Hudson Valley martial arts school aims to reopen multiple locations next month
A Hudson Valley martial arts school is aiming to reopen its multiple locations next month.
The United Martial Arts Centers owner says he plans to reopen the Fishkill, Carmel, LaGrange and Newburgh locations on July 13.
After losing over $150,000 each month, owner Paul Melella Jr. says he’s sticking to his plan.
"I don't have a choice, otherwise I can't put food on the table for my family,” says Melella. “This business is a baby to me, it’s a part of my soul.”
The 46-year-old tells News 12 that over 90% of his income has diminished since closing.
Martial arts is grouped into the fitness category, which is not allowed to reopen as of yet. The United Martial Arts Center teaches taekwondo, deemed a sport, and categorized statewide as high risk.
However, the owner doesn’t understand why the state is choosing liquor stores over fitness, saying in part, “Alcohol and fast food don't help your immune system. Martial arts and fitness centers are boosting immunity….your body is a machine that will fight this virus."
According to the state, participants in higher-risk sports can resume individual or distanced/low-contact group training on July 6.
“We will have to modify our self-defense techniques and Olympic sparring that we do,” says Melella about reopening.
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