TUCSON, Ariz. — Rise Combat Sports is a mixed martial arts gym in Tucson that has the interesting task of figuring out how to conduct classes without contact, for now.
"You know, we've been preparing for this day to open over the last two months, so once we got the word we were excited,” said Chris Cariaso, the owner and head coach at Rise Combat Sports.
Muay Thai, MMA, boxing and Jujitsu classes are back up and running, but with zero partner work.
"We're going to be focusing more on bag work, conditioning, shadow boxing,” said Cariaso.
When you walk through the door: temperatures will be taken, the gym will no longer loan gear, class sizes will be limited and cleanings will occur in between every class.
Amid a pandemic and with all of the precautions he is taking, Cariaso is eager to see where his attendance will lie.
"Right now I think it’s 50/50. There's a lot of people here that are eager to jump back into it and get back into regular training. And there’s other people who are like, 'Well, I really want to just kind of feel it out and see what is going to happen,” said Cariaso.
For the still-hesitant members, the park workouts and zoom classes Rise Combat instructors have been putting on for weeks will continue.
And as far as when the gym will add contact and partner work again - it’s going to feel it out while keeping safety guidelines in mind.
"I feel like there's going to be a few weeks of us kind of building this curriculum. And then as we go along and people are training with each other a little bit more, we'll kind of come up with different ways. Either have like a quarantine buddies or some kind of curriculum in place so that people will feel comfortable making that contact with each other,” said Cariaso.