Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19

growing public-health concern 

We are, and will remain, committed to providing the highest level of jiu-jitsu instruction in a healthy and safe environment.

City of Durham Issues COVID-19 Stay-At-Home Order

Effective March 26 to April 30

About Coronavirus (COVID-19)

It is widely accepted in the medical community that the first human case of the Novel Coronavirus was detected in Wuhan, China, and has been spreading globally since December of 2019. It is concerning because it is a new strain in the family of Coronaviruses that is showing a very high rate of transmission (R0 Value) for which we have no vaccine. 


The current data coming in from over 100,000 cases around the world has shown that the novel Coronavirus symptoms and health risks can be mild in most cases, however, the burden of a significant number of cases requiring medical interventions can be a growing burden on an already taxed health care system.

Medical researchers are clear that Novel Coronavirus brings a more serious health risk to elders, immunocompromised individuals, those with respiratory disease and/or preexisting health conditions.  The medical community is in agreement that approximately eighty percent of the individuals who contract the virus only experience mild symptoms and recover quickly. The data also indicates that healthy children are the least vulnerable to this new virus.


With our student population built primarily by children and adults ranging from 25 to 45 years of age, the risk of severe health complications is not a concern. What is a concern is how quickly the Coronavirus can be transmitted if proper procedures are not put in place. Recent evidence suggests that the virus may live on certain surfaces at room temperature for several days which makes it imperative that proper cleaning and disinfecting occur on a regular basis.

Action Steps

There are many things you can do as an individual to help prevent the spread of the Novel Coronavirus. Additionally, there are things you can do to raise the level of awareness of this virus, reduce unnecessary fear, and create a level of engagement directed at the prevention of the illness with those closest to you.


BE SMART - Stay informed, be aware of risks, but don't panic. Use the discipline you learn in jiu-jitsu to create enhanced personal hygiene routines in your life. Wash your hands frequently, wash your uniform, and take a shower after practice, avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth, and practice responsible respiratory etiquette. The CDC has put together an excellent website with plenty of information on the Coronavirus


STAY HEALTHY - This is a crucial time to make your health a priority and do all you can to boost your immunity. This means eat well, sleep well, consider taking additional supplements to boost your immune system. 


TRAINING HYGIENE - To protect yourself and your training partners, make sure to sanitize your hands when entering the school before shaking anyone's hands or touching anything. Instructors and staff will require all students to sanitize their hands before and after every class.


BE A GOOD TEAMMATE - If you are feeling under the weather, if you are coughing or sneezing, if you have a mild fever, headache, or any other cold / flu-like symptoms, take a break from jiu-jitsu. Stay home, rest, eat well and see a doctor in case the symptoms worsen. 


Remember, if you must miss training, you can log on to and watch the lessons you’re missing through your CTC Family Member account. If you need help accessing your account, just let us know.


TRAVELING FROM AFFECTED AREAS - If you have been in contact with someone who has travelled internationally or you, yourself, have recently traveled internationally, avoid contact with others for the recommended 14 days, observe cold or flu symptoms, and seek medical advice if needed.

Tuition Continuation Program

We love jiu-jitsu, we love our students, and we love the strong community we’ve created at our school. As you can imagine, our school relies entirely on the tuition payments of our members to cover the overhead expenses and employee payroll for our instructors and staff.


If we were to freeze or cancel all tuition payments simultaneously, we would almost certainly be forced to permanently close our school after 60 days of downtime (hopefully it won’t be that long).  In order to make sure this downtime has minimal impact on the awesome staff members that make it all possible, and to avoid the risk of permanent closure, with your permission, we intend to keep the monthly tuition payments in place for all active students (keep in mind that 100% of these tuition payments would be credited back to your membership account once we reopen the school).


As a token of our appreciation, we’ll be providing some awesome jiu-jitsu benefits during this time (outlined below). We know this is a big request and we recognize the global financial impact of the Coronavirus, so if it is totally unfeasible for you to continue your monthly tuition payments, just let us know. 


For those of you who remain on the Tuition Continuation Program, here are some of the exclusive benefits you’ll receive. 


During this downtime, Ryron, Rener, and other head instructors at GU will be hosting regular live webinars on the different positional chapters of jiu-jitsu (mount, guard, side mount, etc).


The seminars will be very comprehensive and there will be questions and answer opportunities from live viewers. Each time a webinar is scheduled, students on the Tuition Continuation Program will be notified so they can log in and grow with the family.   


Unlike any other jiu-jitsu school on the planet, Gracie University has a complete online curriculum that mirrors exactly what is taught in live lessons at the school every day.


Utilizing Gracie University’s online system, all students who remain on the Tuition Continuation Program will have the opportunity to study their classes online, learn from home, and earn official class credit for any techniques learned during the closure period.


Students will have the chance to demonstrate the newly learned techniques at a free in-person Verification Seminar, and for each completed lesson that they successfully demonstrate, they will get a check mark on their official attendance card. 


Another great benefit is if you have any questions during your at-home training sessions, you can schedule a free Facetime call (or Skype) with one of our instructors to answer your questions. 


Much more detail on this program below!  

At-Home Progress Program

At a time when large group gatherings are being advised against, it will be very important for all of us to find activities that we can engage in with family and close friends.


Given that Gracie University’s online learning program is the most robust of its kind, and the fact that the online lessons mirror exactly what is taught in our live classes, we have created a special at-home progress program that will allow you to continue your jiu-jitsu journey and earn actual class credit (on your attendance card) during this period of uncertainty.


