MMA gyms in Philadelphia, like in most cities in the United States, are still closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but not Logic Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai owned by Kristian Woodmansee. The owner of the Philly MMA gym decided to reopen Logic May 18 despite an executive order from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf stating that gyms are not essential businesses and should remain closed.
Woodmansee claims that he can operate his gym safely and is attempting to do so by limiting classes to 15 people or less and cleaning mats after each use. The gym is also implementing a 15-minute window in between classes for everyone to disperse and the next group to enter as well as providing an “individual workout station” for each student.
“I’ll open up and I’ll deal with the consequences,” Woodmansee said in an interview with the Capital Sports Report.
He cites his family and his staff that have families as the main reasons why he decided to ignore the mandate and reopen Logic.
“I’d rather open and fail, then be indefinitely closed and definitely fail,” Woodmansee said.
Despite playing the role of risktaker by opening up early, Logic is taking social distancing precautions and operating on a “COVID 19 Class Schedule.” The jiu-jitsu gym’s website clearly states its stance and mission amid the pandemic:
“Logic takes the role it plays in the community very seriously. We feel confident that we have created an innovative way to adapt and operate given our current pandemic. Our responsibility has and will always be to offer a high-quality service while ensuring the safety of our students.”
Logic’s opening came just hours after Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, New Jersey, opened at 8 a.m., also against an executive order from its state’s Governor.
The Garden State gym’s co-owner Frank Trumbetti told NBC 10 News that the decision to reopen Atilis Gym was based in an attempt to protect Constitutional rights.
“We truly believe that if we don’t do this, in the end, we will have zero rights and no say in what happens,” Trumbetti said.
Philadelphia is set to enter the “Yellow Phase” of the pandemic on June 5. According to the definitions laid out by authorities, gyms are not permitted to open during this stage but will be allowed to reopen in the “Green Phase,” which has no set start date.
Woodmansee took a Dana White-like stance and refused to cease operations for long. There will be those who agree with the decision and plenty who don’t. All we know is that, like the UFC, Logic is taking extra precautions upon its return and eager MMA enthusiasts are getting back to training.
Pat Donohue has been covering sports for more than 10 years. He is a former Washington Redskins beat reporter and has been covering the University of Maryland football and basketball recruiting and daily beats for Rivals.com since 2013. Pat graduated from Maryland with his master’s degree in journalism and has received bylines in publications such as USA TODAY Sports, The Philadelphia Inquirer, SB Nation, and Yahoo! Sports. As a wrestler for 13 years in Pennsylvania, Pat has a deep appreciation for MMA and a keen understanding of the sport.