Proper hygiene in the Jiu Jitsu Academy is essential to uninterrupted training. I outline some easy best practices to maintaining a clean gym in the first half of this post. In the second half, I talk briefly about two of the most common skin infections in a Jiu Jitsu gym, ringworm and staph infections.
The 5 Basic Rules Of Hygiene In The Jiu Jitsu Academy.
1.) Clean The Mats (Mat Hygiene)
A gym should clean the mats after every block of classes. If there is enough time between classes for the mats to dry, they should be cleaned. If your gym doesn’t clean regularly, visit with your instructor and volunteer to help supply some of the man power. At my gym the “lowest belts” who are last to get off the mat clean them. There is some honor in being the last to stop grappling, and the lower belts should be invested in the gym’s future. Sometimes the lowest belts off the mat will be purple, brown, or black belts even.
2.) Shoe Policy (Footwear Hygiene)
No shoes on the mat, and no being barefoot off the mat. Walking around at a tournament barefoot in the bathroom then stepping onto the mats? Dude, we put our faces there! When barefoot on the mats, the floor off the mats is “hot lava.” Don’t step on it without proper footwear, or disinfect your feet every time.
3.) Clean Gear Only (Equipment Hygiene)
Every time I get on the mat, I am washing the gear that I am training in. If I have only been on the mat to stretch and haven’t even began to sweat I wash that gear. Unless there is another training session beginning right after I am instantly washing.
My post-training ritual is to toss my clothes in the wash first thing when I come home and start it. Typically I will eat my post workout snack and by then the wash is done or close and I can hop in the shower.
The clothes I put on after class are also now contaminated and I treat them like radioactive waste until I can wash them too.
4.) Clean People Only (Training Partner Hygiene)
Keep your finger and toe nails trimmed. Try to smell hygienic when you step on the mat (by the time you get off you should have worked up a sweat and don’t have to smell so great). This means teeth brushed, deodorant applied, and if you wouldn’t want your armpit in your face, rinse off before class. This is probably the most significant part of hygiene in the Jiu Jitsu academy that a new student trying out class will notice.
5.) Shower after every time you get on the mats.
No exceptions. I try to shower as quickly as possible after I get off the mats. I also focus on not lying in bed dirty, or flopping down in a chair or on the couch until I am clean. For long distance tournaments I have also used disinfecting wipes to give me some coverage before I get home.