Due to the Covid-19 Outbreak
Double Dragon will Be Closed Permanently

Double Dragon Martial Arts and Fitness Closure – Email Sent and Posted June 9th, 2020

I hope that all of you are coping in good health and good spirit as we all struggle with the devastating effects Covid-19 (Coronavirus) has on our world, country, communities and families.

As most of you know, I have spent the last 5 years of my life putting all my effort into building Double Dragon into one of the best martial arts club in the city. Last year (2019), with a partner I also invested into starting the Ninja Warrior Factory to provide the community with yet another facility for children and adults to have fun while improving mental and physical fitness. After a few short months and to my surprise and unforeseen expense I had to buy out my business partner due to a mental illness. I had to coach and manage both businesses while trying to find someone to fulfill his role of head coach if I wanted the Ninja Warrior Factory to stay in business. I did so and after losing money each month in 2019, the Ninja Warrior Factory finally started to show some financial promise in January and February of 2020 via a combination of membership sales and birthday/team parties before being devastated by Covid-19 in March. Needless to say my hopes of possibly selling Double Dragon Martial Arts and Fitness and the Ninja Warrior Factory in 5 years as I looked toward retirement vanished over night as both my businesses now appeared to be worthless regardless of how much I invested and most likely a liability each month moving forward.

Even though now it may appear a re-opening of such recreational sport facilities such as Double Dragon and the Ninja Warrior Factory may soon be possible, cleaning before, after and possibly during each class will dramatically increase expenses in regards to sanitation processes, products and employee labour while contributing to shortened class times and the amount of classes available in any given week. Screening for Covid-19 upon entrance and regulations specific to social distancing such as 2 meter spacing, time and procedures for members to enter and exit facilities, limited number of spectators (1 parent), are sure to contribute to a dramatic decrease in class availability, class times and class size. More regulations that limit the use of most equipment (Heavy Bags, Focus Mitts, Thai Pads and Kick Shields), change facilities, washrooms, water fountains, coaching assistance and/or partner drills during classes will also dramatically limit the high energy, interactive and collaborative team/class experience typically associated with our training facilities. Personal property and food will also be prohibited from entering such facilities thus making it almost impossible for the scheduling of birthday or team parties or members to change into work out uniforms or shower afterwards.

Now as of June 8th, 2020 I have been made aware that for martial arts clubs, only paid clubs and members of a Provincial Sport Organization (PSO) at $650 per club plus $75.00 per member or coach will be allowed to train after contacting your PSO and Public Health Office to get approval before opening club doors. I see this as just another money grab by such PSO’s and why I refused to join such again in 2020. For more information please click on the following documents from Steve Harlow – Deputy Minister of Ontario Ministry of Tourism Culture and Sport and Policies for Opening Martial Arts/Kickboxing Clubs from WAKO Canada which is the parent organization of Kickboxing Ontario the actual PSO. I don’t even believe their is such a PSO for Ninja Warrior.

I believe that the devastating financial effects Covid-19 has had on other businesses, the community and so many of our members personally has resulted in the recent and massive decline in member support which does not even cover rent anymore let alone, club insurance, utilities, phone, internet and wages and also makes me wonder if families will have any extra income for extracurricular activities in the future.

At the moment neither Double Dragon nor the Ninja Warrior Factory has been able to obtain landlord support for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program nor any other government assistance program that will make it financially feasible to continue operations under the present economic conditions and future screening or self-distancing regulations related to Covid-19.

Since March 17th 2020, I have spent many of sleepless nights tossing and turning worrying about how I am going to get through this. I have been under extreme stress which I believe has also contributed too many physical and mental health issues experienced over the past 3 months. Most recently being bed ridden for 4 days with fever, chills and severe headaches but to my surprise after being tested for Covid-19 it came back negative. Turning 55 years of age this year, such stress along with Covid-19 being as contagious and dangerous to people my age and older is not something that I take lightly, now or in the future. Presently, without a vaccine or some other proven way to prevent or cure Covid-19, I truly am a bit worried about being around so many children and adults who in the past have come into one of the facilities while being contagious with some sort of cold or virus and passing it on to myself or others.

