Jiu-Jitsu is commonly known as a method of self-defense, but in truth, the underlying principles of this ancient art are focused on healthy living and self-discipline. In fact, Jiu-Jitsu is as much about philosophy and lifestyle as it is about takedowns, joint locks and choking the person next to you.
For this reason, we try our best to promote awareness in every class and encourage practitioners to stay focused on various aspects of their well-being. Needless to say, this approach is even more important for young minds as both physical and mental health are critical when it comes to advancing or even mastering Jiu-Jitsu. With this in mind, rolling around in pyjamas is incredibly fun, we all know that, but there is also a need to focus on important aspects such as health and hygiene. Of course, we say this for your own well-being but then also to respect and protect your fellow practitioners from illness, bacteria and skin infections. After all, close combat and skin to skin contact are inevitable in Jiu-Jitsu which is precisely how you pass on any of the below.
Parents, we also say this for you too; you may not be on the mat, but you don’t want your child to be responsible for the above or worse, on the receiving end it, right?
Maintaining Tradition and Standards
Although we have yet to encounter anything serious in our martial arts Perth classes, this is mostly down to vigilance and our consistent approach to sanitation. That said we still depend on our practitioners and parents to maintain this healthy approach by focusing on hygiene and continuing to uphold the true principles of Jiu-Jitsu.
We want to thank you for taking this aspect of our Jiu-Jitsu classes seriously and helping us keep every safe, clean and healthy.
Here are some rules to ensure we remain safe and healthy but also to help us to be the most disciplined Jiu-Jitsu practitioners for martial arts in Perth:
Feet and Shoes
1. Clean Feet – We must insist that our practitioners always wash their feet before training. We have a basin with soap and paper towels for those who do not have enough time to do so beforehand.
2. No Shoes on the Mat – Whether you intend on getting involved or not, there should be no shoes on the mat, and yes, this also applies to mums, dads, and siblings.
3. Wearing Shoes – While you should never wear shoes on the mat, you should wear them everywhere else. Please note this is especially important when using the bathroom or going outside – those feet will be in someone’s face, and pretty soon, this will also happen the other way around.
Warts, Virus and Staph Infections
Unfortunately, ringworm, warts, herpes, and staph are a common occurrence in Jiu-Jitsu classes, but somehow, we have managed to dodge these particular bullets. At the same time, please do not be embarrassed to inform us about skin infections as they do happen and they can be treated quite easily. That being said, for the sake of our reputation and the well-being of our practitioners, we need to treat every possibility with great vigilance.
I also say this from experience; when I was a blue belt, I remember a staph infection going through the mat and this kind of scenario has the potential to devastate the reputation of our academy.
While this may not be the worst type of infection, this is certainly one which can have a grim impact on your training partners.
In the case of warts, you should always avoid training and consult a doctor for advice. In many cases, the doctor might tell you to cover it up and carry on. However, grappling with a band-aid is not nearly enough, and a good quality athletic tape is needed at the very least.
2. Cold sores
Cold sores are a real pain and very contagious until the blisters or sores dry out. Thankfully, there is oral medication available and cold sores tend to dry very quickly. However, please note that you should not and cannot participate in Jiu-Jitsu classes until these cold sores pass. We hate to enforce this rule but we need to do so in order to protect training partners from contracting any viruses.
Staphylococcal is an extremely contagious bacterial infection which can make you very ill. Also known as “Staph”, this infection is usually mild and identified by superficial rashes, pimples and/or boils on your skin. Prompt medical attention and antibiotics are recommended, and the illness can take more than two weeks to subside.
Unfortunately, cleanliness and hygiene do not prevent you from contracting a skin infection. For this reason, if you suspect that you or your child may have any kind of skin infection, please do not ignore the symptoms and seek medical attention before revisiting the mat.
1. Hands and Feet – Try to keep fingernails and toenails as short as possible. As you might expect, your training partner will not appreciate having the talons of an eagle wrapped around any part of their body.
2. Illness – Stay at home if you feel sick. As much as we love our training partners, we do not want any contact with your flu or nasty virus. Keep in mind, the training with an illness of any kind is also detrimental to your health. As for parents, you can probably understand that nobody wants their children to grapple with a flu stricken child. Think about it, even a runny nose is unfair on the training partner.
3. Cuts and Wounds – Cover any cuts or breaks in your skin with a bandage. Naturally, these breaks make you susceptible to infection, and open wounds are not good for a Jiu-Jitsu environment. In case you might be asking yourself, this also extends to warts, scrapes, and minor cuts.
4. Washing Clothes – Always wash your gi/uniform after every class with no exceptions. Moist or sweaty clothing is a breeding ground for bacteria, and dirty gi will be noticed immediately by your instructor. Although don’t worry, I will be the first to point out if you happen to be the talk of the town for being that sticky gi person.
On a serious note; try not to be “that person.”
5. Removing Jewellery – Remove any form of jewellery including necklaces, earrings, and wedding rings before training. As you should know, these can inflict damage and lead to open wounds.
6. Tie up Long hair – Long hair should always be tied back.
Additional tips to keep you Safe and Health
–As soon as you finish training, change out of sweaty gym and GI gear so you can place them in a separate bag for washing.
– Keep blisters and cuts covered with secure bandages. Covering with clothing or band-aids is not enough.
– Shower after every class. This is arguably the most important item on this checklist.
Finally, congratulations for reading through these rules and for your commitment to the underlying principles of Jiu-Jitsu. We want to keep everyone safe in the academy, but in truth, we also know that discipline and focus is crucial for your journey to master this ancient art. As you can see, there are many factors which can disrupt your progress and these can also inflict unfair setbacks on your training partners.
Thank you for your dedication and if you feel that you can bare these gruesome images, here are some of the nastiest skin infections that you can avoid by following the above rules and guidelines.