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Old 12-20-2006, 01:15 PM   #101
DonMagee
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Re: Belt problem

I wouldn't have a leg to stand on in my arguments if I didn't put up and prove my theory?

I'm actually hoping to find out that it doesn't matter if you wash your belt, because I know a lot of guys don't, and maybe then I won't be so grossed out when it's on my face.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 12-20-2006, 01:49 PM   #102
Dennis Hooker
Dojo: Shindai Dojo, Orlando Fl.
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Re: Belt problem

In every dojo I have been associated with over four decades of training it was required that we have a clean Gi in good repair. In Aikido we wear a hakama to add to the formality of the activity. Some of us consider the study of Aikido an honor afforded us so we must dress cleanly and neatly. However some folks wear old worn out belts underneath. I have never held with that tradition. I like to look as clean and presentable as I can. So it means new when the old wears out or becomes to unsightly. It is an individuals choice in the end.

Dennis
www.shindai.com

Last edited by Dennis Hooker : 12-20-2006 at 01:52 PM.

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Old 12-21-2006, 12:45 PM   #103
Bronson
 
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Re: Belt problem

Hey Don,

Is there a Medical Lab. Technologist program at your college? Our community college has one... maybe they could help.

Alternately you could write this into Myth Busters. Let Discovery Channel pony up the cash to have it tested.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 12-21-2006, 01:25 PM   #104
natasha cebek
 
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Re: Belt problem

My goodness, I wonder if anyone has ever thought about how nasty and disgusting the inside of a pair of shoes can get-yuch! Oh wait I just thought of something- wow, what about public railings and door handles....think of all those germs. OMG!!!!!!!
I wonder how many people actually wash their hands after using the restroom, before going out on the mat? I'd be more concerned with that than whether someone washes their belt or not.
In my opinion (Ron) being clean is very important, but aren't we all being just a tad fungi/germ-a-phobic?

Last edited by natasha cebek : 12-21-2006 at 01:31 PM.

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Old 12-21-2006, 03:20 PM   #105
Chris Li
 
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Re: Belt problem

Quote:
Natasha Cebek wrote:
My goodness, I wonder if anyone has ever thought about how nasty and disgusting the inside of a pair of shoes can get-yuch! Oh wait I just thought of something- wow, what about public railings and door handles....think of all those germs. OMG!!!!!!!
I wonder how many people actually wash their hands after using the restroom, before going out on the mat? I'd be more concerned with that than whether someone washes their belt or not.
In my opinion (Ron) being clean is very important, but aren't we all being just a tad fungi/germ-a-phobic?
Any clothing I wear I wash regularly - and even more so for clothing that I wear while exercising. Pretty much standard practice, isn't it?

Now, not washing your clothes may not be hazardous to your health, but I doubt that you'd want to spend much time around someone who failed to wash their clothes on a regular basis.

Best,

Chris

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Old 12-21-2006, 03:33 PM   #106
crbateman
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Re: Belt problem

I wonder what kind of fashion statement I would make in a hakama and a hazmat suit?!?
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Old 12-21-2006, 03:51 PM   #107
natasha cebek
 
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Talking Re: Belt problem

LOL... "Hazakama"....and a "Hazobi"....

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Old 12-21-2006, 04:22 PM   #108
deepsoup
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Re: Belt problem

Quote:
Natasha Cebek wrote:
aren't we all being just a tad fungi/germ-a-phobic?
There's timing. I was just watching something on TV that made me a little bit fungi-a-phobic. There's a snippet online here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/animals/...rth/realmedia/ (Under the "Living Organisms" section, scroll right down to the bottom and "Parasitic fungi attack")

Its a very strange combination of 'wow!' and 'ugh!'. Very ot, I know, sorry.
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Old 12-21-2006, 04:33 PM   #109
henry brown
 
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Re: Belt problem

On a similar note, there was a report in the last few years in the New Eng J Medicine Volume 343:1223-1227 October 26, 2000 Number 17
(https://content.nejm.org/cgi/content...ct/343/17/1223) about American football players who caught a stomach bug when one player poked on the field, and other players rolled around in it during the game.

On theother hand, although your belt is far from sterile, it is probably not a very hospitable local for the growth of most microorganisms. Certainly, swabbing it for aerobes would be a fun experiment to do. But if people were transmitting diseases off belts, you would expect a LOT more people to be getting disease off of the mats, which typically aren't sterilized after practice. So, I think the risks of fomite-infection (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fomite) from a belt are pretty low.
Although I am not a microbiologist.
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Old 12-21-2006, 06:13 PM   #110
DonMagee
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Re: Belt problem

I'm actually in conversation with a few students at a few local universities and with a few professors at my college on the best way to handle this test. What I would like is to find a student who needs a project for a class. I think I might have one lined up. More will be coming in a few days.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 12-21-2006, 06:54 PM   #111
Michael Hackett
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Re: Belt problem

I agree, or least believe, that there is little danger of contracting disease from a dirty belt in most circumstances. In our modern world we come into contact with all sorts of hazardous situations and generally survive them quite handily. There are some organisms that are significant health risks and are very hardy indeed. Hepatitus B Virus is a case in point and is usually transmitted by body fluids, including blood. HBV is hardy and can live upwards of 72 hours in the air. By no means do I suggest that someone wearing a dirty obi will infect anyone, or everyone, simply because they are wearing an unwashed belt.

