Santa Barbara Martial Arts Academy Consults Scientist to Ensure Clean Reopening

Santa Barbara Martial Arts Academy Consults Scientist to Ensure Clean Reopening
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Source: Pu’u Muay Thai Santa Barbara

A local martial arts academy spared no expense when it came to the health of its students, their families, and our community. Pu’u Muay Thai Santa Barbara is among the many businesses that was forced to close their doors due to COVID-19. And like every other business, was fervently waiting for the ok from Sacramento to reopen. But when they finally were able to slowly reopen as part of Phase III, Pu’u Muay Thai Santa Barbara wanted to ensure that its students felt comfortable returning. So, they hired an epidemiologist.

Muay Thai, which literally translates to Thai Boxing, is a martial art & combat sport centered on discipline and respect. As such, respect for the training space and those in it is fundamental. In order to demonstrate the same respect to its students and community, Pu’u Muay Thai Santa Barbara brought in an epidemiologist, or scientist who studies disease outbreaks among populations of people. Dr. Stephen Strotmeyer of Pittsburgh, PA, who holds a PhD in epidemiology, not only advised on what was needed to reopen, but also on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Dr. Strotmeyer operates a Muay Thai academy in Pittsburgh as well. While Pu’u Muay Thai Santa Barbara always maintained a high standard of cleanliness and sanitized equipment after each session, the following protocols are now also in place:

• Students must RSVP for each class to ensure no more than 10 students are training at once to ensure proper physical distancing
• Stringent sanitizing of high contact surfaces on the training floor
• Wiping down sweat with a towel between drills
• Monitoring students and advising them to stay home if sick
• Only having one designated partner to work with during their “phase 1” reopening plan
• Virtual training programs to continue alongside of in-person programs
• Creating sufficient ventilation of fresh air
• Temperatures are taken before entering the training floor
• Certain techniques and methods that require close contact, like clinching, have been paused
• Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes to sanitize gloves are provided to each student
• Spray & leave solution that is CDC approved to kill COVID-19 within 15 seconds of contact is provided for students to help clean during training
• Continue to closely monitor the County’s situation in regards to potential exposure and will modify training accordingly for the safety of students & community

Ryan Ughoc, who is the chief instructor & program director at Pu’u Muay Thai Santa Barbara stressed, “Our student’s health and wellness has always been paramount, so we wanted to go above and beyond to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for all who enter through our doors.”

During the period of time when the gym was closed, both the Santa Barbara and Ventura Pu’u Muay Thai locations offered virtual classes 5 days a week, allowing students to continue their progress as well as keep moving. These virtual classes and online training videos are also still available for those who do not yet feel comfortable returning to training in person.

“We recognize that many people put their physical, as well as mental, health on the backburner during the stay-at-home orders,” Ughoc added. “Muay Thai is an excellent way to relieve stress, learn control, and keep physically fit. We encourage people of all ages and fitness levels to give it a try and reap the benefits.”

The Santa Barbara location is currently offering a two week free trial period for both the kid and adult classes, which also includes access to virtual classes & the Pu’u Muay Thai online university course. Call (805) 689-8788 or email for additional information.

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