LockerRoom Logo

How lockdown is impacting Combat Sports gyms: Vighnesh Nathan tells his story

LockerRoom Team
06 May 2020

The Nationwide lockdown due to the Coronavirus situation is halfway through the third phase in India. We are nearing to 50 days of almost everything being closed and the small businesses, in particular, are taking a huge hit.

A long list of Martial Arts Gyms in the country falls right into this category. While the governments have been willing to open wine shops in most part of the country, the back is turned against the fitness industry which serves the purpose of keeping people healthy in the first place.

Reign MMA founder and Head Coach Vighnesh Nathan posted a video message on his social media handles last day about how the lockdown was impacting his business and similar martial arts gyms across India.

Vighnesh Nathan: Businesses like mine; we are not a very big scale business. We are not back by investors or we don’t have funding as such and everything is on our own. I do have personal loans for the business and I survive pretty much pay cheque to pay cheque because this is what I do. I’m 100% committed to my business, my academy and my students and I never even thought about having a second job before I started Reign MMA or before I started my previous academies.

With gyms being closed, the practical revenue from the same is null and this has put a lot of people in trouble including Vighnesh.

Vighnesh Nathan: It’s being two months now since I’ve been closed and two months since I’ve had absolutely no revenue. So no revenue means, it’s kind of hard for me now because what should I do? I’m not supposed to open the gym. My Problem with the lockdown is that most people know it, that lockdown itself is not the end of COVID-19 but lockdown can be the end of small businesses like mine. I know that the 17th of May is not going to be the end of lockdown for gyms like mine and it will be extended. So three months, four months, five months, how long can I survive?

Even though containing the spread of the virus with lockdown was the plan of the government, opening up wine shops, in particular, has been counter-productive. Large groups of people were seen lining up in front of such shops when they opened which in turn, kills the entire purpose of having such a lockdown in the first place.

Vighnesh Nathan: I don’t know the solution to the COVID and I don’t know if there is a backseat to it. For me, a lockdown doesn’t have any impact. It is just going to slow down the progress. But one day the alcohol shops open, the country and the city is going crazy basically. Now you tell me, is alcohol going to be the best thing for immunity or for you to fight COVID? Isn’t it better to go to the gym and work on yourself with precautions and get healthier and fitter? It’s a proven thing. All the damn scientists across the world are saying the same thing. The better your immunity is, the better your chances of survival are. But what do we have today? We have cigarettes being sold, we have alcohol being sold but gyms are closed all across.

Even when all this settles down, Vighnesh feels that people might have fears of stepping into the full-contact sports arena and added that the only thing he can do at this moment is to hope for the best.

Vighnesh Nathan: The fitness industry is a very diverse sector in which people are not united enough to stand-up and make a difference. So, unfortunately, at the moment, I can only hope that gyms open soon and that the government gives a nod to us but except for hope, I don’t have any other solution. All my students, all my well-wishers, all my friends, all of them are dying. The Jiu-Jitsu community, the MMA community they are dying just to get into the gym. They are not dying from COVID, they are dying from the anticipation of when they can get back to normal life. So if anyone has any solution please do come up with that guys, otherwise, all we can do is hope.

The story of Vighnesh is just one of many from the Indian fitness and combat sports industry, the backbone of which is currently on course for a complete collapse.

While the Government has done a commendable job in most sections when it comes to the COVID-19 activities, it is high time that the authorities gave a helping hand to people who run small-businesses and properly prioritize the things that they should limit and allow during this lockdown because relaxations on gyms is clearly a better idea than relaxations on wine shops. 

You can watch the complete video from Vighnesh below.


Please login to leave a comment


TermsPrivacy PolicyAbout UsContact Us
2024 All Rights Reserved © LockerRoom Network