I think that even if the club and members decided to pay the additional fees mentioned above and join a PSO which I do not even believe exists for the Ninja Warrior and were to receive the go ahead from our local public health office to re-open, the ever present fear of contracting Covid-19 now or in the future and with the possibility of being shut down again due to a second wave will also greatly contribute to keeping members who have cancelled or put memberships on hold from returning any time soon and make any future sales and marketing efforts to attract new members almost futile.

The new reality of possible members, parents or employees contracting Covid-19 while visiting Double Dragon or the Ninja Warrior Factory also puts a huge liability on employees and myself as a facility owner with potential for very expensive litigation.

It is with all of the above mentioned in mind that I now realize that Double Dragon Martial Arts and Fitness and the Ninja Warrior Factory will not be viable businesses anytime soon with their pre-covid-19 break even costs of $12 000 and $11 000 a month before any payroll or dividends are paid to myself especially when most recent monthly membership payments haven’t even come close to covering rent alone. Both businesses are sure to see a dramatic increase in expenses and liabilities with much lower incomes making it impossible to be viable if and when given the approval by a PSO and public health office to re-open and while there is no prevention or cure for covid-19.

So with all the above being said, it is with a very heart that I must inform you that I have made the final decision to cease all operations at both businesses permanently. I am truly sorry but as you may or may not understand, Double Dragon and the Ninja Warrior Factory or I personally are not in any financial position to do anything else under such conditions. At this time I will be cancelling all insurance, phone, internet, website and utility contacts ASAP and there will be no more monthly membership fees, donations or refunds processed. I can not afford to pay rent moving forward and therefore I expect my landlords to evict me and commence personal litigation against me for not fulfilling a 5 year lease term at almost $6000 a month for Double Dragon and 3 year lease term at almost $5000 a month for the Ninja Warrior Factory. As mentioned in previous emails, without member or government support during the forced shutdown I would most likely not be able to fulfill such business obligations and most likely have to declare personal bankruptcy and that reality is now on the horizon.

I know some of you may also feel as though you have lost due to helping support your club over the last few months in hopes that everything would soon return to normal or by scheduling future birthday or team parties or camps that will not come to fruition. I just hope before reacting badly toward me that somehow you find a way to understand that it was not me who created this Covid-19 (Coronavirus) or mandated the temporary closure of my businesses and payments previously collected have been used to try and keep my businesses alive through these very challenging times and in the end there will be no bigger loser than myself, as I expect to not only lose the hundreds of thousands invested but also my livelihood and a career working with children and adults that I truly loved. I know this may not be what you want to hear, but it is the truth and there is nothing else I can do during these unprecedented times. If you are not happy with such, then please by all means investigate any legal channels possible or do us all a favor and contact your local MP, our premier Doug Ford, the Small Business Minister Mary Ng or our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau like I have done with almost 20 000 names on a petition and such to try and get the emergency assistance we ALL need!

Please note – Moving forward my focus will be on my own health and emotional well-being as I try and find a way to support myself, pay my own personal rent and put food on the table. I will not be sending out any more emails or replying to existing ones. I am truly sorry in regards to this unfortunate outcome but there is no way that I can continue to try and keep working at businesses that will not be able to pay the rent, bills, employees or myself anytime soon!

I want to thank all of you of who have supported me over the years and made me feel like family! I will miss you all and wish you all the best in the future!

Sincerely,

Coach Chris

Member Email Sent and Posted May 28th, 2020

I hope that all of you are coping in good health and good spirit as we all do our part to social distance ourselves and help reduce the spread of Covid-19 (Coronavirus).

Latest Developments

As most of you are aware, I have been doing everything possible to research all possible government assistance programs and to create awareness to the devastating effects of Covid-19. On Monday May 25th, the federal government allowed for tenant and landlord applications of the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. At this time my landlords have not committed or denied their involvement in such. However, I feel they are not really on board as it would result in a 25% rent reduction on their part for April, May and June of 2020.

In regards to a reopening date, at present the province has NOT declared such. In fact, at present we do not know if such sports recreation facilities will have the green light to re-open in phase 2 or phase 3 of the provinces reopening plan. We also do not know specifically under what or if any new regulations will be in place to ensure safety of our members.

