Hygiene for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Personal hygiene can sometimes be an overlooked aspect in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but basic hygiene is a core fundamental of BJJ, and should be treated as such. Not only is hygiene imperative for the health and safety of you and your training partners, but it is also a reflection of your respect for your training partners and gym.
Due to BJJ being such a close-contact sport (probably the closest you can get) grapplers are naturally going to be at high-risk of skin infections and illnesses if their teammates are not being cautious with their hygiene. Good hygiene also includes having a clean kit as well as a clean body.
If you do not want to become a breeding ground for bacteria, and do not want to make your training partners ill, then make sure you are following these basic hygiene tips:
1. Shower ASAP after training
Showering after class is extremely important because it can lessen the chances of you incurring a skin infection (ringworm, scabies, staph etc.) If you work a job that requires a physical aspect, you also want to have a shower before class as well. The Roll Clean Soaps are uniquely made for grapplers to make sure we are squeaky clean after training. The variety of soaps available include: The Original containing peppermint, tea tree oil, kaolin clay and rosemary, the Charcoal Bar that contains activated charcoal and tea tree oil, the Acai Brazilian Bar and many more.
2. Wash your Uniform
Bacteria doesn’t just build up on your skin during training, it also winds up on what you’re wearing. Putting on a Gi/ belt or No-Gi gear that is not properly washed and dried can be risky to both you and your training partners; aside from smelling weird, it is also a carrier of bacteria. Go to class with a washed and fully dried Gi and belt/ No-Gi gear. You can also solve the washing and drying problem by having a few Gi’s/belts; that way, you can rotate them and you don’t have to worry about wearing an unclean or wet uniform.
3. Trim your fingernails
Fingernails and toenails harbour a lot of bacteria, fungi and dirt, so both fingernails and toenails must be trimmed short at all times. You can cut your training partner’s skin and eyes with your long nails when you are rolling; plus, scratches open up the skin to potential infections, and that risk inevitably increases when the open wound is making contact with other people and a sweat-and germ-covered mat. You may also injure yourself if your nails get caught up by your partner’s Gi. Keep them trimmed!
4. No bare feet off the mat/ no shoes on the mat
Never go to the restroom barefoot. You don’t want to transfer germs from the bathroom onto the mats where your face will be. If you go to the bathroom - wear footwear. The most appropriate footwear for off the mats is usually a pair of sliders, as they are easy to slip on and slip off. View options here.
5. Stay at home when sick
6. Tie your hair back/up
Not only will this prevent getting hair in your partner's way, but it will also be better for you, because you won’t be getting slapped by sweaty chunks of your own hair whilst in the midst of a heated roll. When tied back, not only will it stay out of yours and your partner’s face, but it will also prevent them ripping it out, (hopefully) keeping you hair as in tact as possible. If you struggle for ideas of how to style your hair suitable for BJJ, take some inspiration from the video attached.
7. Remove any (and all) jewellery
First of all, it is a health and safety risk to both you and your rolling partner for many reasons (rips skin, gets caught, cuts someone etc.) plus you don’t want a piercing to get yanked out… that could be pretty painful.
In short - bruises, bumps and injuries are all unavoidable when participating in combat sports, however problems caused by hygiene are easily avoidable. Look after your hygiene, and make sure you and your partners can roll for as long as possible (without any pesky skin infection breaks). You have reasons why you are doing Jiu-Jitsu, but getting skin infections and getting your training partners infected should never be among them. Plus no one wants to roll with the person who's got a smelly (unwashed) gi...