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Martin72
06-19-2002, 09:20 PM
(excuse my English but I'm not a native speaker)
I began to train Aikido four months ago and I love it; but something came to my attention.
I am a registered nurse and in the clinic I work in I deal with infectious diseases.
When I first joined the Dojo, I thought that it was not a big deal to be barefoot on the mat. After some classes my point of view changed.
I saw some of the students suffering a cut and bleeding in the mat. If that happens in the Dojo I'm part of, the class stops and the person with the cut has to dissinfect and clean the area, this is an wonderful practice. But I think that is not enough.
Just for being barefoot, there is risk of contracting minor infections like athlete's foot that other students may have. This is not a a big problem, since this kind of conditions are easy to treat.
The problem here is diseases like Hepatitis C and HIV.
Hepatitic C is casued by a nasty virus that lives for 22 days outside the human body; this means that a drop of dry blood can have it. It is also highly infectious and the only cure is by liver transplant (and it doesn't work all the time).
The HIV virus can live only for 18 minutes outside the human body, and everyone knows the consequences of AIDS.
So my question is: Why not using sandals when training Aikido? I have seen that Chinese Martial Arts like Wu Shu and Tai Chi Chuan, use a type of sandal that could be used in Aikido.
I don't know how many people get infected in the Aikido (or Judo, grappling, etc) mat, but I think it would not be bad to consider using sandals.
Of course that the physical contact with other parts of the body can cause infection also (it would be impossible to use a rubber suit). Nevertheless, feet are easily injured, and we can be stepping (and rubbing a open cut)in someone else's infected blood without knowing it.
What do you guys think?
Thanks!

PeterR
06-19-2002, 10:34 PM
I agree that Hepatitis C is a serious concern but if you use a diluted disinfectant when you clean up - both it and the AIDS virus will not be a problem.

The basic rules of don't bleed on the mat and clean up any blood immediately is all you really can do and I have yet to hear of any transmission where these proceedures are followed.

Athlete's foot and infection from the dreaded tonail cut do occur but in the former case it probably has more to do with the shower then the mat. In the latter case insisting on trimed nails goes a long way.

Mats should be kept clean - in fact cleaning is a part of training in most places.

If you are really concerned - a few people wear tabi when training. These are thin slippers with a separate compartment for the toe. Personally I don't but because the type of training I do would wear them out too quick but with most Aikido training no problem - you don't do a lot of tsukuri.

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Hope this helps.

batemanb
06-19-2002, 11:55 PM
Peter is right about the tabi. I have copped a bit of athletes foot from the dojo a couple of times, both here and in the UK (when I went to the doc and said Aikido, the response was that it is about the most common problem in dojo`s here in Japan). I wore a tabi on the infected foot whilst training until it had cleared up. Just be wary of the size, they are pretty uncomfortable for us bods with big feet, not in the overall length, but the allowance for the length of the big toe!

Bronson
06-20-2002, 02:06 AM
Just got a pair of tabi Tuesday. Not sure if I'm going to keep using them or not. They were suggested to me because I've broken a couple of toes when they've slipped between the mats and I turned but the toe couldn't. Ouch :disgust:

Bronson

PeterR
06-20-2002, 03:16 AM
Ouch ouch ouch - been there done that. My toe was 3/4 ripped off the worst time. My friend set the dislocation and promptly threw up. I now know when its going to rain.

Originally posted by Bronson
Just got a pair of tabi Tuesday. Not sure if I'm going to keep using them or not. They were suggested to me because I've broken a couple of toes when they've slipped between the mats and I turned but the toe couldn't. Ouch :disgust:

batemanb
06-20-2002, 03:40 AM
Originally posted by PeterR
Ouch ouch ouch - been there done that. My toe was 3/4 ripped off the worst time. My friend set the dislocation and promptly threw up. I now know when its going to rain.



Me too, set the dislocation myself in the heat of the moment, pains me to even think about it. The breaks too (2 toes, one of them twice, years apart). I only wear the tabi when neccessary though as they are quite uncomfortable against my big big toe, I prefer to tape the toes up.

It`s raining now, but hey, I just looked out the window before going home:D

erikmenzel
06-20-2002, 04:37 AM
I personaly often dislike these kinds of posts. They tend only to scare people unnecessarly. Quite often they lack an objective and realistic view.

Originally posted by Martin72
The problem here is diseases like Hepatitis C and HIV.
Hepatitic C is casued by a nasty virus that lives for 22 days outside the human body; this means that a drop of dry blood can have it. It is also highly infectious and the only cure is by liver transplant (and it doesn't work all the time).

