View Full Version : Some places my face aren't meant for...

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!

05-05-2003, 06:14 AM
Some people come to the dojo that might not have the best hygiene, or their feet are crusty, dry and look as if they have a severe case of athletes foot. Some people sweat alot and upon being uke and pinned, their heads leave a large pool of sweat.

So, what is my primary concern as uke? my health and well-being? No way. Its where is my face going to land and how long it will be there while nage tries to get the pin right. I try at all costs to avoid sweat and foot crust, because I'm not looking for athletes foot of the face.

What is one to do? Does anyone else worry about this? I'd like to concentrate more on aikido.

05-05-2003, 06:50 AM
Oh gee! Just when you thought it's safe to enter the dojo and train, this has to surface! :eek:

Well, I personally don't know how to react to this. Stopping short of snubbing that person who reeks those 'stuff' all over the dojo, I'd most probably close an eye to it and carry on training like normal. A case of 'occupational hazard'? :(

05-05-2003, 08:11 AM
when you are heading for the wet spots just skitter away and say you are QA'ing his technique.

05-05-2003, 09:27 AM
Whats worse is getting someone who sweats profusely. While they are pinning you, their sweat runs off their face on you or splashes nearby. Yech.

I am not sure that the fungus that causes athletes foot can survive out of its typically environment for to long. It likes dark wet/moist areas. I am not sure if the canvas is a good "conductor/ transfer-er/medium" for the fungus. I must say it has crossed my mind

Ron Tisdale
05-05-2003, 10:03 AM
As one who sweats profusely while training...I do my best not to "drip" on my training partners. I make sure I am clean before practise, and that I have a clean dogi. I also usually keep a cloth in my dogi to deal with the excess sweat when I am able (not appropriate during demo or testing).

What else would anyone reading have someone who sweats profusely do?

Ron (not offended, just currious) Tisdale

PS...what the heck is an Obe??? [if you are speaking japanese, that would be pronounced "obey"...do you mean "obi" as in belt?]

Ron Tisdale
05-05-2003, 10:54 AM


I trained at your school twice not so long ago...I had a great time! I certainly hope I didn't drip on you...

good keiko,


05-05-2003, 05:07 PM
You could always take the initiative to give the mats a good scrub with water and a little rubbing alcohol once in a while if it bothers you (I myself have been considering going to class really early one day and bringing a bottle of rubbing alcohol and a rag.) There isn't much you can do during training. I just make sure to thoroughly clean my feet, hands, and face when I shower after training. That's really all you can do.

Sarah, wondering what it would be like to train in a bubble. Hmm...

05-06-2003, 12:21 AM
Avoid touching your face as well or other potential areas for bacteria to enter easily.


did you come up for a seminar or just in the area visiting type stop overs. We generally have some spirited classes. The mat is forgiving enough to allow some good energy to be expended. Not to mention is relatively large open dojo with enough space to get down.

Gregory King
05-06-2003, 01:36 AM
When the thought crosses my mind that some of the Aikidoka I train with may be less than ideally clean I think about every bus handle, escaltor side or park bench I've been in contact with. I realise then that I can not get away from bacteria, I just try harder myself to be healthy and not be overcome by the new worlds bias against germs.


05-06-2003, 02:57 AM
Usually when I am pinned in an Ikkyo or others I try not to rest my face on the mats. Sometimes I put my free hand between my face and the mats, which makes tapping a little more difficult.

05-06-2003, 03:27 AM
Besides being gross you are not going to get athlete's face or anything.

For safety I've asked a few to clip their toenails but no way I'm going to ask someone not to sweat - that's what I want them to do. I am more worries about slips and falls because of wet spots than the bacteria.

By the by - the bacteria on human skin, the type you would most likely find in sweat, is part of a natural symbiotic function. Believe it or not those critters keep us clean and smelling a lot better than if they were not there.

Problems when they occur are most likely when a few pathogenic bacteria have a chance to grow and multiply outside the dojo. Athlete's foot (feet?) don't beget athlete's foot until after they've had a chance to stew in your socks for a bit.

So boys and girls, shower after training, dry your toes well and change your socks. A little bit of powder if your worried.

Good dojo practice is a to sweep the dust and run a damp (clean) mop every now and then, common sense.

05-06-2003, 03:31 AM
I'm sure there is no real health issue here, its just the thought of it all. Especially if I'm rolled over from my back to stomach and my face slides across the mat through a puddle. Blah!

Daniel Mills
05-06-2003, 03:42 AM
As another, who sweats a fair bit during training;

I shower before I even go onto the mat, to ensure that, as 'gross' as my sweating may be, I am ultimately, not sweating or leaving anything unnatural behind.

I'll dry my arms on the inside of my gi, before a technique to minimise the chances of someone slipping off my wrists, and all, but the way I see it is that if people aren't sweating or looking flustered, then.. they're not putting enough effort into it.. ;)

We don't mean to sweat so much, you know. It's just a little hard to control :)



05-06-2003, 03:47 AM
I wish others could follow your example. There is this one guy that sweats really bad and if you grab his wrist it is just drenched!

