Let me start by saying that the Grand Opening of Valhalla Academy’s new location was an astounding success. It truly exceeded my expectations. We had 22 people training hard on the mat – breaking it in with their sweat and effort. That is the best dedication ceremony I can think of. There were also a number of people who stopped in to show their support but didn’t train. Suffice it to say we had a full house.
I want to say just how appreciative I am of everyone who made it to class last night. If something prevented you from coming you were with us in spirit. Without all of you Valhalla Academy would not exist. I want to thank my wonderful wife Tracy Jones for all the hard work she put into getting the new location ready and just for her moral support in general. I also would like to thank my parents Lester and Beth Jones for all their support and for showing up to see the powerhouse that our little club has become.
Within the next several months there will be a number of changes. I intend to put more classes in no-gi, judo, and defensive tactics/self-defense on the schedule. Also, the mat will be converted into a floating floor system for maximum impact absorption. It will be like falling on a big blue cloud. We will also be converting into a new promotional system for judo. Our academy will seek affiliation with the United States Judo Association (USJA) to complement our status as a United States Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (USBJJF) chartered academy. This will necessitate our getting in line with their specific promotional requirements and making a stronger division between what is covered in the judo and jiu-jitsu classes.
With the new location, expanded membership, and new classes come new responsibilities. First and foremost is the responsibility of stewardship. Stewardship means taking care of our space and being proactive in maintaining it. If everyone follows the guidelines we will have a great place for everyone to train, learn, and grow. If people shirk the duty of stewardship, it will place a burden on me that will be difficult to manage. Develop a sense of pride and ownership in the new space. To this end I have a list of things that all of us as a team can do.
- Clean up after yourself, and if necessary clean up after other people. Don’t let trash sit around just because you didn’t leave it there.
- Notice if something is broken or needs repair. Tell me, call me, Facebook me, or email me ASAP so I can get it fixed.
- Notice if the toilet paper, paper towel, or soap dispensers are empty. Let me know so I can replace it.
- Look around as you walk in and out of the building. If you see some trash, pick it up so that we can keep the facility looking nice.
- If you have some free time after class, ask if there is anything you can do to help out.
A few new regulations have been put into place at the new facility to ensure hygiene and reduce the chance of skin infections that sometimes occur in grappling schools. No one is allowed in the restroom with bare feet. The restroom will be mopped daily but walking off the mat into the restroom and back to the mat is not allowed. Invest in a pair of flip-flops and put them in your workout bag.
Students may use the workout equipment to train, but ensure you put it back where you found it. Plates should be removed from the bars and the kettlebells neatly grouped. Leaving weights lying around can lead to broken toes. If you don’t know how to use a piece of equipment please ask for help. In the future I will be conducting some mini-seminars on strength training and conditioning. More things will undoubtedly come up and I will be posting and emailing all the new rules and regulations. This is a time of transition for Valhalla Academy and I intend, with your help, to make this the premier grappling school in the state.
Let me say a bit about the “the jar”. To compensate for the cost of our new space and equipment there will now be a drop in fee. It will be 5.00 per class for all Carlson Gracie affiliate students and 10.00 for non-affiliates. You can put your drop in fee in the jar. Anyone dropping in more than 3x per month will need to sign-up as a student. I will have the refrigerator stocked with water that is 1.00 per bottle. This will also go into the jar and is based on the honor system. Finally, anyone wishing to make an additional donation to the gym can put extra cash into the jar. Money that goes into the jar will be removed daily to prevent theft but will be earmarked for new equipment. Right now the largest upcoming expense will be the floating floor system. In the future we might want a better sound system, more exercise equipment, throwing dummies, a heavy bag stand, or whatever. Money from the jar will go directly towards these expenses.
Thank you all very much for being a part of Valhalla Academy.