In the event you’ve never had to roll on a mat with a funky partner, then consider yourself very fortunate; for the rest of us, you know exactly why this article has to be written! Mixed martial arts provides a style of gym that is unlike the others, one that requires you to be physically in contact with other members and with the floor. Regular fitness centers cause you to just run the risk of using the showers, or handle weights and equipment that may not be sanitized to your liking, but MMA etiquette 101 is simply a must when belonging to a gym, dojo, or club.
- Whatever you do, don’t be the smelly guy that comes in to work out when you haven’t showered in two days. I realize no one sees the point in showering pre-workout, but if you know you’re gross, why put others through the torture of having to roll around with you? Additionally on the same lines of respecting others, be sure you have trimmed nails. Fingernails and toenails can be the equivalent of sticking someone in the eye with a pencil; cut them or tape over them ladies if you absolutely must train with daggers.
- Demeanor- This tip is generally for newbies as most veterans know better, but don’t show up at the gym thinking you’re Cain Velasquez; you aren’t and you have nothing to be arrogant about. There is nothing more hilarious than watching a newbie with an inflated ego get tossed on the mats by a veteran when they deserved it. Show respect for others, for the sport of MMA, and to your instructors.
- Keep it clean kids. If you’ve just spattered blood on the mat, clean it up. If the protocol is to hang your sparring gloves on the drying rack, do so. The gym is a place to practice and learn, but it’s also a place that you are expected to tidy up after yourself. Don’t leave equipment all over the place and expect someone else to put it back, and the same theory applies to your kids running around the gym. If they’ve been running amuck with shin guards on, hang them back up please.
- The streaker; for the love of Pete, no one wants to see you parading around the locker room having conversations in the buff. Would you go to the grocery store and start talking to strangers naked? Probably not, so please put a towel on.
- The members of an MMA gym are like a second family to most, so be considerate when exposing them to your germs. If you have a cut, no big deal just bandage it and tape over top of it so it doesn’t come loose while going full speed at the gym. If you have a cold, or rash, or anything remotely contagious please avoid working out that day as there is no reason to infect your gym buddies with your illness. Some gyms have policies on this, especially the ones that have a high number of kids as members, so do follow the rules on this issue.