We share your concern, let’s talk about it Warriors:

Unless you’ve been under a rock lately or have a disciplined practice of avoiding the news, you’ve heard of the Delta variant sweeping the nation. Delta is a more contagious version of Sars-CoV-2 that spreads with less exposure and has even caused a number of breakthrough infections to those fully vaccinated. It all seems very scary, let’s consider a few key points:

  • Masking Up in Public Places
  • Vaccination Status
  • Hospitalization and Morbidity
  • Personal Responsibility

Guarding the face: ex-boxer Haye launches mask to fight COVID-19 | Reuters

Mask up! Because we’ve always wanted to be a Ninja anyway:

At the beginning of the pandemic there wasn’t a whole lot of research on masks and their efficacy. We now know they’re a highly effective layer of protection and there’s countless peer reviewed studies. Here’s one based on influenza from a while back showing that cloth surgical masks (the blue disposable type) are nearly equal. The study reports more than a 90% efficacy rate when worn properly and consistently, and we know with Covid that protection goes up when both people present are wearing masks. You can read the study here: Before Covid influenza mask study.  If you’re interested in further research here’s 49 peer reviewed studies on the effectiveness of masks during Covid specifically:49 PEER REVIEWED mask studies. 

RCW has been committed to keeping our students and staff safe, and we’re currently following the new state mandate of masks for all indoor businesses in Oregon. To this date we haven’t had one case of transmission from one student to another, although a handful of our members have contracted the virus at family gatherings, work, or school.

You’re vaccinated right?

The best layer of protection that we have against this virus currently is to get vaccinated. It’s easy, it’s free, and it’s widely available, in fact the Walgreens by my house when I checked this week has availability without an appointment even being required. Over 95% of all our students are fully vaccinated and the same goes for our staff. As of today over 360 million doses have been administered in America and BILLIONS worldwide. It’s safe and effective, and simply eliminates a lot of the risk. Imagine you’re going to store your life savings in a bank and the clerk offers to insure your balance for FREE. Would you say, “no thanks, I’m financially healthy right now and I really don’t foresee anything that could topple my success.” Of course not, you’d take the insurance, because a major part of life and success is managing risk that life tosses our way.

I won’t go into detail again about the safety of the vaccines themselves, or that no steps were skipped in their development, as there’s a previous blog post for all that jazz. What I will say is categorically the virus is currently sweeping the unvaccinated. If you’re fully vaccinated, you’re largely covered from the worst symptoms of this virus and the odds are greatly in your favor. Folks that we’ve known who are vaccinated who have had Covid have recovered quickly without medical care or even a trip to the doctor.

By the numbers, hospitalizations:

Alright so we’re at the uncomfortable part, a lot of people don’t like hearing about this data. In my opinion we need to face it head on to know what we’re up against. Only with a clear picture provided by the data can we face our fears with the courage to move forward. In the month of July it’s reported that over 82% of all cases, hospitalizations and deaths were unvaccinated.

Being vaccinated, and younger than 65, this gives me a lot of comfort. Coupled with everyone wearing masks at RCW and our high vaccination rate of students, I feel very safe training at the academy every day. Here’s the monthly report so you can check the data yourself: Oregon in JULY


Personal Responsibility:

We live in a country with a lot of pride in our freedom of choice. However, that freedom comes with responsibilities and obligations to our fellow citizens. I can’t drive drunk, go to a movie theater naked, speed at a 150MPH down the highway, or a host of other poor decisions that would endanger my community. In my opinion a warrior is a shield for their community. Thinking back to Sparta and how important the shield was to keep the friend next to you alive in the Phalanx. I’ve trained a number of veterans over the years, and they will tell you that you’re only as good in a fight as the warrior next to you.

That’s why we all need to band together to fight this virus, because we’re in it together. It effects us all whether that’s the burden on our healthcare and economy or the tragic loss of a loved one.

At RCW we’re doing our part by offering as many layers of protection and security as we possibly can. We wouldn’t be open right now if we didn’t feel the tools we had were adequate to address the situation. We’re covered by the vaccine, the masks, and the actions of our community, and we’re comforted by the data that’s out there rather than panicked by it. At some point, we’re going to have to learn to live with this virus, and that’s exactly what we’ll be doing: LIVING.

We’ve been training almost this entire time, and with these measures in place we have never had ONE case of transmission from within the academy.

We understand that everyone has to make their own decisions during this difficult time, but at RCW we’ve believe that we’re still moving forward out of this pandemic. We’re doing all we can and will remain steadfast in our commitment to you, the students who keep us going each and every day.


Thanks for all your support, hope to see you at the school!

-Coach Joe