To keep up to date with the provinces reopening stages please visit: https://www.ontario.ca/page/reopening-ontario-stages

Membership Payments, Holds, Cancellations or Donations

With June 1st approaching quickly, I would like to say that I understand that many of you may also be facing financial hardships due to loss of jobs or income and I will continue to accept your membership cancellations or holds without prejudice. Others, who have been lucky enough to be spared such devastation and have chosen to support the club, I want to thank you from the bottom of heart as I would not be able to pay rent, utilities and insurance etc. and possibly have to declare bankruptcy without your support.

Anyone whose circumstances have recently changed and need to hold or cancel their memberships, I ask that you please send an email [email protected] asap and prior to Sunday May 31st, 2020 at 12 noon. Please use the subject of the email to say Hold or Cancel – then the member name(s) (ex. Hold – Jon Doe). If you feel you cannot afford to pay your full membership and would still like to support the club financially, please send an email and use the subject of the email to say Hold or Cancel – then the member name(s) followed by Donate and the amount you wish to donate Monthly (ex. Hold – Jon Doe – Donate $___ Amount Monthly). Please understand that 13% of this donation will go to HST as we are not a registered non-profit nor do I believe there will be an easy way to separate such from monthly membership payments.

Anyone who does not send in such an email request will be assumed to pay their full membership without refund in support of the club. If you have already sent an email requesting a hold or cancellation, please DO NOT send a second email unless it is to change your mind and donate a monthly dollar amount.

Online Classes

To support our community, myself and some of our Double Dragon instructors have been offering online classes / workouts to help motivate people to stay physically fit and continue to practice their Kung Fu and Kickboxing training at home. Classes are available at 7:00 pm Monday – Saturday and Sundays at 1 pm. Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays will be dedicated to Kung Fu and Tuesdays and Thursdays will be focused on Kickboxing. Due to a very weak Internet connection at Double Dragon, we have been broadcasting such classes / workouts from the Ninja Warrior Factory.

To view classes online please go to: https://www.twitch.tv/doubledragonmartialarts

Past and Future Communications

Please beware that Double Dragon has been closed due to a provincial wide shut down of non-essential businesses since March 17th, 2020 and therefore we do not have the staff at the office to process your requests or phone calls until we are legislated to go back to work and open for business.

Please note – Regular email updates in regards to the unprecedented circumstances caused by the Covid-19 outbreak have and will continue to be sent out on a regular basis to whatever email address that you chose to be associated with your membership as well as being posted on our website at https://doubledragonmartialarts.com/. If you have not received such please check your spam folders for such.

I would like to thank all of you for your support and I wish you a safe and healthy future!

Member Email Sent and Posted April 27th, 2020

I hope that all of you are coping in good health and good spirit as we all do our part to social distance ourselves and help reduce the spread of Covid-19 (Coronavirus).

Latest Developments

As most of you are aware, I have been doing everything possible to research all possible government assistance programs, contact local MP’s, the Small Business Minister, CTV News and most recently by creating an online petition to help small businesses devastated by Covid-19, which has now gathered over 16 000 signatures. If you have not signed such please go to the following link to do so: https://www.change.org/help-small-business

On Friday April 24th, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, announced that the federal government has reached an agreement in principle with all provinces and territories to implement the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. This program could potentially lower rent by 75 per cent for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19. This program would do so by having 50% of the rent shared by the Federal and Provincial Governments, a 25% rent reduction from Landlords and the remaining 25% paid by Small Business Tenants. However, this plan may not be ideal for most small businesses as many may still be without income during April, May and June. However, the biggest hurdle for this program to work will be whether landlords will be in a position to reduce rents by 25% and will they be willing to participate in this program as a solution. I contacted my landlords immediately upon the announcement of this program (CECRA) and have yet to hear back with a final answer as to if they will participate or not.

Membership Payments, Holds, Cancellations or Donations

With May 1st approaching quickly, I would like to say that I understand that many of you may also be facing financial hardships due to loss of jobs or income and I will continue to accept your membership cancellations or holds without prejudice. Others, who have been lucky enough to be spared such devastation and have chosen to support the club, I want to thank you from the bottom of heart as I would not be able to pay rent, utilities and insurance etc. and possibly have to declare bankruptcy without your support.

