perjantai 2. joulukuuta 2016

Training Hygiene

Sometimes this blog will randomly be in English. This is one of those times. This piece was translated by Henrik Marttinen. 

Karate is a contact sport. This means that you will be in very close contact with others during training. That’s why Honbu, like most martial arts clubs, has certain hygiene requirements. In this post I will go through Honbu’s requirements, which also apply to most other martial arts.

Wash your feet, hands and face before training

Your feet have probably been in sweaty socks and shoes all day. Karate is practiced on a tatami, which is made of a soft, porous material that easily absorbs scents. During karate you will often have your face pressed against said tatami. Therefore, washing your feet is a service both to you and other trainers. You might also come in close contact with someone else’s feet, e.g. during wrestling. Surely you would like them not to smell like socks?
Washing your hands is also important. We do many things with our hands during karate – grabs, holds, punches. Sticky hands don’t feel as pleasant as clean ones. Please consider your training buddies and wash your hands before training!
Washing your face is a special request for those who use makeup. Karate is practiced in a white suit (gi). Your face might come in contact with your friend’s gi, e.g. during wrestling. It’s considered polite to wash your face of everything that might rub off on your friend’s clothes or gloves.

Keep your nails short

During karate we often grab each other’s hands, arms, body and face. Therefore, it’s good to keep your fingernails as short as possible so you don’t accidentally scratch your friends. You should cut your toenails as well – wrestling and kicking is a lot more fun if your nails aren’t getting in your way. Alternatively, you can tape your nails (preferably with athletic tape) to prevent scratches, cuts and bent or torn nails, but cutting them is probably easier. A good pace would be once a week.

Remove all jewelry

Bracelets, watches, rings, necklaces, earrings, piercings… Anything that wasn’t attached to you at birth. Jewelry can easily snag on clothing and cause danger. Especially piercings can be torn off during training, and it hurts.

Wear sandals to the tatami

Wear sandals between the dressing room and the gym. Otherwise your feet will gather up all kinds of unwanted crap on the way, and your feet will spread it all over the tatami. Nobody wants to train on a dirty tatami.

Wash your gi often

The gi, or the karate outfit, gets sweaty fast. Because karate is, you guessed it, a contact sport where you are in very close contact with your training buddies’ suits, it’s polite to have your suit stink as little as possible. You can wash your gi after every training session or once a week, but less frequently than that generally isn’t very polite.
If you can’t wash your gi after every training session, don’t leave it lying in your bag. Dry your gi by hanging it in an airy place. This also applies to other equipment.


Hygiene is important in contact sports. By taking care of yours you make it more enjoyable for others to train with you. By following these simple instructions, you can ensure that everyone has a good time.
Stay fresh!

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