Have you ever wondered what the point of wearing a BJJ rashguard is? Apart from making No-Gi training more (or less) appealing to the eye, BJJ rashguards are often worn under the Gi as well. A BJJ rashguard by itself, or combined with spats, is not just a fashion statement but plays a huge role in preserving health.
Importance of Hygiene with use of BJJ Rashguards
BJJ and grappling sports, in general, are unique in many spets. One of those is that the majority of time spent on the mats is literally spent on the mats. And it’s close and personal too. There is no other sport that brings every point of the body in touch with the floor surface. Having your body grind down on the mats is definitely a trait that BJJ can (proudly) claim as unique.
So, hygiene becomes a very important factor in a grappler’s overall health. The trio of personal hygiene, gym hygiene, and the longevity of training apparel all have their contribution. A dirty gym is a cesspool of potential disease for everyone spending time there. Mold from the walls, dirt from the mats, ringworm from the mat cracks, you name it. A place like that would turn even the healthiest person into something from a skin disease 101 manual.
Personal hygiene is first and foremost a moral responsibility of everyone engaging in combat sports training. It doesn’t take more than common sense to know what to do. Stay at home if you have a cold, trim your nails and make sure you shower regularly. There’s no need to be all perfumed up, but having a shower before practice is great for both training partners.
Finally, make sure you either wash your Gi for every session or have more than one Gi. Just like the mats, the Gi can easily turn into a very favorable surface for microorganisms that can cause trouble. Remember that the Gi is the main layer protecting you from a dirty gym or training partner.
Reasons for wearing BJJ rashguards
A common reason why people who roll with a Gi avoid BJJ rashguards is that they feel restrictive and uncomfortable under the Gi. It’s not just about your training partner’s discomfort when you stick your hairy chest in their face. It’s better to sacrifice a bit of comfort for your health, isn’t it?
Let’s take a look at why BJJ rashguards should be the first thing you pack in your bag for BJJ class:
Protection of the skin
This one is a no-brainer, but I’m still going to mention it first. Wearing a rash guard protects your skin! And no, having just the Gi on is not enough!
Imagine rolling in a gym like the one described above, on a regular basis. If you think your Gi is enough of a barrier against all the nasty bugs out there, think again. Everyone who has rolled at least once knows that by the end of a round your Gi is all over the place. Especially if your partner likes to mess around with all the animal-named lapel guards available nowadays.
The BJJ rashguard adheres to your skin, creating a layer of protection that is both breathable and acts as a barrier against microorganisms. As long as you wash your rashguard after every practice, you’ll be just fine. Ok, if there’s mold all over the walls you might want to consider switching gyms.
BJJ Gis are not cheap and plenty of people can’t afford to have a huge collection of them. having a Gi last more than a couple of years requires diligence and a bit of work. Without going overboard with ways to keep your Gi shiny white, I’ll stick to the two easiest steps. Number one, wash your Gi regularly! It’s not that hard and once you develop a habit you won’t even experience it as a chore. Number two, wear a rashguard. And while you’re at it, put on some spats as well.
The layer that a rashguard creates works two ways – it doesn’t only prevent the sweat of others from getting on your skin, it prevents your sweat from destroying the Gi. Every time you roll, your Gi gets covered in your sweat from the inside and others’ sweat from the outside. Such a large amount of liquids takes a big toll on the material, leading to quick deterioration. Having a rashguard beneath will prolong the longevity of your Gi for 50%, keeping you healthy and saving you some cash in the same time.
Mat burn is a nuisance that can turn into a full-blown infection if not properly attended to. It’s the original idea behind rashguards – to protect the body from developing a rash. The friction between the mats and our bodies is high and it often leads to mat burn. These burns can in turn get infected with stuff like MRSA that’ll take you out of action for quite a while.
The rashguard is made up of special material that lowers the friction between skin and mat and helps prevent subsequent abrasions.
Not really the intended use of BJJ rashguards, compression of the muscles is an added benefit. Compressive braces are often used by athletes while recovering from a muscle injury which is where BJJ rashguards are helpful. Rolling while fully suited up in a BJJ rashguard and spats is going to help the healing process of muscle injuries by helping with blood flow.
There’s no Jiu-Jitsu training without hygiene. Many gyms have strict rules which they enforce or have up on the walls as a reminder. Mat hygiene is easy to maintain by keeping a strict cleaning schedule. That one is on the academy. However, overall academy hygiene is a two-way street and every single person that puts on the Gi has the obligation to contribute towards it.