As the novel coronavirus continues to plague Colorado and families are deciding which activities are safe enough to engage in and which places are safe for their families to visit.

I’d like to take a moment to let you know how Scornavacco Martial Arts Academy continues to make our martial arts training classes as safe as possible, safer than most other places you can go.

First, what we know about the virus and how to prevent infection.

The 2 Biggest Risk Factors for coronavirus are TIME and EXPOSURE.

The longer you are around a carrier, the more likely you are to contract COVID-19. So, hours spent together, say on an airplane, in a restaurant or in school, substantially raise your risk of catching the virus.

Also, the more you are exposed to the virus, the higher dose of it you inhale, the worse your illness. Someone who has the virus and is just breathing the air around you in close proximity (less than 6 feet away) will transmit COVID-19 to you while if someone who has the virus sneezes or coughs on you will give you a higher, more lethal dose of the virus.

Other factors in spreading the virus are not washing your hands, not wearing a mask and touching your face.

Conditions for super-spreading the virus are being in enclosed spaces, close to someone with the virus for extended periods of time with poor ventilation, places like bars/nightclubs, gyms and restaurants, as well as any large gathering.

How Scornavacco Martial Arts Academy Is Keeping Our Students Safely Learning


     “I would like to thank the staff at Scornavacco’s for all their support and efforts during the COVID-19 crisis. Today was our first day back to class. Leo, who is a yellow belt in Little Dragons was super excited, I honestly was a bit nervous it’s been such a challenging time for so many reasons. We decided we needed to put our reservations aside and check it out and I am so glad we did! I am so impressed with everything they have done to make sure our children are safe and that the environment is spacious and well ventilated. Thank you for following all the guidelines and regulations and for providing a safe space so that Leo can have a little bit of fun and positive interaction.

Thanks again,

Sonia Marquez”



Our first line of defense against COVID is our building itself.

SMAA is 3,200 square feet of space, parsed into two separate spaces by a dividing wall.

This means that we have far more than enough space to allow students to come to class and have over 100 square feet of space to themselves — plenty of safe, physical distancing.

Further, our dojo has two massive garage doors we can open up to bring the outside in, providing a healthy cross-flow or air through the building. Our garage doors allow parents to watch class from their cars because no spectators are allowed in the school.

SMAA also has a conveniently placed sink so all students can wash their hands before and after class.

I designed the school to allow for a safe, circular flow of students coming to class and those leaving class; by design neither has to overlap or interact with each other, further decreasing potential exposure.


SMAA follows the safety guidelines and best practices published by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the Boulder County Department of Public Health and Environment (BCPHE) to prevent COVIE-19 infections.

  • No Spectators in the Building. Parents drop kids off to class and can wait in their cars in front of our 14-foot open garage door so they can safely watch class from their vehicles.
  • Minimal Surface Contacts. Students can open our front door with their foot, walk directly to the sink to wash hands, and go to class without touching any surfaces other than the floor with their feet.
  • Students Come to Class “In-Uniform.” Students come to class in their uniforms so no one has to use the changing rooms,
  • Safe Hygiene — Masks. We follow the rules that all people in the school wear their masks.
  • Safe Hygiene — Hand Washing. Students immediately wash their hands upon entering the school and wash their hands immediately after class ends.
  • Safe Passing Before and After Class. We have a 5 minute time-gap between classes to give students time to wash their hands after class, gather their belongings and exit the school out our side door so they do not have to pass by students entering for the next class, minimizing exposure.
  • Disinfecting/Cleaning. Though students have their own training gear, we disinfect every piece of gear, anything students touch in class, immediately.


Class Lengths have been shorten enough (25-40 minutes) to limit the time students might be exposed to the virus by an asymptomatic carrier, greatly reducing the odds of catching the virus. Unlike gyms, our students are assigned to certain classes with specific class times, with the same fellow students, so they are not exposed to numerous random people coming and going around them.

Fortunately, SMAA has the time, space and instructors to add classes and class times so we can keep attendance to any one class to minimum, safe levels.

The School is on a hybrid schedule, with classes held online each week, so no one enters the building for several days, further protecting our students by giving enough downtime for any germs that might have eluded disinfectants to die.


You might think that martial arts training requires a level of contact that could be unsafe, however, as a vast field of mind/body study, martial arts contains a myriad of activities that do not require human contact for personal development.

For now, some elements of training must be set aside, for example, wrestling and grappling, like in Judo or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, will not and cannot take place right now, so those training drills are off the table for the foreseeable future.

INDIVIDUAL TRAINING AIDS. SMAA has numerous, ingenious training aids that allow students to train and hone their skills without touching other students. From bags to pad to dummies to our own awesome creations, we have training aids to keep students engaged and belt to practice without a partner. While students cannot work on a partner, they can still experience the feeling of blocking, punching, kicking and throwing.

SAFE CURRICULA. Our COVID Curricula focuses on Character Development (Mental Martial Arts), Physical Fitness and Self-Defense Skills. Most of martial arts training is preparing for sparring or applications and COVD is allowing us to focus on these critical skill-building drills and exercises that pay off in greater skill in the long-term.


As a small, private school, SMAA offers several safe training options to our students.

  • Small Group Classes. Our regular classes are limited to fewer than 10 students, with instructors who can split the class into small, separate groups in the school.
  • Private Lessons. For students who choose not to come to regular classes, we offer in-person, private lessons.
  • Online Learning. For families with higher-risk members and those who prefer to train online, we offer virtual training options via Zoom.
  • Hybrid of In-Person and Virtual Learning. We also offer hybrid classes, where students train in-person on Mondays and Tuesdays and can train online Wednesdays and Thursdays.

We currently have students who have chosen each of these options and continue to train successfully during the pandemic.


We have made training at Scornavacco Martial Arts Academy as safe as possible, and safer than most places you might to go outside of your home.