A new little segment here at The Ground Never Misses called "Mat Manners Monday" where I will share short snippets about proper etiquette and manners any martial artist should be adhering to regardless of style or system. And this weeks subject is hygiene... something often overlooked but arguably the most important in regards to staying on the mat and training.
Thankfully you usually do not have to explain that an individual needs to shower after each and every training session regardless of how "light" the training was, yet many a dojo rat skips over the same exact rule when it comes to cleaning ones gi or uniform. It does not matter how little you perspired, it is imperative to wash your gi after EVERY training session, just like washing yourself after each session. If you have one gi I would perhaps suggest investing in another.
Finger and toe nails always need to be clipped to minimize scratches and cuts. Make sure to scrub under nails after each training session, and while we are at it ensure you have clean feet before stepping onto the mats. If you walk around barefoot in your everyday life that's fine, but have the courtesy to clean your filthy feet before walking onto the mat.
It is also important to note that martial artists should be cleaning themselves with a decent antibacterial/anti fungal soap. These bullshit products like Axe Body wash aimed at teens and young adults not only stink, they really do nothing in terms of keeping your skin healthy. A complete and shameless plug for Arm Bar Soap Co. is appropriate here. Chad and his crew have an all natural soap (they are moving onto batch #5 now!) made from essential oils specifically targeting all the cooties we are exposed to any given night. Hands down the best product on the market in terms of soap designed specifically for martial artists!
And mat manners extend past the student as well. Teachers it is your duty to ensure that each and every day the mats and training equipment are clean and taken care of. I have had too many friends get staph infection from filthy pads! And I grow tired of walking into dojo's that smell like a rotten taint. Take pride in your dojo and keep it clean.
Enjoy your Labor Day,