Martial arts is a statistically very safe sport to practice, for both youngsters and adults. One of the dangers however, (which you have to be aware of when selecting a martial arts studio for yourself or children) is hygiene. Martial arts mats are vigorously used and are in contact with feet, sweat and the occasional blood (from little cuts on fingers, toes, elbows etc., just like any other sport). That in combination with skin contact can be a hazard.
That is why it is extremely important to clean the mats thoroughly and disinfect them. At Define Defense, we clean the mats every day with a biodegradable disinfectant. This does not only kill 99.99% off all possible bacteria (staph, MRSA, impetigo etc.), viruses (warts) and fungi (ringworm) but it is also safe since it is a ‘green’ product, not a chemically engineered product which is unhealthy as well. Every few weeks, we also steam clean the mats with a machine. This is a procedure which guarantees a very thorough cleaning.
Martial arts is not any more hazardous than any other sport, think about the equipment you sweat in doing football or soccer; or the materials you are in contact with when doing weight lifting or gymnastics. Simply think about how many people use a regular gym or rec center every day. If you are careful and train at a responsible facility, the risk is minimal!
A few other things we do:
In our facility, we have had no issues whatsoever and strive to keep it that way by keeping the studio spotless and disinfected (while using responsible products instead of chemicals)!
By Sander Vanacker, owner, head instructor and personal trainer ofDefine Defense Martial Arts & Personal Training.