MALTA, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Malta business owner Eddie Fyvie reopened his Jiu-jitsu academy on Wednesday despite not being allowed to under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s “stay-at-home” executive order.
“Today’s about the people. It’s not about me. It’s not about creating a rebellion,” Fyvie said.
Fyvie’s Jiu-jitsu Academy is supposed to reopen in Phase 4 of the reopening process. His Malta studio is under the Capital Region’s reopening plan, which is still in Phase 1.
The martial arts school was transformed to accommodate safety guidelines. Fyvie consulted two doctors to help him come up with the new layout that separates the limited number of students allowed inside.
“I may be looked at in a negative light by some people, but I’m doing this as safely as possible and I dare you to walk into an essential business, big chain store, that is opening and look and see if they’re doing it better than I am,” Fyvie said.
Students must meet the requirements the academy’s set to participate, including having temperatures taken at the door and sanitizing their hands and feet.
“We flattened the curve; we did what we were supposed to do. I feel like we should be able to get back to our normal lives,” student Danielle Walter said. “I’ve been missing it. And it’s been hard to cope with the whole shutdown without Jiu-jitsu.”
Spokesperson for the Governor’s Office, Jack Sterne said in a statement to NEWS10ABC: “If a facility like this is open to the public, it is violating New York’s public health-based Executive Orders — putting its customers and staff at risk. We will work with the local authorities to investigate this issue and pursue formal enforcement measures if necessary, including fines.”
Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo said in a statement to NEWS10ABC: “We are making advisements only.”
“I’m not a criminal. I’ve never done anything wrong. All I’m trying to do is teach self-defense and help people become healthy,” Fyvie said.
Fines defying the executive order can go as high as $10,000.
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