Basic Hygiene Advice for Grappling

Basic Hygiene Advice for Grappling, Wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu & Martial Arts

by Scuffle Staff on Oct 23, 2021

We can all agree that grappling, wrestling & Jiu-Jitsu are intense physical contact sports. As practitioners of these forms of martial arts, our focus is continually on the strategy, drills, and various techniques that help us master the art. However, hygiene is just as important and should happen before and after training. Cleanliness is critical in grappling and BJJ because it helps curb the spread of highly contagious diseases through physical contacts, such as ringworm and staph.

Below are some basic rules of hygiene for grappling and Jiu-Jitsu:

Simply Shower With Soap and Water

Shower before and after each training session. Showering before training involves using soap and water, brushing our teeth, and using deodorant. All these measures help us feel fresh and significantly improve our partner’s experience on the mat. In case there is no time to brush your teeth, have some mouthwash on standby. After an active session, as grapplers, we are sweaty, have come into contact with each other’s skin, and most probably reek of body odour. Ensure to shower immediately after every session to reduce the chances of any skin infections such as ringworms or staph.

Wash Your Gi, Shorts, Rash Guards & Belt

Hygiene in grappling and BJJ extends beyond just our bodies to everything we wear. We need to make sure we wash our Gi, belt, knee pads, ankle support, and any other related gear after each class. Please note that air-drying your kit or using odour neutralising spray does not serve as an adequate substitute. We must wash our kits and bags with soap and water and, if possible, hang them in the sun for maximum protection. This practice not only eliminates odours but reduces the chances of infection.

Take Responsibility For Your Hygiene & Care

Hygiene is more than just showering. In addition to regular showering, we also need to attend to our bodies to protect ourselves and our partners from injuries, bacteria, and discomfort. For example, make sure to trim fingernails and toenails at all times. Our nails can be a hotbed for all sorts of bacteria, causing scratches and cuts of lethal afflictions. Sanitising your hands before getting onto the mat also adds to your hygiene levels. Ensure to remove all jewellery before rolling; these items easily carry bacteria and cause injuries such as cuts, bruises, and grazes. It is also our responsibility as grapplers to protect our colleagues from various illnesses. For example, if you realise you might have a skin issue or common flu, refrain from training until you have had it seen by a doctor to protect your partners further.

Sanitise Your Work, Play & Learning Surfaces

As grapplers, we spend most of our time on the mat, making it essential to keep the mat area clean and disease-free. There are numerous ways to ensure this. For example, if you sweat profusely during rolling, keep a towel nearby, and use it to pat yourself dry during practice. Doing this keeps the sweat off the mat and away from your partner. Sometimes during training, we might incur some injuries, maintain utmost hygiene, and wipe away any pools of blood or sweat off the mat using disposable paper towels. Lastly, wash and sanitise your mats immediately after every training session.

Cleanliness Is King

Remember, in a decent Grappling academy, we consider those we roll with and the environment we train. Our goal is to protect both ourselves and those around us while respecting our training ground. Always watch out for any injuries that may occur during rolling, such as friction burns, and tend to them immediately to avoid infection. Due to the contact nature of the sport, diseases and illnesses can spread very fast throughout the teams, and we have to ensure they do not.

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