Let’s say you had a pretty hard competition-style training session. The mats are glistening with everybody’s sweat and class has just ended. What do you do? Do you head out with everyone else, or do you spend a little extra time after class to help clean the mats? In fact, whose responsibility is it to clean the mats in the first place?
Sure, some might say it’s the Professor’s responsibility to clean the mats since they own the school; however, let’s first think about a similar scenario!
Shopping carts in a supermarket parking lot.
After you use a shopping cart to move all your months supply of Acai and ketogenic alkaline no carb mineral water to your vehicle, I assume you would take the time to put the cart back in the return area, right? Sure you could leave the shopping cart for someone else to gather up or leave it to the store workers to take care of it. Even if that stray cart found its way into the side of a parked vehicle, you could even say that it’s not your fault; it’s the store worker’s responsibility to do so, right? They’re getting paid to do it, right? Sure, the argument is fair, but putting the cart back to its proper area takes very little time, makes life easier for the store’s workers, and keeps the vehicles in the parking lot safe from damage. There’s so little personal cost to putting away your shopping cart… you’re kind of a dick for not putting away a cart. Same goes for people that refuse to pick up the mops and brooms after class.
Much like storing away your shopping cart after use, cleaning the mats after class is something that benefits yourself, your training partners, and your Professor(s) with extremely little time invested.
In fact the more people that help out the shorter it will take to clean even a large mat space.
It may take 3 minutes if 2 people jump in and get this done! Look, it’s easy to complain like a child whenever it comes to doing your chores, but if there’s one thing our parent art, Judo, does well, it’s ensuring clean training environments.
Typically in Judo schools, it’s understood that cleaning the mats is something that benefits everyone in the room and students will do it without any question. Sure, you’re ‘paying’ to do Jiu Jitsu, but if you want to pay a dedicated cleaning service to clean the mats, you know damn well it will be coming out of your monthly dues.
What would happen if you never cleaned the mats in a BJJ school?
The answer is simple – it can lead to serious health risks for both students and instructors.
Firstly, dirty and unmaintained mats can become breeding grounds for bacteria and viruses. Sweat, oils, skin cells and other bodily fluids left on the mat from training sessions create an environment where harmful microorganisms can thrive. These can then be easily transferred onto the skin of those who come into contact with the mats, increasing their risk of infections such as ringworm, staph infections, and even MRSA.
In addition to this, not cleaning the mats can also lead to unpleasant odors.
The accumulation of sweat and other bodily fluids on the mat can create a foul smell that can be off-putting for students and instructors alike. This can result in a negative training environment and decrease the overall enjoyment of the sport.
Moreover, failure to clean the mats regularly can also affect the durability and quality of the mats themselves.
Oils from skin cells and sweat can build up over time, causing damage to the material of the mats and reducing their lifespan. This means additional costs for replacing or repairing them, which could have been avoided with proper maintenance.
But perhaps most importantly, not cleaning the mats is a sign of disrespect towards one's training partners and the BJJ community as a whole. Keeping the mats clean is not only for personal hygiene but also shows consideration and care for others who use the space. It is important to remember that in BJJ, we work together as a team to improve our skills, and maintaining cleanliness is part of being a responsible member of the community.
In conclusion, neglecting to clean the mats in a BJJ school can have serious consequences. Not only does it pose health risks, but it also affects the overall training environment and shows disrespect towards fellow practitioners. Regularly cleaning and maintaining the mats should be an essential part of any BJJ school's routine in order to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone involved in the sport. So, it is important to always prioritize cleanliness and hygiene in our training spaces. By doing so, we can continue to enjoy the many benefits of practicing BJJ while also promoting a safe and welcoming environment for all.
Running a Jiu Jitsu school isn’t an easy job. In between the day to day struggle of marketing, teaching, and answering any and all of your guard retention questions, they probably have to pick up the slack and clean the entire mat space and equipment day in and day out. It’s not easy cleaning all those surfaces. Much like the store workers that can’t catch all the shopping carts, your overworked Professors could easily have missed spots that could’ve been covered if some of the students helped out. If helping your school out isn’t something that really makes sense to you, then why get mad at stray shopping carts scuffing up your car, or getting nasty bacterial infection on the mats?
Just Sayin, Anonymous White Belt