Canadian anti-vax martial arts gym goes out of business

Flow Academy, an infamous Canadian martial arts gym best known for its staunch anti-vax stance, has gone out of business. Once located in Sutherland…

By: Karim Zidan | 2 years ago
Canadian anti-vax martial arts gym goes out of business
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

Flow Academy, an infamous Canadian martial arts gym best known for its staunch anti-vax stance, has gone out of business.

Once located in Sutherland Avenue and Burch Road in Kelowna, a city in the south of Canada’s British Columbia province, Flow Academy made headlines earlier this year for refusing service to anyone who had received a COVID-19 vaccination. Now the building space that used to be home to Flow’s training facility is empty while the gym sign has been replaced with a “For Lease” notice.

Prior to banning vaccinated people from its facility, Flow Academy had a ‘no mask’ policy, which they maintained throughout the course of the pandemic. Then in April 2021, the gym announced that its marital arts classes would only be available to people who have not been vaccinated.

“This decision was made after much discussion with other health, wellness and fitness-related facilities across Canada (both public and private), as well as liability insurance companies,” the website notice read. “To put it simply, the unknown health effects of the mRNA vaccines, as well as reported side effects such as viral shedding, seizures and death following the administration of these vaccines, are not covered by our liability.”

However, the gym’s resistance did not last long as Flow Academy was ordered to shut down by Interior Health after the owners denied the RCMP and City bylaw staff entry to execute a search warrant. The gym was also fined a total of $3000 for operating with a City of Kelowna business license.

Flow Academy isn’t the only martial arts gym that has resisted COVID-19 vaccinations. Fearless Boxing Club, a Toronto gym based in South Etobicoke, has also indicated that the gym would not be accepting any vaccinated members.

“For The Safety Of Our Members, The Fearless Boxing Club Will No Longer Be Accepting Those Who Received The Experimental Covid Vaccine,” wrote co-founder Mohammed Abedeen. “Our Current Members Including Doctors, Nurses, Teachers, Parents And Many Youth Feel Safer Waiting Until More Research Is Done On The Side Effects Being Discovered Right Now.”

On July 27, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released updated guidelines on the necessity of “increasing COVID-19 vaccination coverage” due to the fact that the Delta variant of COVID-19 is nearly twice as contagious as previous variants. It also added that the “greatest risk of transmission is among unvaccinated people who are much more likely to contract, and therefore transmit the virus.” Vaccinated people may experience “breakthrough cases” and can spread the virus to others, though they appear to be infectious for a shorter period.

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About the author
Karim Zidan
Karim Zidan

Karim Zidan is a investigative reporter and feature writer focusing on the intersection of sports and politics. He has written for BloodyElbow since 2014 and has served as an associate editor since 2016. He also writes for The New York Times and The Guardian. Karim has been invited to speak about his work at numerous universities, including Princeton, and was a panelist at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival and the Oslo Freedom Forum. He also participated in the United Nations counter-terrorism conference in 2021. His reporting on Ramzan Kadyrov’s involvement in MMA, much of which was done for Bloody Elbow, has led to numerous award nominations, and was the basis of an award-winning HBO Real Sports documentary.

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