Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a close contact art/sport. Because of positions like closed guard, mount, and back mount, you and your partners will be touching most of the time. Hygiene is extremely important, not just because it keeps your partner comfortable, but it also keeps you and your partner healthy. Having bad hygiene can cause you to be a carrier of nastiness, such as ringworm and staph.
Being the nasty partner is bad manners and if you pass an infection along to a partner, well, you have just broken one of the 10 BJJ commandments. And if the school has to close down for two weeks because you brought in staph, you might not receive a pleasant return.
Here are some tips to keep you from being that person.
- Always take a shower. Every single day, with hot water and soap. Scrub, rinse, and repeat.
- Trim your finger nails. Make them as short as possible. Don’t scratch you partners to pieces.
- Brush your teeth and use mouthwash. Keep your mouth clean. Often, just brushing won’t take away the smell of what you ate for lunch, so use something stronger, like mouthwash.
- Put on deodorant. Smelly arm pits are just inconsiderate. Grab a stick.
- Wash your gi/rashguard/shorts after every training session. “I only stretched in my gi/rashguard”, “I didn’t roll hard”, “I don’t sweat very much”, “I didn’t have time to wash it”, your training partners really don’t care. If you’ve stepped on the mat, you’re gi/rashguard could be harboring some nastiness. Your gi/rashguard needs to be washed and if you didn’t have time to wash it, to bad. Get a couple more gis. Wash your gi/rashguard, hang dry it and you’re good to go.
- Wash your belt. No, your belt that hasn’t been washed for 6 months doesn’t wield any special powers, but it does hold some nasty bacteria. Throw it in the wash with your gi.
- Clean your gear too. If you wear a mouth guard, knee pads, braces, wraps, anything like that, wash them as well. And don’t forget the bag you keep your gear in!
- Wrap any cuts. If you have a cut on your skin, wrap it up thoroughly with tape. Nastiness could just enter straight into your blood stream. And if you are really scared of nastiness, here’s a tip, get some liquid band aid and then wrap with tape.
- Be smart. If you have some mystery bumps, rashes, or spider bites, stay away. Clear them up before you step on the mat.
- Be smart again. Do not train if you have the flu, a cold, virus or any other sort of sickness. Not only can you make your partners sick, but you could make your sickness worse.