There are a few things you can implement that will help in enjoying an injury free judo career.
Wash your hands before practice
Before you step on the judo mat you should at the very least wash your hands. In Japan most of the judokas have a shower and brush their teeth before every training session. This just shows the respect they have for not only their personal hygiene but for their training partners.
Wear a clean gi
Wash and clean tour gi after every training session. Judo is a very up close and personal sport and due to the high intensity at which the sport is played and people sweat rather profusely. After a training session you don’t only have your sweat on your gi but also the sweat and grime of ten other people.
Wash your hands after the toilet
How often have you accidentally had someone else’s hands in your face, eyes or mouth? At judo this happens fairly often so it is important to not spread common diseases by washing your hands before you hop on the mat and definitely after going to the toilet.
Similar to the toilet is wearing footwear on the mat. When you walk around all day at work and in the shopping centre you walk on millions and millions of germs and diseases. If you then entered the dojo and walked on the mats you are technically walking all the disease and germs from your shoes all over the mats. Therefore it is so important to enforce the rule to have bare feet only on the mats. This will assist in reducing the amount of germs on the mat area
Cut your finger nails
It is a requirement for all grappling sorts that your fingers and toes are cut short. This is not for the safety of your opponents but also for yourself. Have a finger nail being ripped off in an intense grip fight is very painful as well as getting a toe nail lifted up by a foot sweep gone wrong. Keep them short and you will also stop slicing your opponents feet open when attacking with a foot sweep.
Wear a rash guard or T shirt under your gi
Many judokas these days were a body boarding rash guard under their Judogi. This reduces the amount of cuts and abrasions you get on the chest and arms as well as prevent gi burn around the neck.
Have nice smelling breath
Smoke, coffee and bed breathe are all not nice smells to smell when practicing judo. Before training clean your teeth or chew on some gum to make sure your opponents stick around for a few more fights
Make sure your hair doesn’t go all over your opponent. There are a few things grosser than having your opponent’s sweaty hair in your face eyes and mouth. It is simply disgusting. If you have long hair please design it in a way that doesn’t annoy your opponents.
Don’t come to training if you are sick. If you have a cold, the flu or a skin infection please do not come to training and pass it on to others. Judo is a close contact sport and germs travel quickly so if you are sick please stay at home.
Wash the mat area
Wash the mats as often as possible with some anti bacterial solution and some warm water. I know many clubs who have not washed the mats in close to ten years. But these days more and more clubs are beginning to wash their mats as often as every day. A local BJJ practitioner asks his students to wash down the mats after every night-time training session. As well as keeping the mats clean the students feel a part of the dojo and by doing so respect that training g area a lot more.
Break-falling is designed to soften the fall after being thrown. Many beginners get injured because they did not break fall or are a bit apprehensive at the thought of being thrown. It is important to know how to take a fall during practice. If you are unsure about break-falling I encourage you not to participate in any Randori (free sparring) until you are confident at landing properly. If not you may be at risk at getting injured.
When doing Randori try not to fight to the death in every single Randori. I have seen may judoka get injured purely because they were trying too hard not to be thrown. By sticking an arm out it trying to spin out an evade all of your opponents techniques will soon lead to an injury. It is great to do this in competition but it is important to understand when to evade techniques and when to simply go over nicely for your opponent.
Some judo matches are simply matches while some are fights. I have seen many judokas try to bully others around. Judo training is not a place for bullies and definitely not a place to pick on people smaller or less experienced than you. It is very important that you fight someone at their ability level or a bit above. By doing this you will both benefit and enjoy judo
Judo is a fantastic art/sport and it is so important t that we look after each other. Not just ourselves. By following basic personal hygiene/grooming procedures we will not only enjoy training a lot more but your training partners will enjoy training with you.