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Temporary Legion HQ closure announcement due to COVID-19


I have some news that I’m not at all looking forward to delivering. There are even going to be some saying that the following statement is fueled by hysteria or paranoid decision making.

After looking at the best available evidence from health professionals, specifically epidemiologists, we’re going to temporarily cancel all Legion HQ classes effective as of Thursday, March 12th.

Currently, we’re planning to close as of Thursday morning, March 12, and re-open on Monday, March 23, but that’s also subject to how the reality on the ground changes. We will make the decision after a week with the newly available information.

There is absolutely nothing we want to do less than close down while quickly gaining members and finishing the academy space. Anyone that owns an academy of any size will let you know how much they don’t like the idea of ever shutting down, for any reason. 

We’re doing this to play our part in stopping the spread of the coronavirus. The best available information on the spread of coronavirus shows that preemptive actions and closures have the best effect in stopping the spread of this kind of virus.

Schools in San Diego are moving to an online curriculum. Because Legion is a grappling school where close contact and lots of breathing are absolutely unavoidable, it’s an exceptional risk to allow classes to continue normally. Pausing classes temporarily and moving them to Keenan Online is the best we can do to ensure safety for our members and everyone else. 

TO BE CLEAR: We have had zero cases of coronavirus — or any illness — in our academy. Everyone who has been sick has recovered at home (and for that we thank you!).

We’re determined to keep it that way.

What does this mean for you, as a member of Legion?

We want to make sure we’re keeping everyone healthy, but we also want to be sure we’re providing value to you as students of jiu jitsu. Let me explain first what we’ll be doing during the closure to make sure you still have access to jiu-jitsu. 

Here’s what we’re going to do …

As you may know, the academy 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 adjusting to this unfortunate circumstance. We’ll be helping our members maintain their sanity through an online adaptation of Legion. More info and the online curriculum to follow.

White belt beginner course: Our II. White belt course curriculum will pause after Lesson 3 concluded Wednesday night. When the academy re-opens (hopefully Monday, March 23!), we will pick up the curriculum again with Lesson 4, and your membership will be extended for the amount of days we were closed. This means you’ll get the full 8 weeks of your membership. During this time, we will be going over the (Keenan) Online – White belt course. More info to follow.

As mentioned, closing down is far from something we want to do. Let me explain why we think closing temporarily is the right thing to do, though. 

One thing that convinced us that a temporary closure was this Sam Harris 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 and take a proactive step, despite how much we all love training.

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, 

Keenan Cornelius

Legion Head Instructor & Founder

*(This info has been summarized beautifully by friend of Legion Jeff Shaw).

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