Anyone whose circumstances have recently changed and need to hold or cancel their memberships, I ask that you please send an email [email protected] asap and prior to Thursday April 30th, 2020 at 12 noon. Please use the subject of the email to say Hold or Cancel – then the member name(s) (ex. Hold – Jon Doe). If you feel you cannot afford to pay your full membership and would still like to support the club financially, please send an email and use the subject of the email to say Hold or Cancel – then the member name(s) followed by Donate and the amount you wish to donate Monthly (ex. Hold – Jon Doe – Donate $___ Amount Monthly). Please understand that 13% of this donation will go to HST as we are not a registered non-profit nor do I believe there will be an easy way to separate such from monthly membership payments.

Anyone who does not send in such an email request will be assumed to pay their full membership without refund in support of the club. If you have already sent an email requesting a hold or cancellation, please DO NOT send a second email unless it is to change your mind and donate a monthly dollar amount.

Online Classes

To support our community, myself and some of our Double Dragon instructors have been offering online classes / workouts to help motivate people to stay physically fit and continue to practice their Kung Fu and Kickboxing training at home. Classes are available at 7:00 pm Monday – Saturday and Sundays at 1 pm. Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays will be dedicated to Kung Fu and Tuesdays and Thursdays will be focused on Kickboxing. Due to a very weak Internet connection at Double Dragon, we have been broadcasting such classes / workouts from the Ninja Warrior Factory.

To view classes online please go to: https://www.twitch.tv/doubledragonmartialarts

Past and Future Communications

Please beware that Double Dragon has been closed due to a provincial wide shut down of non-essential businesses since March 17th, 2020 and therefore we do not have the staff at the office to process your requests or phone calls until we are legislated to go back to work and open for business.

Please note – Regular email updates in regards to the unprecedented circumstances caused by the Covid-19 outbreak have and will continue to be sent out on a regular basis to whatever email address that you chose to be associated with your membership as well as being posted on our website at https://doubledragonmartialarts.com/. If you have not received such please check your spam folders for such.

I would like to thank all of you for your support and I wish you a safe and healthy future!

Member Email Sent and Posted April 6th, 2020

Please Help – Sign and Share Petition – April 6th, 2020

I hope that all of you are coping in good health and good spirit as we all do our part to social distance ourselves and help reduce the spread of Covid-19 (Coronavirus).

Today I learned that many new and small businesses like Double Dragon and the Ninja Warrior Factory will not be eligible for the new Canada Emergency Business Account (CERA) to provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses, to help cover operating costs during a period where revenues have been temporarily reduced due to Covid-19. In order to qualify for such loans, businesses must demonstrate that they have paid between $50,000 and $1 million in total payroll in 2019.

Double Dragon is supported mostly through volunteers and part-time employees, with a payroll just shy of $50,000 for 2019 and the Ninja Warrior Factory has only been officially operating since September of 2019 thus making both businesses ineligible for such loans.

Rent for both businesses are $5,700 and $4,500 plus other monthly expenses such as utilities, Internet, phone and insurance. I have personally invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into equipment and lease hold improvements at both businesses. I recently signed a new 5 year and 3 year lease for both businesses and with very little revenue or savings at this time, I am really worried about possibly losing everything especially, if we are not able to re-open anytime soon.

I am also very worried that it may not be weeks until we are able to re-open but rather months or even years as noted in Doug Ford’s speech to Ontarian’s on Friday April 3rd, 2020 where his medical experts projected the corona-virus crisis could last 18 months to two years and kill 3,000 to 15,000 people, even with public health measures in place. See the link below to reference such:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/coronavirus-covid19-april3-canada-world-1.5519144

To be proactive in my fight to create government awareness to the problems that small businesses such as Double Dragon and the Ninja Warrior Factory face during these challenging times, I have created a petition. At this time I would like to ask for your support by clicking on the link below and signing the petition in support of all Canadian small businesses and if you have the means to share such on any of your social media platforms, please do!

https://www.change.org/help-small-business

For your reference, I have included the link to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit page where you will find the heading Canada Emergency Business Account. Click on the Support for Business link to see eligibility details. Unfortunately, there is no other assistance programs that I am aware of that would benefit new and small businesses like Double Dragon and the Ninja Warrior Factory at this time.