I maintain that it is unwise to expose our training partners to disease needlessly. And by needless, I mean without any real purpose. When this debate began, it was a discussion about whether washing an obi was an old Japanese tradition. Evidence has been presented that there was no such tradition and that it is a modern mythical construct. Although there isn't any true historical base for the practice, some martial artists and some martial arts dojo still practice the "tradition". So be it and good for them. Probably nothing will ever happen to them. I hope not in any event.

Outlaw bikers have a tradition of not washing their colors. That means to me that they are traditionally unkempt and dirty. If you choose to not wash your obi, then it follows that you are traditionally or untraditionally unkempt and dirty. Your choice, their choice, not mine. No semantics here.

Please drive home safely and don't forget to tip your waiter.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 12-21-2006, 07:12 PM   #112
natasha cebek
 
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Re: Belt problem

Hey Don,
Are you near NY, VT somewhere in the northeast..I'll lend you my Obi for your experiment, I have another one. I train 3-4 times a week, so it should have a sufficient amount of life threatening microbes living in it at this point.
Seriously, I think it's a great idea, I'm curious to know what the results are..
Natasha

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Old 12-21-2006, 07:58 PM   #113
DonMagee
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Re: Belt problem

I'm in the middle or northern indiana. I've ordered 4 belts so far in preparation. One will be kept unopened as a control, one will be worn and not washed. One will be warn, washed, and dried. And finally one will be worn, washed, and hung to dry. All washing will be done in hot water with tide soap.

Once I find a student/lab/professor willing to help front me the lab time and know how to test the belt, I will begin be ready to go. Of course before we can start it will need to be overlooked by real scientists and make sure we are really doing a real test and not some sudo science. At that point I will post the entire project for review, suggested, or modifcations. Then I'll start.

My initial plan is to wear each belt for one month in all my classes. This is about 15-18 hours a week and will include hard sparing in bjj, judo, and possibly boxing. Normal aikido training, and lots of rolling around on the ground. The belts will be photographed, visually inspected, and smelled. All this recorded of course. The belts for washing will be washed immediately when I return home from training.

Last edited by DonMagee : 12-21-2006 at 08:00 PM.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 12-22-2006, 08:34 AM   #114
Qatana
 
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Re: Belt problem

"Outlaw bikers have a tradition of not washing their colors"

Just out of curiosity, how would one wash a leather biker jacket? Or would that be too terribly off-topic?

Q
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Old 12-22-2006, 09:12 AM   #115
DonMagee
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Re: Belt problem

Quote:
Jo Adell wrote:
"Outlaw bikers have a tradition of not washing their colors"

Just out of curiosity, how would one wash a leather biker jacket? Or would that be too terribly off-topic?
I would take it to a professional cleaner. It's probably expensive, and that is why they don't do it.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 12-22-2006, 09:36 AM   #116
mriehle
 
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Re: Belt problem

Unfortunately this link is very unfriendly to those of us who do not live in the UK.

So I'll just have to take your word for it.

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Old 12-22-2006, 03:05 PM   #117
Michael Hackett
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Re: Belt problem

Most of the outlaw types wear denim jackets with the sleeves cut off and the patches sewn onto the "cut off". That's worn over the other clothing and frequently over a leather jacket. You'll see some wearing leather vests with the colors sewn on, but not too often. Many also wear their "originals", a pair of jeans that are never washed. Don't the Oakland Hells Angels still ride up in your area over Labor Day weekend, Jo? I haven't worked the bikers for a few years, so I'm a little out of touch with them anymore.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 12-22-2006, 04:34 PM   #118
deepsoup
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Re: Belt problem

Quote:
Michael Riehle wrote:
Unfortunately this link is very unfriendly to those of us who do not live in the UK.
Sorry about that, I knew the HD clips were UK only, but I thought the realmedia ones were more widely available.

The victim of the parasitic fungus in the clip was an ant.
Fortunately I don't think even a *really* dirty belt can infect a human with a fungus that will make them climb up somewhere high to die and then grow an enormous mushroom out of the back of their head which then explodes and infects anyone nearby with its deadly spores. (At least, I don't think so! )
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Old 12-22-2006, 06:15 PM   #119
Qatana
 
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Re: Belt problem

Quote:
Michael Hackett wrote:
Don't the Oakland Hells Angels still ride up in your area over Labor Day weekend, Jo? .
You mean the Redwood Run? Thats a lot bigger than just the Oakland Angels! Thousands of bikes going up the freeway... And I guess the Angels I've come in close enough contact with to smell must be the exceptions!

Q
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Old 12-22-2006, 06:58 PM   #120
Michael Hackett
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Re: Belt problem

No, I wasn't thinking of the Redwood Run. They used to run up to Santa Rosa/Sebastopol/Petaluma around Labor Day as an HA run. Been years ago since I paid attention to what NorCal was doing.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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