The Importance of Academy Etiquette and/or Team Guidelines
Almost every academy I’ve trained or dropped in at had clearly posted academy etiquette and/or team guidelines where it is literally hard to miss. Often times, new students are introduced to these guidelines when they first join the academy as part of their orientation and tour. Not only is this to set the “ground rules” for new students, it is also to keep everyone on the same page.
For those of us who have been training long enough, we assume that these guidelines and etiquette is common sense. But like the saying goes, sometimes common sense isn’t so common. Even longtime students are guilty of conveniently forgetting or ignoring specific guidelines (i.e. cutting/trimming fingernails, wearing a clean gi, etc.), which could affect the way that new students perceive what is/isn’t right to do in training.
Aside from what was mentioned above, the importance of academy etiquette addresses the following to keep a safe, sanitary, and good training environment for EVERYONE:
HYGIENE: Do you want ringworm? Staph? MRSA? No? Then this is why personal hygiene is everyone’s responsibility. So is cutting your nails, removing all jewelry (even for dudes!), washing your gi, taking showers after class, and staying home if you’re not feeling well is super important. Jiu-Jitsu is a high contact sport where hiding from other people’s germs is virtually impossible. Having everyone on the same page about good hygiene will prevent bacterial infections, accidental cuts to the face/body because of uncut fingernails, and complaints about stinky gis and people.
ETIQUETTE: Formalities when you are late to class, wearing team gis/patches/rash guards, tying your belt during class, and how to act when someone is teaching/when to ask questions are all very important things to know during the training session. Imagine if one person is late to class and skips the warm ups, those who are already in class might think that it’s ok to do the same. Without formalities, bad behavior can follow in a domino effect… which would, in turn, disrupt the training.
ATTITUDE: Just like bad behavior can follow in a domino effect, so can positive behavior whether it is during drilling or training. Being respectful, helpful, and positive all promote a positive training environment where everyone gets better together.
Does your academy have clearly posted team etiquette or guidelines? When you first started training, did anyone ever go over the “house rules” with you or was it something that you needed to figure out on your own?