Hygiene in BJJ

Good news: With sports now being allowed in the ACT, we’re finally re-opening our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy in Fyshwick, Canberra. After two long months off, Chave de Ouro will be operating from June 20!

We know that some of our members will be understandably concerned about hygiene and the safety of training in the wake of the coronavirus spread and lockdown.

First, we want to ensure to you that we’re going above and beyond to make our martial arts academy as clean as possible. We also want to stress that we wouldn’t be opening if we didn’t think it was safe to do so. There have been just over 100 confirmed covid-19 cases in the ACT, around just 1.5% of Australia’s cases (a number which is itself low compared to the rest of the world).

Still, we’re taking every precaution to ensure the health and safety of all our members — but we’ll need your help. Below are some important tips to keep BJJ training as hygienic as possible. This is important at all times, to stop the flow of colds, flus and other illnesses throughout our academy. It’s especially important now.



Martial arts cleanliness

One of the best features of Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is its safety. Since we’re mostly grappling on the ground, instead of striking or wrestling for explosive takedowns, acute injuries are rare. Mistakes happen, but they happen more in martial arts where impactful punches and kicks are being thrown.

But there is one disadvantage to grappling: The extra contact makes it a little easier for bugs and illnesses to spread.

There are several easy, simple things you can do to optimize the health and safety of your BJJ training partners. Again: While these are particularly key now, it’s good etiquette to follow these guidelines at all times.

The first is obvious. Don’t come to class if you’re sick. The simplest way to prevent the spread of sickness is to not spread your sickness. If you feel unwell — fever, headache, runny nose, lots of phlegm — please, stay home. The academy will always be here to welcome you when you feel better.

Another easy one: Keep your hands clean. Wash your hands before class and keep your fingernails clipped. Though BJJ is a contact-heavy martial art, almost all of the skin-on-skin contact involves your hands. If you give your hands a thorough wash before class, it’ll help a lot.

Keeping your fingernails short will stop you from accidentally cutting your training partners. This can be a dual issue. If you scratch your partner deep enough to draw blood, you’d have scratched them deep enough to transport bacteria under your nails to the wound. Another reason why a pre-class handwash is a great idea.

For similar reasons, you should also wear a rashguard under your gi and shower as soon as you can after class. These will both reduce your risk of contracting a skin infection. Washing your gi after every class is also a must.

And finally, though we do clean the mats constantly throughout the day, please always wear footwear if you go to the bathroom before or during class, and do not wear footwear on the mats.

Healthy lifestyle

If you’re especially worried about your health and wellbeing, there are some extra precautions you can take outside of martial arts training. Preventing the spread of germs and bugs is one part of illness defense. The other is a strong immune system.

One of the best ways to empower your immune system is to sleep enough. Though 8 hours is ideal, getting fewer than 6 hours of sleep consistently can drastically reduce your body’s ability to fend off sicknesses.

Vitamin C and Vitamin D can also help. You can get your daily dose of the former in an orange, kiwi fruit or capsicum. The latter comes through sunshine (taking a 30-60 minute walk in the sun should do it) or tablets. Naturally, even outside of these particular vitamins, a well-balanced diet with plenty of vegetables is ideal.

Sleeping more and getting sufficient nutrition will also improve your BJJ, and athleticism in general, giving you extra incentive to do so. Luckily, it works in reverse too. Regular exercise is fantastic for your immune system. We can’t wait to see you all on the mats so we can get stronger and better together. Let’s all just be safe and hygienic for each other.

If you’re new to martial arts and live in Canberra, feel free to come into Chave de Ouro BJJ for a free trial class.