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Hygiene Tips When Training Jiu Jitsu

Hi everyone, it’s Bruno here! In this month’s blog, we’re deep diving into all things hygiene-related when it comes to training jiu jitsu. Every gym is different, but for SJJA, we’ve added below a guide on all the things you should do before, during and after training to maximise your hygiene and keep both you and your training partners safe from infection and the spread of any diseases/viruses, or other illnesses.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) is a highly physical sport that requires intense training and practice. Due to the close contact nature of this martial art, maintaining good hygiene is essential for not only preventing the spread of germs and illnesses between training partners, but also to show respect to your fellow training partner. Here are the top ways to maintain good hygiene when training BJJ:


We recommend washing your gi for a minimum of 1.5 hours, as washing for long periods ensures all dirt and bacteria gets diluted and removed (Tip: add white cleaning vinegar to the fabric softener compartment to kill bacteria) – this one from Woolworths is only $3.

Wash your rashguard, leggings and shorts for at least an hour (Tip: add white cleaning vinegar to the fabric softener compartment to kill any bacteria).

Don’t forget to wash your belt, too!

Note: Normally we would recommend washing your gi in hot water at 60°C (as 60°C is the perfect temperature for killing bacteria, viruses and removing stains). However, some kimonos are made different to others, and can shrink a little if you wash it in very hot water, so please read the care label on your gi before doing this. For some people, they have a gi that is a little too big for them and they don’t mind if it shrinks on them a little, so they happily wash their gi in 60°C water to ensure it kills all of the bacteria. So just choose which temperature cycle you prefer based on the fit of your gi, the instructions on the care label, and your personal preferences.

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before training

1. Do not train if you have a cold, head cold, flu, virus, or other contagious infection, or if you’re feeling under the weather. Even a “head cold” is still contagious and you risk passing it onto your training partner, and it will also prolong your own recovery, so it’s best to stay home and rest.

2. Do not train if you have an active contagious infection on your skin (eg. cold sores, herpes, chickenpox, ringworm, warts, etc. If you have a small cut, make sure you clean it, cover it with a bandaid, and tape it up with a bandage to prevent the wound from opening during training. This will prevent any blood from spilling on the mats, but more importantly, it lowers the risk of transmitting any infection or diseases to your training partners.

3. Shower before and after each training session: This is probably the most important step in maintaining good hygiene. Sweat, dirt, and bacteria can build up on your skin and clothing during training, and if left on your skin for an extended period of time, or if you have a cut or abrasion, it can get infected, if you have blocked sweat glands (eg. from acne) it can cause infection, so it’s important to wash them off as soon as possible. If you’ve come from a long day of work where you’ve been sweating a lot or working in dirty conditions (on the street, around mud/soil, dirt etc), it’s even more important to shower before class, to ensure you will be clean when you roll on the mats. This shows respect to your training partners, as no one wants to roll with someone who is smelly!

It’s also important to know that acne is a form of staphylococcus (which is often called staph, for short), so if you roll with someone who has acne with visibly open pustules, make sure you shower with antibacterial soap immediately afterwards, because rolling with someone with open staph pustules means you’ll almost definitely get some on your skin, and if you have a small scratch on your skin at the time, you risk infecting yourself with staph.

4. Regularly wash and clean your running shoes/work shoes: Often people have showered before they come to class, however, their shoes still smell quite bad, and as a result, when they step onto the mats after having walked in their smelly shoes all day, their feet are very malodorous, which makes it unpleasant for their training partners to roll with them. If you wear training shoes/work boots, make sure you regularly wash them in your washing machine and dry them in direct sunlight. If you have work shoes (such as brogues or boat shoes), take them to a shoe cleaner or clean them with bacteria and odour killing products from the supermarket.

5. Keep your nails trimmed and clean: Long nails can scratch or cut your training partners, which means if you scratch your partner in their eye you can damage their eye, or if you scratch their skin, the wound could get infected as bacteria is often harbored underneath your nails. Use a nail cleaner before class to ensure all bacteria from underneath your nails has been removed, and wash your hands before class.

6. Only roll if you are wearing a clean gi: Your gi and rashguard can get extremely dirty and smelly from sweat and bacteria. It’s important to wash it after every training session to keep it fresh and clean. And better yet, consider getting a spare! We promise it will come in handy. Check out . Furthermore, always make sure you’re wearing a clean rash guard under your gi to keep your skin dry and prevent bacteria growth.

Following these guidelines is about showing respect to your fellow training partners, so if you see any of your training partners ignoring these guidelines, don’t be afraid to say something; at the end of the day, if you call it out, you’re not just protecting yourself, but also other people in the gym. For example, if they are about to roll with you and have really long nails, ask them if they could please cut their nails first so that they don’t risk scratching you. If someone is training with an open wound, it’s okay to ask them to tape up their wound so that you don’t risk getting infected. Or if someone has a really smelly gi, it’s okay to stop the roll, or ask the professor if you can roll with someone else.

We hope this has been a helpful guide! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask myself or any of the other coaches for guidance. See you on the mats. Oss

Sydney Jiu Jitsu Academy SJJA
SJJA Crows Nest
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