SoCal martial arts schools hit hard by COVID-19 pandemic

Owner of martial arts school has hopes his business will return as we round the corner on coronavirus
SIMI VALLEY (KABC) -- Like many other martial arts schools in Southern California, the Martial Motion Academy in Simi Valley, has closed -- a casualty of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

Rene Susim had dozens of students enrolled in his after school program. When the pandemic hit and schools transitioned to online learning, most of his business disappeared.

"So what I did was at the end of April, I shut down my business and I put it in storage," said Susim. "What I'm doing now is training people at the park to maintain my client base and keep the kids active that want to continue training and the parents that are allowing them to train due to COVID restrictions."

Another martial arts academy owner said he can't even keep the business open with online classes. He says he'll probably shut it down soon.

Susim says he has heard the same from some of his friends in the industry.

"A lot of my buddies have closed, their businesses have shut down," said Susim. "I don't know how they'll do if this keeps on going."

Currently he works with a few students a couple of days a week at a nearby park; but he's trying to remain optimistic and hopes to reopen his studio when everyone will be safe.

"What's the future going to be like? I have no idea but I'm assuming certain things. I know I can't go to business as usual," said Susim.
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