Eugene Systema on hiatus until further notice …

Monday Systema class is cancelled and Eugene Systema classes are on hiatus until further notice. Due to ongoing developments in the spread of COVID-19 in Oregon and what is still only minimal testing nationwide, I’ve decided to be very cautious as this unfolds. We’re a small group, so it’s not a big deal to just take a pause, see how the situation progresses, and potentially help slow community spread of the virus.

To be clear, Best Martial Arts Institute is still open and is honoring all their teachers’ decisions about whether to come in and teach or not. They have taken extensive precautions to maintain a clean and safe environment, including daily cleaning of the mats and frequent-contact surfaces with anti-virus cleaner, as well as emphasizing that all students should wash their hands before and after training, and stay home if sick. I have confidence that they are and will continue to take the necessary precautions to keep students as safe as possible.

Nevertheless, Systema training frequently involves a lot of close contact. Even if we resolve to minimize that contact, out of habit, and because training can be fun and exuberant and intense, it’s easy to forget. We are a friendly group and we usually train in a pretty small room. For people in risk categories, the chance for serious and even fatal disease is a reality. If a small change in our routine can potentially lessen the risk for more vulnerable people at this time, that’s a good course to take.

The outbreak and the risk assessment will be more clear as testing becomes more widespread. At some point, we may begin training again. Until then, solo training can and should continue. Consider this a personal opportunity to build the kind of consistent, daily, self-driven practice that is backbone of real transformation. If you don’t know how you should be practicing, contact me. I am still here as a teacher and happy to offer you guidance. A little bit of direction can take you a long way, if you’re determined.

I may post some training suggestions in the coming weeks, and I am always available for questions, by email, by video conference, and in person, should you want to meet. In the meantime, stay relaxed, my friends, and let’s all take reasonable measures to keep ourselves and those around us healthy and happy. :)


About Matthew Lowes

Matthew Lowes is a writer, a game designer, and a martial arts instructor. Visit to learn more about his work. View all posts by Matthew Lowes

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