Being a grappler as you know , you come in contact with other people and unfortunately you come in contact with other people’s personal hygiene. When you bow the mat and step on for the 1st training session of the night, you come with an assumption that your training partners have washed their gi’s and maintained their hygeine to the utmost detail.
Well, that may not always be the case. Other important factors are at play, whether you get held up at work and can’t shower, or your washing machine is on the fritz and you can’t wash your gi, whatever the case may be these things can affect your training partners and your own health.
Living the Jiu Jitsu lifestyle doesn’t start on the mat , it doesn’t start at the academy, it starts at home, with your home life. Lets look at some key factors that can help maintain good health while rolling on the mat.
Very important! It goes without saying that showering can be the most important factor in this scenario. Using the right soap can also be a key ingredient in the prevention of bacteria or skin infections. Shower with lukewarm water and use either Dial anti-bacterial soap or soap that has been specially formulated to prevent MRSA, Staph, Ringoworm, etc. called Defense soap. Most of you might have seen this soap advertised in your academy and for good reason, they are trying to tell you something, don’t ignore it! Start the way you would normally stretch, at the top of your head down, or at the bottom of your feet up. Take extra care and pay attention to detail when washing your feet as they will be the most exposed to the mat.
Defense Soap 4oz. Bar
2) Keep your gi clean
This you may say is so obvious it shouldn’t be stated. Well you’d be surprised at how many people do not follow this crucial and important step. There’s nothing worse than rolling around with an unclean gi. You don’t train to become infected with bacteria so why would anyone want to train with a dirty gi? I recommend washing the gi at least the next day using plenty of bleach ( unless you own a colored gi ) plenty of detergent whichever your choice. And important wash it alone, just the gi pants and jacket , nothing else. You don’t want to risk getting anything on your other clothes, I also recommend hang dry, try not to use the dryer as prolonged use can deteriorate your gi and reduce the life.
I personally leave my gi hanging until the night of training .
Now i don’t mean just your rash guards or knee supports, go beyond that. Lysol your gym bag and let it air dry. Remember your sweaty, blood stained gi is sitting in there and if you don’t remove it in a timely matter, bacteria can start to grow. Even if you are able to remove your gi quickly it’s still a good idea to spray Lysol inside of it after every use. And adding to this footnote, remember to keep your compression shorts and cup clean also. I spray Lysol on my cup after every use and before putting it on i wipe it off with antibacterial wipes, just for good measure.
Now i’m not saying that using this guide is going to prevent you 100% from getting some kind of skin infection, but i am saying if you do your part and the next guy does his part and so on and so forth, you can help to reduce the chances of contracting a skin infection.
Being clean goes without saying, but some people can’t help it or don’t know many details on maintaining a clean and healthy Jiu Jitsu life. Be courteous when it comes to hygeine and the next guy will appreciate your efforts. And if you witness someone rolling with a dirty gi, take him/her to the side and ask what kind of detergent they use. If they say they don’t, give that person a few pointers to maintain a healthy and happy training session. I mean we don’t show up to get a skin infection, we show up to learn how to grapple. So lets keep things clean, for our own sake.