Here is how the process will work for our students:  



Log on to from any computer or mobile device, to access the online lessons that correspond with the program you are currently enrolled in (if you have trouble logging in let us know and we’ll get you set up).


Watch the lessons, and although not mandatory, if possible, practice the techniques with a friend or family member. 



Keep a simple training log,

and each time you complete a lesson (or review a lesson you’ve previously completed),

write down the date and the name of the technique(s) learned. 



We will host a series of free in-person Verification Seminars at the school for active students in each of our programs: Gracie Combatives, Gracie Bullyproof, Women Empowered and Master Cycle.


In these Verification Seminars, you will have a chance to demonstrate the techniques you learned during your at-home study sessions. 



For each technique that you demonstrate correctly (it doesn’t have to be perfect, as long as the core concepts of the techniques are understood) you will get official class credit on your attendance card. 


Regardless of what program you’re in, if at any point during your at-home study/practice, you have a question about a technique, simply send us an email (indicating the program you’re enrolled in and the preferred time of day for the call)


and we’ll set you up with an instructor who can schedule a Facetime (or Zoom) video call with you.


Naturally the call schedule will be affected by the volume of inquiries but rest assured that we will get to each and every one of you! 

Attendance Card Considerations

As you know, each of our programs has a unique attendance card on which we track progress for each student. Depending on which program you’re enrolled in, there are some special considerations to keep in mind when it comes to at-home tracking, progress verification, and the issuance of class credit upon the reopening of the school. 


Since each Gracie Combatives (GC) group class features two separate techniques, GC students will need to learn both techniques in a particular class in order to get a check mark on the card for that class. Issuance of class credit is not limited to new classes you haven’t done before;


if you repeat a previously completed class, and you successfully demonstrate it upon your return, you will get a check mark for that class as well.


For your reference, we’ve inserted the Gracie Combatives official card below. We’ve highlighted the online lesson numbers for each technique in red, so you can easily locate them when you log on to study from home. 


Since most Women Empowered (WE) group classes features two separate techniques, WE students will need to learn both techniques in a particular class in order to get a check mark on the card for that class. Issuance of class credit is not limited to new classes you haven’t done before; if you repeat a previously completed class, and you successfully demonstrate it upon your return, you will get a check mark for that class as well.


For your reference, we’ve inserted the Women Empowered official card below. We’ve highlighted the online lesson numbers for each technique in red so you can easily locate them when you log on to study from home. 


If you are the parent of a child that trains with us, there is a good chance that many of their regular activities are, or will soon be, temporarily cancelled.


Using the Gracie Bullyproof online program to continue their progress from home is a great way to keep them active around the house while also building the bond between you and your kids.


Start by watching the “Parent Preparation Course.” Once completed, move on to the Gracie Games and Jr. Combatives courses.


The lessons are short, very fun to watch, and specifically designed to be practiced between parent and child. Keep the at-home sessions short (15-30 minutes) and keep track of each lesson in a log.


Upon the school’s reopening, your child will have the opportunity to demonstrate all the techniques they learned from home (with you or with an instructor), and for each technique demonstrated they will receive a check mark on their official attendance card.  


If you’re an active Master Cycle student, you have been granted access to the Master Cycle online Blue Belt Stripe (BBS) courses that correspond with your rank. If you are a purple belt or higher, you should have access to all four BBS courses.


Keep a log of each BBS lesson you complete and upon your return to class you’ll have a chance to demonstrate what you learned.


For each lesson that you can demonstrate all the slices/variations, you will get a check mark on your card. 

Training Partners

One of the main benefits of training at a school is the plethora of awesome training partners to choose from every day you come to class.


Given the circumstances, there’s no doubt that you’ll have fewer partners to choose from, but here are some recommendations that might help. 


If you have friends or family members that you’ve always wanted to introduce to jiu-jitsu, now is the time! Chances are they are also experiencing the cancellation of many of their favorite activities so they’ll be much more open to trying something new, especially if it means they can spend more time with you. Just be sure to start them gradually from lesson 1, don’t be overly critical, and praise every bit of progress. 



We will continue offering private classes to our students. Whether or not you currently participate in private classes, if this is something you’d like to explore, simply reply to this email and let us know which instructor (if any) you had in mind and we will put you in direct contact with him/her.  



Even though large group gatherings are advised against, there is no reason why a small group of healthy people can’t get together to practice jiu-jitsu. Use social media to contact your friends from the school and set up small training sessions using the online curriculum as a guide. 


GRACIE UNIVERSITY ONLINE STUDENT DATABASE has over 240,000 online students and we’ve created a very sophisticated member search tool that helps you find people in your community that are also looking for training partners. Give it a try, click here



Gracie Garages are unofficial at-home training centers led by one or more dedicated students who have access to the online curriculum and at least 100 square feet of grappling mats. To search for Gracie Garages near you, or to learn more about starting your own Gracie Garage, click here

We’re in This Together

One of the greatest benefits of jiu-jitsu is that we learn to find comfort in worst-case scenarios. This will be a very tough time for our business, and a very tough time for all our dedicated students who love coming to class as much as we love teaching them. We are in this together and we are determined to make the most of these challenging circumstances. 


We can’t thank you enough for your support. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to ask. We will be sending out updates to keep you informed of everything on our end. 

 Durham, NC   919.964.5777