Daniel Mills
05-06-2003, 03:58 AM
I quite liked Ron's idea of carrying a small cloth, too :)

I end up with very sweaty wrists, sometimes I don't realise and end up sending an Uke flying when they slip off my wrist.. It's at this point that I dry them off.

Like I said, it's not something we do on purpose just to gross you out, and as embarassing as it can be to have to dry your skin before anyone'll touch you - Ultimately, it is natural. :)

Ta Kung
05-06-2003, 04:41 AM
I must admit that I've never thought about this much. But we do have a person in my dojo, that has a gi that consists of 10% gi and 90% sweat. :eek:

It's a bit gross. Sweaty wrists or sweat runing down a persons face doesn't bother me at all. We all take showers afterwards right? And it's not as if you're contaminated if you get sweat on your palms... :)



Ron Tisdale
05-06-2003, 08:41 AM
Hi Bill,

I was there in february while in Morristown on business. I was able to make two keiko sessions. I really enjoyed my time there...good energy, nice folks, and although I didn't get to take any of O'Conner Sensei's classes, I thought the teachers were very good. I remember a yudansha named Scott from the first night...I trained with him most of the class. Do you know who that is? He was really nice and got me acclimated. I have some entries in my journal from those sessions.

To all;

I'm glad there are others that sweat profusely...and that most seem to understand. As others have said, its not something we can control.


05-06-2003, 09:05 AM
Another sweater here, at least whilst training! When I was in Japan training in 38 degrees with no aircon, sweating was a matter of course for everyone, carry the face cloth in your jacket, wipe your wrists when necessary, shower after keiko.

I'm now back in the UK, and despite the climate change, I'm still sweating when I train. It's a natural reaction, and also a healthy one. When you're exposed to heat, exercising strenuously, you may lose several quarts of fluid in perspiration. A pea-sized bead of sweat can cool nearly one liter (about 1 quart) of blood 1 F.

As for athletes foot, I was unfortunate to cop a dose when I was in Japan. It didn't hurt, didn't itch, didn't stop me training (wore tabi to cover the foot), went to the doc's. As soon as I mentioned Aikido, the doc just smiled and said that it was probably the most common ailment amongst budoka in Japan, gave me a botle of liquid to treat it and it was gone in a little over two weeks. Not seen it since.



05-06-2003, 12:41 PM
I know Scotty well. He started about a few months earlier than myself. So thats 8 yrs now. By chance are you heading out to see Waite sensei's seminar out in PA( i forget where it is. i think its in the seminar guide). I thought about making the trip,its been a while since I caught one of his seminars.

Ron Tisdale
05-06-2003, 02:39 PM
I should be there if its the one in lower providence. I used to train with Jeff Bowden in another life (pre-yoshinkan) when he was a brown belt. May 17th is the date I think. Be sure we meet if you're there...I'm pretty easy to find. :) I've never been to one of his seminars, so I'm pretty psyched!

Tell Scott I said hi!


PS I promise to try not to drip on you...:)

05-06-2003, 07:31 PM
Iím one of the only two women in our little club. Unfortunately, unlike my male counterparts, I donít sweat profusely. Still I keep a handkerchief tucked in my gi jacket for the times when I may need it.

Most of the guys sweat, some like water fountains. Maybe Iím a tomboy or somethingÖ but sweat doesnít figure into anything I do in the mat. In fact, after reading this post, I have to say this is the first time Iíve ever even considered its impact.

All in all, shower before you step on the mat. Train, sweaty or not. Shower afterwards.


05-07-2003, 05:28 PM
I'm another sweater, and I refuse to make apologies for doing so. It just means that I'm having a rigorous practice. That said, I try to avoid dripping on uke during pins, and keep my hands and wrists wiped off and (relatively) dry. There was a guy who used to practice at our dojo who was a sweating legend in terms of the volume of liquid that he would put off. Sometimes, if he wanted to get someone, he would PURPOSELY drip sweat into uke's ear during pins. I hear he's now practicing in northern California.

Dave Miller
05-07-2003, 05:38 PM
Being a university club, my dojo is the wrestling room and we work out on the wrestling mats.

During wrestling season, the mats are cleaned several times a week to help prevent Staph infections and transmitting other nasties. There are some good comercial mat cleaners out there. If it's a concern, it might be a good thing for your dojo to look into it.


05-07-2003, 09:11 PM
What's the best defense against an aikidoka?

Answer: sweaty palms.

I'm sure a lot of people here, swept away in their enthusiasm while talking about aikido to their friends, have uttered the timeless, "Here, grab my wrist", and generally made a nuisance of themselves. Well one time my friend had very, very sweaty hands - and it totally grossed me out. It feels quite different from "normal" sweat. Needless to say, I never tried out aikido on that friend again! :)