Jiu-Jitsu: A Germaphobe’s Rant

I’m a germaphobe.  I am also a BJJ junkie and am somehow able to put aside my paralyzing fear of germs, but there are still some moments which simply gross me out.  I have also taken some steps to try to deal with my germaphobia…

For starters, I always wear a long sleeve rash guard and gi pants or spats; I have no interest in exposing more bare skin to the mat than is absolutely necessary.  In fact, if I could get away with it I would wear a swim cap.  That’s right, I said it.

One of my biggest pet peeves is the existence of academies that don’t wash their mats.  I’ve seen some places use brooms to clean up their mats.  They sweep their mats.  Have you ever seen something like that?  What the heck are they thinking?

Another huge pet peeve of mine is when I see people walking around off the mat barefoot.  I’ve seen some horrific pictures of people barefoot in public bathrooms at tournaments, and that’s unacceptable.  Wear flip-flops, sandals or SOMETHING when you’re walking around off the mat.

As soon as I get off the mat I try to wash my hands and face.  I use hand sanitizer when washing up is difficult, and depending on how the mats look, I will often clean my feet when I get off the mat.  I know some companies offer products that clean your feet when you get off the mat, I think these products should be in every academy everywhere.

Then there’s the guy with the stinky gi.  Very often they happen to be decent at BJJ so I do want to roll with them, but I firmly believe that a stinky gi is disrespectful.  It can happen once every now and again, but if your gi is regularly stinky you need to find a way to address it…

Long story short: we do a sport which has a fairly high incidence of skin conditions as a result of its practice.  Use proper hygiene and be clean.  There are some things us germaphobes can do to mitigate some of the risks, but as a community let’s try to keep it clean!

Is anyone else out there a germaphobe who is insufferably fastidious?  I get made fun of by my teammates because I’m pretty open about my ridiculousness, but am I being ridiculous?



Emil Fischer is an active blue belt competitor under Pablo Angel Castro III training with Strong Style Brasa and is sponsored by Pony Club Grappling Gear and Cruz Combat. For more information, other articles, and competition videos check out his athlete pages at www.facebook.com/emilfischerbjj and www.twitter.com/Emil_Fischer


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Emil Fischer is an active black belt competitor under Pablo Angel Castro III training at Strong Style Mixed Martial Arts and Training Center near Cleveland Ohio (www.strongstyle.com) and teaching at Ararat Martial Arts and FItness Center. For more information, other articles, and competition videos check out his athlete pages at www.facebook.com/emilfischerbjj www.twitter.com/Emil_Fischer and https://instagram.com/emilfischerbjj/. Emil is sponsored by Meerkatsu (www.Meerkatsu.com, discount code EmilKatsu), Eddy's On Coventry, North Coast Cryo (www.Northcoast-Cryo.com) NottaRookie, YM (www.cbdyoume.com discount code COOKIES), Defense Soap (www.defensesoap.com discount code COOKIES) Impact Mouthguards (www.impactmouthguards.com discount code EMILIMPACT), and North South Jiu Jitsu Underwear


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