10th Planet Van Nuys: Gym Etiquette, Hygiene and Mat Cooties.

Hello and welcome to another news letter. I want to remind all you guys of some basic things that you probably already know. We need to stay healthy and motivated while we are in training, especially now, 1 month out from the competition at Grappling X. This means staying healthy, and avoiding mat cooties. Things like ring worm can take you off the mats and can be super annoying. Things like staph infections can be even worse. That means following a few simple things to stay cleanly and to have good mat manners. I also want everybody to have good gym etiquette. Please take into consideration your teammates. People don’t want to roll with people who don’t take care of basic hygiene and grooming. Here’s a simple list of things to follow to ensure you don’t fall victim to the gross nasty cooties and being avoided by your team.

1. Shower BEFORE getting on to the mats. Through out your day you can pic up all types of stuff, don’t bring that into the gym. Not to mention none of your teammates want to roll with you if you have a case of the stinkies.
2. Shower after rolling. Don’t wait too long to get home and wash yourself down. Using things such as tea tree oil soaps, defense soap and other such products will help. Make sure you scrub down with a washcloth, loofa or other such items to make sure you get super clean. If this doesn’t work for you, have your girlfriend hose you off in the backyard.
3. Clip your nails. Cutting open people because you have sharp talons is never fun for the person on the receiving end. I have a scar right between my eyes because some jerk was too lazy to clip his nails before class.
4. Don’t go off the mats, outside or in the bathroom without your shoes on. You’ll track all types of dirt and other yuck back onto the mats.
5. Cover all cuts, scraps or open wounds. Nothing nastier than getting bled on. Not to mention you can get infections
6. Sanitize yourself. I carry a bottle of hand sanitizer in my bag and in my car that I use after training. Wipes are also popular, I believe www.superbodycare.com sells good ones.
7. Brush your teeth. Nothing is worse than getting stuck in a head and arm that’s reinforced by dragon breath.
8, Wash your mouth guard. If that thing touches the mat, make sure you rinse it well before inserting it back into your mouth. Listerine kills bacteria, i like to soak my guard in it
9. Wash your clothes. Once you’ve sweated and rolled around in gear, make sure you wash it. To get out oder that stay with your clothes after washing, use vinegar in the wash, it helps.
10. Wash cups, sweaty towels, ankle sleeves, knee pads head gear etc. Just like any other article of clothing, you need to keep everything clean! You wouldn’t continuously wear the same rash guard without washing it right? These items should be treated no differently.
11. If you are sick, stay off the mats until you’re better. No brainer right? Don’t be that guy (girl) that gets the entire team sick!
12. If you have ring worm or any other skin disease that can be pass on, stay off the mats! Inspect your training partners if you think they may have something. If they do, refuse to roll with them until it has cleared up.
13. Remember the people in the gym are your training partners, not your competition. Do NOT bully, spaz, try to hurt, crank or do anything else that might be hurtful both physically or mentally to your gym family. If there is a problem with a particular student, avoid rolling with them and tell me or the gym enforcer and we’ll handle it appropriately.
14. Deodorants and body sprays are your friend. Now, I’m not saying you need to smell like you’re going creepin’ with The Situation and Pauly D., but if you know you have a predisposition to smelling a little “ripe,” use generously!
The less abrasive you are, the more training partners will want to work with you and help you get better. I hope this helps. Feel free to add your own rules to the mix and bring them to the teams attention at practice. Train hard, train smart, and train often! See you on the mat!

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