brothers MMA in Sparta, New Jersey wrote on social media: “We have to look out for the whole community and stick together for this one. If I can help you or you want to help me, please don’t hesitate to reach out.”
The reason for Miller’s message is simple. As country prepares for a national emergency, people are being urged to stay home, to stay away from crowds and avoid contact with others. Well, if you’ve ever been in an MMA or BJJ gym you know that the way you train, is to come in contact with other individuals. This guidance is forcing gyms to temporarily close, which ultimately puts a hurting on their wallets.
“This shit’s not easy,” Miller said. “Miller Brothers MMA will be suspending classes immediately for an unknown amount of time,” the 36-year-old fighter said in a heartfelt message.
Included in that post was a video:
“Extremely difficult decision to make, extremely difficult,” Miller said. “But, my brother Dan and I, we make a concerted effort and pride ourselves on trying to do what’s right.”
But, contrary to how many are feeling right now as we deal with this very scary illness, this is not the end of the world. At least not in Miller’s eyes, and he has a plan.
“I’ve got a proposition for my fellow athletes and instructors in this, and for my students as well. I’m looking for some people to come in and do seminars, and I’d like to trade with you. If I have some students that are willing and capable of not suspending, not freezing their membership for a month, I’d like to take that and put that towards the seminar just to ease the burden, because those rent checks are still going to be due on the first. I’m offering it up to any of my peers out there. Whether you can reciprocate for me and come out to Jersey, or you can’t, if you are having a tough time with this, please, please hit me up. Offer up a seminar to your students just to have a little bit coming in while you are closed down.”
Miller did not stop there.
“I feel we need to stick together as a community. This has the potential to hit us pretty hard.”
The 45-fight professional fighter ended with some great tips for those who are stockpiling all the toilet paper in the grocery stores…. but you will have to watch the video to find out what that advice might be.
Jim Fitzpatrick, an instructor at Miller Brother’s MMA, and black belt under Brian McLaughlin echoed Miller’s proposition in a post of his own.
“GYM OWNERS!! PLEASE SHARE!!!
Here is an an incentive program so people don’t freeze their memberships cause they are not coming in due to corona virus or that you are closed during this. This is a way to get people to continue paying their membership while the gym is closed or they are to concerned to come in (there are a lot of legit reasons right now) but still feel they are getting value out of it in the end. We are doing this at Miller Brothers MMA
Get a group of 5 high level gym owners in a somewhat close yet far area and swap free seminars. If people don’t freeze their accounts upon reopening there will be 4 free seminars for them to attend. One from each of the 4 other instructors in the group of 5, over the span of a few months. They will still get their money’s worth from paying their dues and it will highly minimize the losses for the gym owner over that month of closure. For example James A Miller would travel over the few months to the other 4 gyms in the group of 5 and teach seminars to those students who didn’t freeze. And those gym owners would schedule their seminars at our gym over the few months as well. Really only a few long car ride and a few days time in exchange for people’s memberships still coming in.
People who want to freeze but still attend it will be $100 per seminar (normal prices)”