Jiu-Jitsu Grooming: How many Gi's should you own?
So how many do you really need? This is a great question for anyone who trains on the regular. The answer really depends on the amount of training you do and how diligent you are with cleanliness and laundry. We all know Jiu-Jitsu is a close quarters contact sport, well lets be honest, its just about as close quarters as a sport can get. In light of this, there comes a responsibility to yourself and your training partners to be clean and deodorized. We all know the guy in the gym who's Gi has turned a deeper shade of brown, always seems to be damp and smells like that pile of old laundry in the corner of your college dorm room. Don't be that guy. Here are a couple guidelines to keep you and your training partners on the mats and out of the dermatology office.
1) Have a minumum of one Gi for every two days per week you train. This means if you train 3 times a week you need at least 2 Gi's. If you train 4 or more days a week, a third Gi is probably the best option.
2) Rotate your Gi's between each training session. The only way having more than one Gi works is if you rotate to a fresh one each time you train.
3) Wash your Gi after after every sparring session. If you spar every class then wash your Gi after your roll. Just because you think you are clean doesn't mean your training partners are, which means if you are training hard and sweating you need to clean and sterilize your gear after every class. In the off instance you have a light drilling day without conditioning you may get a way with two classes but its always better to error on the side of caution and wash it every class.
4) Use a color safe bleach and hot water. Bacteria, fungus, and ringworm don't like bleach or heat so sterilize your gear to kill anything that might be living in the fabric.
5) Dry your Gi in the dryer or in fresh dry sunny air right after you wash it. Bacteria, mold and fungus love damp dark places like sweaty piles of clothes on the floor so don't put a wet Gi in those types of places.
6) Go to the gym clean, wash your hands and feet before you train and take a shower in the gym or as soon as your get home. This gets any nasty stuff off your body before it has a chance to take hold and make problems.
6) If you have any active skin conditions, stay off the mats. Don't put others at risk just because you want to train. Take time off to get it cleared up, practice at home, or study techniques or do some conditioning at home on your own time.
7) Finally, it's OK to politely let someone know if their Gi is over the line. While you can't control someone else's grooming habits, you can control who you choose to train with. Rolling with dirty, smelly training partners or someone with and active skin condition is not a requirement.
Follow these rules to keep you and your training partners healthy and on the mats!