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html#businesses

Thank you for your time and hopefully your support!

Member Email Sent and Posted April 1st, 2020

I hope that all of you are coping in good health and good spirit as we all do our part to social distance ourselves and help reduce the spread of Covid-19 (Coronavirus).

To support our Double Dragon community, some of our instructors will be offering online classes / workouts to help motivate members to stay physically fit and continue to practice their Kung Fu and Kickboxing training at home. Classes will start tonight Wednesday April 1st, 2020 at 7:00 pm and will last 1 – 2 hours, dependent upon the participation of online viewers. We hope to have 1 class each night of the week (Monday – Saturday) starting at 7:00 pm as well as one on Sundays at 1 pm. Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays will be dedicated to Kung Fu and Tuesdays and Thursdays will be focused on Kickboxing. Due to a very weak Internet connection at Double Dragon, we will be broadcasting such classes / workouts from the Ninja Warrior Factory.

To view classes online please go to: https://www.twitch.tv/doubledragonmartialarts

You do not have to register for a Twitch account to view, only if you want to be able to comment or ask questions. Hope to see you online soon!

Member Email Sent and Posted March 27th, 2020

I hope that all of you are coping in good health and good spirit as we all do our part to social distance ourselves and help reduce the spread of Covid-19 (Coronavirus).

Over the last week and a bit I have been doing everything possible to research all possible government assistance programs, contact local MP’s Marwan Tabbarri and Tim Louise, the Small Business Minister Mary Ng, as well as CTV news to try and create awareness to the devastating effects this pandemic will have on small local businesses and the community. I have also offered the Double Dragon facility to house overflow Covid-19 patients in the event such is ever needed in the community.

Today Justin Trudeau announced support for small businesses in the form of interest free loan for the first year. This is not ideal as it is still a loan, but I guess it is better than nothing at this time… as we all have to realize that we are in this together!

Prior to Trudeau’s announcement and upon the receiving countless emails from members who are now facing financial hardships themselves, I was thinking of making what I had believed to be the morally right decision and not charge anyone April 1st membership fees regardless of the Terms of Service (Outlined Below) that all members agreed to and signed when they joined either Double Dragon or the Ninja Warrior Factory. I now realize if I do this it will most definitely lead to the closure of the clubs sooner than later. Without any monthly income or government assistance, I will most likely not be able to afford to pay the rent of $5700 for Double Dragon and $4500 a month at the Ninja Warrior Factory plus insurance, utilities etc. over the many months of uncertainty ahead. Due to recently signing another 5 year lease for Double Dragon and a 3 year lease for the Ninja Warrior Factory, I may even have to face the future possibility of personal bankruptcy if I am unable to meet such financial obligations.

With the government assistance announced today and the hope for even more in the future, I have made the decision to try and fight to keep both Double Dragon and the Ninja Warrior Factory in business… That being said, I have now decided to do my best to process all membership hold and cancellation requests without prejudice and regardless of the terms of service outlined below. I hope this will lessen the financial burden many of our members may be facing in these very challenging times.

At this time, I ask anyone wishing to hold or cancel their memberships to please email [email protected] asap and prior to Tuesday March 31st, 2020 at 12 noon. Please use the subject of the email to say Hold or Cancel – then the member name(s) (ex. Hold – Jon Doe). If you have already sent an email requesting a hold or cancelation, please DO NOT send a second email requesting the same as it will only waste time and resources.

I have contacted my credit card and pre-authorized debit payment processors (Paystone and Bambora) and unfortunately to my disappointment neither companies are willing to forgo NSF charges at this time. So I am hoping many of you did not go ahead and stop payments via your bank or credit card companies and if you have already done so, please send an email requesting to hold or cancel your membership as instructed above so that we do not incur any additional NSF charges at this time.

