BJJ Poll: How Often Are the Mats Cleaned at Your BJJ Academy?

by Caleb on January 15, 2011

We all know about the dangers or MRSA in grappling and how important it is to take a shower immediately after training and to wash one’s gi every time we train, but what about the mats? What about the mats, I ask you!

A while back we asked folks their subjective impressions of how clean their academy is, but today I wanted to drill down a little more into things. Back in December when I visited the Gracie Academy in Torrance for the Rorion Gracie interview (part 1, part 2), there were a lot of people on the mats. Maybe 35 students or more. And as they have classes several times a day, that is a lot of folks out there grappling on the same mat space.

To my relief, as class ended Ryron Gracie had a small crew of students assist in sweeping and spraying down the mats. I was on the sidelines watching and asked Reylan Gracie how often they clean the mats like that. “After every class,” he responded. Nice!

Now if you’re like most folks you say, “Well of course they clean the mats after every class, Caleb!” Yes. But sadly, we all know not every school out there cleans up after every training session.

So how about your school? How often are the mats cleaned? I will leave it to you to decide whether that means “swept up” or “swept and sprayed with disinfectant”.

Also, don’t answer how often you think they should be cleaned. We all know the answer to that.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Christian Simamora January 15, 2011 at 11:25 am

Eduardo Rocha, the prof. at http://oaklandbjj.com/, has students sweep the mats after every single class, and the mat is cleaned every day. He also ensures that the school is immaculate.

Tim Credeur January 15, 2011 at 1:43 pm

At Gladiators Academy of Lafayette I have about 4 different individuals who have the responsibility of cleaning and mopping the mats after each and every training session. This definitely severly reduces the risk of Ringworm and Staph at the Academy! Our students deserve the best and we are more than happy to give it to them!

rowdy January 15, 2011 at 11:14 pm

depends on what you mean by “clean”??

sweeping the mat with a broom after each class is NOT cleaning the mat.

applying a disinfectant/anti fungal/anti microbial or heck even a mix of water and bleach needs to happen after every class if you ask me.

it seems few places do this level of clean. and dont get me started on the toilet and showers in lots of academies!!

rowdy January 15, 2011 at 11:16 pm

ps-i have mats at my house in my garage and i spray them down with lyesol bathroom cleaner and wipe with a clean rag, every single freaking time i use them.

pKleff January 17, 2011 at 7:07 pm

I train @ Northwest Jiu Jitsu Academy (http://www.nwjja.com/) in Seattle. My instructor wipes the mats w. water/Bleach, or water/simple green after every session. I have been there for four years, and never seen anyone get any kind of skin problem there, other than a few times when guys got something @ a tournament.
When I com[are this to my wrestling experience, there is a huge difference.

Lazy_Man's_Guide_to_Grappling January 22, 2011 at 10:42 pm

In my new academy we clean the mats after every class. Every class!! Lower belts are first in line to clean but pretty much everyone helps out. As a blue belt though, I have never had the option of helping only because I am a good guy.

My academy also keeps a big antibacterial machine that distributes hand sanitizer like giant gumballs. A lot of guys and gals use it before they leave on their hands as well as rub it on their faces and necks. The antibacterial goo is more wishful thinking than anything else, but everything helps.

Deborah February 8, 2011 at 7:05 am

I train at Ricardo Pires BJJ (ricardopiresbjj.com) in Cleveland and the mats and the whole academy are immaculate. I think they actually have a cleaning service AND every time I get there a bit early somebody is standing there with a mop. Not only is it the only smart thing to do, with liability being what it is nowadays, it also shows they care about students’ wellbeing. I know this sounds really girly but I have sensitive skin and if I train on a dirty mat I break out. Besides the fact that ending a roll with little hairs in your mouth is about the grossest thing ever. It’s all about respect, in my opinion, a school’s self-respect and respect for students. Now if they could just get everybody to wash their gis! I don’t really want to know what my training partner ate, smoked or fished out of Lake Erie last week.

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