I am aware of scientific papers stating that HCV (Hepatatis C Virus) can under ideal laboratory conditions survive for about 20 days. In everyday life situations the chance of the HCV surviving outside the body for more than 16 days are already considered to be neglible. Chances of contracting HCV in a dojo are already reduced if some basic hygiene rules are applied by everybody.
Just as an indication: CDC does not issue any additional precautions for social and healthcare workers regarding HCV, as you should know!!

The HIV virus can live only for 18 minutes outside the human body, and everyone knows the consequences of AIDS.

Please give me a reference to the scientific article that states that HIV can survive outside the body for 18 minutes, for I am not aware of the 18 minutes claim, sofar 12 minutes is all I know of.
As to all people knowing and understanding the consequences of HIV/AIDS, that is very doubtfull as most incidence cases in western countries can be contributed to pratcises that are known to be high risk and the unrealistic risk perception of the persons practising these high risk activities. As for contracting HIV/AIDS in the dojo, as long as you are not doing any bloodbrother cut your hand joining kind of thing you should be perfectly safe.

So my question is: Why not using sandals when training Aikido? I have seen that Chinese Martial Arts like Wu Shu and Tai Chi Chuan, use a type of sandal that could be used in Aikido.
I don't know how many people get infected in the Aikido (or Judo, grappling, etc) mat, but I think it would not be bad to consider using sandals.

Quite unnecessary and scaring people unnecessary. Simple things already work perfectly:
Clean the mats, a little soap doesnt hurt either.
Teach everybody to take care of their feet.
Teach everybody to trim their nails.
No uncovered wounds in the dojo.
You bleed, you clean immedeately and warn your fellow students about blood on the mat

Of course that the physical contact with other parts of the body can cause infection also (it would be impossible to use a rubber suit).Nevertheless, feet are easily injured, and we can be stepping (and rubbing a open cut)in someone else's infected blood without knowing it

People also can have accidents when going to and coming from the dojo, maybe a special aiki-taxi sevice is needed.
Being scared about things that might happen can in some cases be fruitfull and productive. Thinking about the risk of diseases in the dojo can be a good thing.
On the other hand, one might easily go to far with this. Some times common sense makes sense!!

What do you guys think?

I think I dislike these kind of postings for they only tend to scare people without offering a realist and objective view.

SeiserL
06-20-2002, 10:44 AM
I would have to agree that intelligence, hygeine, and consideration for everyone in the Dojo needs to be part of the curriculm.

Until again,

Lynn

Bruce Baker
06-20-2002, 04:21 PM
I wish I could say that your concern is not something to be taken into everyday life, but then again, ninety percent of the things you touch have some kind of germ that can make you sick.

Money.

Doors.

Magazines that are shared, like a doctors office.

Even the simple task of turning on a water fountain, or washing your hands in a public restroom can cause you to become sick.

I guess you could dwell on it, or accept that you have a chance of being healthy or ill for any number of reasons, like training with someone who is sick and sweat getting into some opening on your own body?

Or, You could just try to do the best you can with what little brains you have, cause you ain't gonna live forever.

Funny how we think that we can control everything around us, but that little germ is gonna make you sick?

I don't like people who bleed and train, in todays environment, we should indeed pay attention to the simple things that will leave those nasty germs in the mat, but how far should we go?

Maybe this is something each dojo should consider as part of their code of conduct for practice and cleanup? I know many dojo's who have talked about the basic cleanup, the health concerns of those who have infectious diseases, and how the dojo community should be aware in both class participation and cleanup, should that become necessary because of an injury that might affect the health of the class.

Good topic to bring up, but each dojo should adopt a policy that takes care of these concerns.

If your dojo has not, maybe you should find out why not, and bring it to everyones attention. Childish is seeing it written down, but in practice it could save a lot of illness and empty classes later from illness.

Yeah, that was a good thing to bring up. Thanks.

kmarie
06-21-2002, 01:24 AM
Hmmm...wearing sandles to prevent catching infectious disease from a bit of blood on the mat? I think that is very unneccessary. The likelyhood of catching something this way is slimmer than being struck by lighning (by the way, have you ever heard of the bubble boy syndrome?). It is more likely to catch something by being around someone sneezing, or touching their hands. I'm sure the risks of getting out of the house everyday (driving on a freeway, walking down a crowded street, eating out)are riskier to one's health than a bit of blood on the mat.

P.S., if you get a chance I would highly suggest taking a microbiology class...it eases so many fears when you learn to understand how microbes work (and to understand that 99 percent are beneficial to life).

-kmarie

PeterR
06-21-2002, 02:05 AM
Just to be clear - I suggested tabi to make the person feel more comfortable in their fears. I don't worry and I don't wear tabi.