Keenan Cornelius Temporarily Closes His Academy To Prevent Coronavirus Spread

Photo: Jiu-Jitsu Times

As the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to spread throughout the world, governments and individuals are taking steps to try to prevent the illness’ spread. With multiple organizations (including the IBJJF and UAEJJF) already taking drastic measures to help contain the virus, BJJ academies are following suit by temporarily closing their doors. Now, Keenan Cornelius has announced that he will temporarily close his academy, Legion American Jiu-Jitsu, as a proactive measure in light of the recent news.

Cornelius shared the update on social media in a lengthy post that reads as follows:

I have some news that I’m not at all looking forward to delivering.
After looking at the best available evidence from health professionals, specifically epidemiologists, we’ve decided to temporarily cancel all Legion HQ classes effective as of Thursday, March 12th with plans to re-open on Monday, March 23, but this is also subject to change, dependent on further developments of COVID-19. We will make the decision after a week when new information becomes available.

Please understand, the decision to close the doors at Legion HQ has not come easily.
However, we are going through with this decision to play our part in hindering the spread of the coronavirus.
The best available information has shown that preemptive actions and closures have had, so far, the best results in hindering the spread of COVID-19.

As jiu jitsu involves close contact engagement with multiple partners, it’s an exceptional risk to allow classes to continue as per usual.
For the safety of our members, we’ve made the hard decision to cancel all classes temporarily.

TO BE CLEAR: We have had zero cases of coronavirus in our academy.
And we’re determined to keep it that way.

What does this mean for you, as a member of Legion AJJ?
We want to ensure we do everything in our power to reduce your risk of exposure to COVID-19, but we also want to ensure we’re still providing value to you as a student of Legion American Jiu Jitsu.
This is how we plan to ensure you’re still able to develop your jiu jitsu skills during the proposed closure period.

As you may know, Legion AJJ was in part born out of the success of Keenan Online.
This puts us on the cutting edge of what’s possible in terms of teaching jiu jitsu online. And to accommodate this unfortunate time in our lives, we’ll be working to help you maintain your sanity through an online adaptation of Legion AJJ.

As mentioned earlier, closing the doors at Legion was not an easy decision to make and now I would like to take some time to share with you the information that lead us to this decision.

One thing that convinced us that a temporary closure would be the right thing to do was this podcast with Dr. Nicholas Christakis, where Christakis discusses the benefits of proactive closure as opposed to reactive closure. If you close when one case shows up in your city, it’s better than when one case shows up in your inner circle.

The way pandemics work: they spread, and they spread fast. Even for those of us in good health, catching a case can overburden the health care system. The growth curve is exponential, and to prevent a crisis, we have to flatten the curve. Taking steps like this slows infection rates, and that can make a huge difference.

And considering Italy had the same number of cases we do in America 10 days ago … and now they have 12,000 cases, almost 900 deaths and 60 million people banned from traveling, we think caution is in order. Or, as the Atlantic reported: On Jan. 23rd China’s Hubei province had 444 confirmed COVID-19 cases. A week later it had 4,903 cases. Another week later, by the 6th of February, it had 22,112.* As you may know, the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation canceled the PanAms per CDC recommendation that events with more than 100 people are cancelled. Our Open Mat alone for example attracts that number of people for a single rolling session.

Other jiu jitsu tournaments have or will follow suit. Other sports are cancelling events or holding them behind closed doors. We hope that other jiu jitsu academies will follow suit.

Again, this was a painful decision to make, but not as painful as it would be to see this disease spread at an alarming rate. We’re convinced that taking these precautions will give the health system the best chance in the case of an outbreak in our area.
For more information, please write us at or call us at (858)888-1815 to talk to Tony.

Thanks for understanding,


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