In regards to refunds for camps and/or birthday parties and team events. It has always been our policy to not refund such as indicated on all invoices and in our event confirmation emails however, under the unprecedented circumstances I have already offered people to reschedule for another date and I will also do my best to consider refunds in the future dependant upon the support we receive from our members and the government upon our re-opening.

I really appreciate all of the supportive emails I have received from members who have offered to support the club throughout these challenging times by committing to still pay their monthly memberships. At this time I have chosen to take you up on that offer and will assume anyone who has not contacted us via the email addresses listed above with a hold or cancellation request to be in support of such and pay your fees on or about April 1st, 2020.

Some of the instructors at Double Dragon are presently organizing some online classes to help members sharpen technique and hopefully provide both mental and physical motivation while we all do our part to self isolate and reduce the spread of Covid-19. We hope to start live streaming next week (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays – Kung Fu and Tuesdays and Thursdays – Kickboxing). We will also be considering some form of online stretching and exercising and such for Ninja Warrior Members in the near future. Please watch your email and our websites for future updates.

I would like to thank all of you for your support and I wish you a safe and healthy future!

Sincerely,

Chris Lasso

Below are the two main points in regards to membership holds or cancellations outlined in the “Terms of Service” for all Double Dragon and Ninja Warrior Factory membership agreements.

  • The Member may cancel this agreement after the initial three (3) month period or the initial twelve (12) month period as set out on the front of this Agreement upon 30 days written notice delivered to the Manager/Operator at which time the Member will receive a signed and dated copy cancellation letter.
  • All time stop requests (holds) must be made in writing by hand delivered or mailed written notice to the manager/operator at the “Club” location address set out on the front of this agreement at which time the member will receive a confirmation letter signed and dated recognizing the time stop conditions.

Member Email Sent and Posted March 21st, 2020

On March 17th, 2020, Doug Ford (Premiere of Ontario) announced a State of Emergency for the Province of Ontario due the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak where he mandated that all facilities providing recreational programs close until March 31st, 2020, effective immediately.

We understand that everyone’s health and safety was at the forefront of our Premiere’s decision and therefore we have complied with this mandate and closed our facility and have ceased all operations until March 31st, 2020 or until otherwise notified by the Province of Ontario. Upon doing so, we posted information in regards to our closure on our website domain as well as in an email sent to all members, patrons, parents and staff. Upon doing so, we received an overwhelming response of emails and voicemails which has led to the decision outlined in the paragraph below.

PLEASE NOTE – During the mandated closure, we have ceased all operations and will not be replying to individual email requests or phone messages as there are way too many of them. We will be using all of our resources to investigate how we can best support and compensate our members, patrons, parents and staff and the club itself via emergency government assistance programs and/or any other means possible. As the situation continues to develop, we will be posting all future updates via our website and via email such as this one.

We hope for your understanding and support in these challenging times.

Member Email Sent and Posted March 17th, 2020

Doug Ford announced a State of Emergency for the Province of Ontario due the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, he has mandated that all facilities providing recreational programs close until March 31st, 2020 effective immediately.

We appreciate all of the support from our members, parents and staff throughout these challenging times and we will do everything possible to re-open as soon as we are directed to do so by the Province of Ontario and Region of Waterloo Public Health.

At this time, we would like you to consider that Double Dragon is is a small business with no government funding and if everyone were to cancel, hold their membership(s) or ask for refunds on events due to their fears over Covid-19 then the club will not be able to pay rent, utilities, insurance, employees etc. and will most likely be out of business before the end of the month losing everything we have invested over the years to build the best martial arts club in the community.

We hope that we can count on your support by not cancelling or putting a hold on your membership(s), or at least in the short term as we all work together in the community to help reduce the spread of Covid-19 as quickly as possible. When we are able to re-open we will be more than happy to offer members to attend as many classes each week to make up for any classes they have missed.

For anyone who has booked camp or a birthday party, we will be more than happy to offer them the ability to reschedule such for another day or week anytime in the future. Please see our PD Day Camp or Summer Camp dates on our website and send us an email to re-book such in the future.

We hope for your understanding and support in these challenging times and would like to encourage everyone to stay safe and healthy and to watch your email and social media for any future updates.