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Alvin H. Nagasawa
01-17-2005, 05:20 PM
I have attended seminars in the past, Where the students Gi was black, dirty and smelly. And we were practicing Ushiro waza. :eek: The flies where all around, this guy was sweating, and we were approached by the teacher. He told the student to change his Gi or wash them. No one wants to practice with someone in your condition. My Karate Gi, was stained with his dirty Gi and it smelled too. I left the mat and too a shower and watch the rest of the class. I believe if you are going to attend a seminar you should take another Gi or hand your gi out side to air out.

Has anyone else experience any similar situation? And what is your comment if you were in my situation?

01-17-2005, 05:44 PM
If someone smells to that degree, it's obviously because their hygene is lacking, in such a case it would be unhealthy and unwise to get up close and personal, you're likely to catch something.

Therefore in such a situation the only course of action is to refuse to train with that person. You can do so politely or by calling them "Smelly McSmellypants" either way works.

Personally I have 2 Judo Gi, and 2 Karate Gi - at a seminar I'll take a judo and a karate gi to each day and change to the karate gi if the judo one starts to get stinky. The advantage with the karate gis is that they dry quick, so if it's a long seminar I can wash them and they'll be ready for use by the time I need one. I hate changing into a dank sweaty gi, even if it isn't on the nose yet.

01-18-2005, 12:06 AM
It's good to remember that we strive to be defensive.... not offensive.

John Boswell
01-18-2005, 12:38 PM
Since the subject has been brought up, I have a few questions:

1) What do you do if the Mr. McSmellypants is a minor? say... 10 year old boy. Do you tell him or the parent?

2) How do you explain to someone that they need to shower or not be on the mat?

I agree, hygene is terribly important and smells and sweat, etc. can get pretty bad. HOWEVER... I wouldn't feel right telling someone,"Uh... you got B.O., dude. Do you mind? I'm gonna move over here and train with these guys. You can find someone else. etcl..."

I think the proper thing to do, on top of the fact that I don't wanna be the one to break the news ;) , is to tell the Sensei or Dojo Cho and have them address the issue.

Is THAT okay? or am I just being a wimp? :D

01-18-2005, 01:50 PM
If you are a leader in your dojo then you should talk to that person. If it is a child then certainly talk to the parents. Children should not be shamed for something out of their control. I'm not into this extreme permissive parenting thing that raises spoiled and nasty kids, but there exists too far the other direction as well - and lots of time the parents are good people who mean well but fail to understand what is appropriate at each level of development (like many senseis!). An example would be like a parent saying, "little Bobby isn't very good at sharing" right infront of their kid who is say 2 years old has has no capacity to be good at sharing yet - but understands enough to feel bad about his parents shaming him.

The best way to talk to someone in the dojo is to remember "we are all equal people" (like Wally Jay used to say at seminars) and that you just happen to have more experience in this particular area so it's your responsibility to help them undertsand the rules of the dojo.

If you feel you cannot address the person directly, then you need to go to a sempai for help like in every other situation.

When the dai-sempai is doing something wrong, do everyone a favor and bring it up them (get a sempai in between you both to help if you need). If that doesn't work, make sure the person running the dojo knows. If there is still no change, you should probably leave and find another place. If everyone did that we'd have a lot better aikido world.


01-18-2005, 04:16 PM

Kids are a different problem all together, that's where a quiet word from Sensei to the parents is required.

I'm an upfront person, if I think someone is too on the nose to train with, I'll tell them - chances are they probably don't know they are. I have a very weak sense of smell so I can only smell strong smells that are close to my nose, so it's not much of an issue for me personally. On the other side, I can't really smell any cologne or deoderant or whatever that I put on myself, and I know I'd appreciate it if someone told me I was wearing too much or whatever cos I have no real way of judging myself.

I've always gone with honesty - having said that, I can understand why you'd go to a senior instructor at the seminar, especially if it's not a particularly bad case, and if it was minor I'd do the same. But for something as bad as what Alvin described then quite frankly that person has no business being on the mat and isn't being very polite to you, so I wouldn't worry so much about hurting their feelings.

Robert Cheshire
01-18-2005, 09:33 PM
Hit or throw them so hard they have to sit out for awhile...if it's a minor then hit or throw the parent! :)

Seriously - if you are senior to them or even the same rank you should pull them aside and talk with them. If you are junior then talk to a trusted senior or equal to them (in as much privacy as you can) to share your concerns. I've been known to say hey let's take a quick break and wipe some of this sweat off of us. I try to help them save face at first. I then try to gently lead them into the proper direction without addressing the problem harshly. If this doesn't work I (say DAMN you smell funky! - not really) approach the situation as directly as I can while trying to not to offend or cause an umcomfortable situation (kind of like an aiki approach).

Mat Hill
01-19-2005, 06:30 AM
Call me Mr Diplomatic, but I would tell them to wash their gi, and not practise with them! evileyes Unfortunately I have a nose like a dog, so I sometimes have trouble determining what is a legitimate 'smell level' and short of discussing it with the whole dojo, I usually concentrate especially hard on my breathing and try to forget about it!

It's never happened to me too badly in aiki though. I have been in the rather unenviable situation of being taught an armbar transitory position in my shooto class as a demo to the other students where my instructor was sitting on my face wearing only loose thai shorts...! Told him after the tech that his bits were in my face :yuck: ... didn't wanna lose my arm with him laughing! :crazy:

Alvin H. Nagasawa
01-26-2005, 12:16 AM
Do-Gi when training had 8 posting, I see. From those odds. One assumes that everyone else has no further experiences that they wish to share with us?. But as Mr. Mat Hill has mentioned his instructor was wearing only loose Thai shorts, plus sitting on Mr. Hill face. Well I must say it must have left a impression on you. You must have lost all thoughts of resisting his technique.

I want to make a valid point here, You have to take the responsibility of your action, conduct on and off the mat. We should be aware of our five senses. Wash your feet and Hands before you enter the dojo, If you can shower if you need one before you put on your Do Gi to train.

If you have a cold or flu, don't practice, If you are injured and recuperating from a injury or operation. Let your body heal. Train your five senses while you are recovering, watch the class, ask question after the class is over. You never stop learning.

01-26-2005, 05:17 AM
While hygine is important, remember that Americans have an overly sensitive view on body odor. Remember when practicing in most European or Middle Eastern countries the body odor scent is normal and not often viewed as offensive.

Just a "When in Rome...." reminder

01-26-2005, 10:21 AM
Told him after the tech that his bits were in my face

You should'a bitten something....that'd teach him evileyes