If you practice judo or jiu-jitsu, you should expect to exercise hard and sweat profusely. To keep your uniform or gi clean, you’ll have to put in additional work since it’s constantly exposed to dirt and filth. Sometimes, it can be tiring but you should understand that cleaning it is essential. Here’s why:
1. It’s a Sponge for Grime
After every workout, you should wash your gi and belt. Traditional martial arts practitioners have a long-held belief that cleaning one’s belt would remove one’s qi, or inner power, which is responsible for one’s skill level in the discipline they practice. Martial artists used to train with a white belt, which would darken with time due to dirt, sweat, and tears accumulated over many, many years. It would eventually become black. But that is an unsafe practice.
Your gi is in constant contact with your opponent and anything else that could be lurking on the floor. It’s a great sponge for soaking up sweat and gathering up organic debris. In addition, the fabric material serves as an ideal host for bacteria and other microorganisms. This is like having your own bacteria farm on a plowed field, complete with furrows and fertilizer.
2. It Poses Risk of Infections
You’ll have to deal with a lot of other sweaty individuals, as well as scooping up whatever is on the mats when you practice Brazilian jiu-jitsu or judo. The bacteria on your skin doubles every 20 minutes. In another 20 minutes, there will be twice as much, and it will continue to multiply as time passes.
If your gi is warm and sweaty, germs may form on it, as well as on your belt. Aside from germs like impetigo and staph, you also have to worry about viruses like hepatitis and hepatitis B. Ringworm and herpes gladiatorum are examples of fungi that may cause illness. If you have any of these issues, you won’t be allowed on the mat until they’ve been resolved.
In addition, blood poisoning may result from even a mild case that seems to be nothing more than an infected pimple. MRSA is a strain of staph that is resistant to most commonly prescribed medications. Infectious diseases of this kind are no joke, and the only way to halt their spread is to practice excellent hygiene.
Just Wash It: Steps and Reminders
After every training session, you should wash your shorts, rashguard, gi, and belt. Before washing your compression clothing, turn it inside out so that the pattern on the exterior doesn’t become bobbled. Tumble drying gis is not recommended because this will cause them to shrink, distort, or wrinkle especially those with collars.
You don’t need to buy expensive detergent to wash your clothes. You may use whatever you have. Soak the uniform in cold water before washing. Use a cup of white vinegar or baking soda if you get blood on your garment or its whiteness begins to fade.
Your gi will rip more quickly if you use bleach to clean it, so avoid that. As soon as you see that you’ve tried everything you can think of to keep your gi white, consider dyeing it to give it a fresh lease of life.
On the mat, even the cleanest gym is prone to contagions. Don’t expose your training partners to ringworm or staph infections. Instead, we’d roll with a man whose gi is still moist from the washing than a guy who is soaked with dried sweat.
Don’t get caught up in the temptation to work out in a filthy gi. Training with a clean gi will help prevent germs from spreading and perhaps creating health issues.
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