Iron Wolf Academy has had a good account of keeping ourselves clean from all the possible skin problems a gym can have, which include staph, MRSA, and ringworm. Though every martial arts academy, including ours, experiences a few of these, they are all risks we try to prevent at all times. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools are easy places to keep clean but they are just as easy to let stay dirty and smelly, cultivating skin diseases. Our code of conduct instructs everyone that they need to come to classes clean, without any contagious diseases, smelling good, and prepared to deal with the sweat they will produce from hard work.
We also instruct our members to keep their finger nails short so as to not injure their partners in class. Dirt and debris under the finger nails, along with bacteria, can infect someone if they are scratched by a partner when training in class. I have been scratched after sweating heavily and it potentially has the ability to create a longer healing process for that type of wound than being scratched in another environment.
We also instruct people how to clean their uniforms (BJJ Gi, NoGi Rashguard, TangSooDo tops) and belts, which in traditional martial arts, like karate, it is considered bad luck to wash your belt. You won’t lose knowledge from washing your belt or any piece of gear. We explain we need to keep everyone as healthy as possible to achieve good training and consistency in class attendance. Wrestling or performing sparring with a partner whilst having a nasty Gi or uniform can really affect the training quality as well as the mood of your partner. It is a well understood, socially accepted concept to clean your all clothes from work and play, and BJJ/Martial Arts is no different. Being sick and then attending/coming to class is also a risk all martial arts academies have within their members. We ask people to refrain from training until they are in better health if they find themselves sick, so as to not spread whatever they might have contracted with everyone in the gym. Some people might think they can tough it out and overcome their illness but in doing so haven’t considered their training partners in that process. It might take someone else out from class if they catch a disease someone brings in with them. Overall a MMA or BJJ or Karate gym’s atmosphere is kept very positive when everyone is clean and it also boosts moral within an academy. Most academies I have attended that have been dirty also have a low moral within the groups and sessions. But the different martial arts academies I have visited that are clean and look professional always have a positive air in the class. Everyone wants to be there and have success in their respected areas of expertise.