As you begin to study Kakutou it is important to consider some additional Reishiki. This is primarily a list of things you should not do, rather than practices you should follow, but there is a mixture of both in the list.
A major concern in grappling is the risk of infection. Skin infections are a common and major problem if everyone does not pay attention to hygiene. While you are struggling on the floor with a training partner it is easy for one person to pass the flu or another contagious disease to the other. An entire Dojo can be affected when disease is spread this way.
As a result, much of the Reishiki in this belt is observed to avoid the spread of disease and infections.
The Reishiki you should observe in this belt and at anytime you grapple in the future includes the following:
- Take good care of your training partner. Do not slam them to the mat with unneeded force, strike them when they are unable to defend themselves, or apply excessive force to a submissive hold. Be respectful of others. Injuries you inflict on others have a way of being revisited upon you.
- Be conscious of mat sanitization. Do not bring anything into the training area that may contaminate the training surfaces.
- Avoid contaminating others. If you have a skin infection, a rash, ringworm, an eye infection, or any other skin/eye condition then do not train. If you have a sore throat, clogged sinuses, a persistent cough, or any other signs you may have contracted an infectious disease, stay home until you have fully recuperated. Nobody wants whatever it is you have.
- Wash your uniform after every grappling session. It is important to help prevent the spread of infections and disease. Also, pay attention to odors and take appropriate action to eliminate them. If you are unable to keep a uniform from smelling, replace it.
- Pay attention to your surroundings. Know when are near the end of the mat or if your movements will send a training partner into a wall or a support pillar. Also realize when a movement may cause you and/or your training partner to crash into other nearby practitioners.
- Be a good sport. Don’t celebrate tapping an opponent out or ridicule someone because they made an error or were unable to do something.
- Pay attention to grooming. Keep your fingernails and toenails trimmed. This will protect you from bent nails (ouch) and protect your training partners from scratches. You would not want someone to scratch you and cause a potential infection. You would also not want a useful training partner to be sidelined for several weeks because of your negligent grooming habits.
- Be mindful of tapping. If a training partner taps the mat, any part of his or her body, or any part of your body, you must stop whatever you are doing immediately. This does not mean as soon as you feel you are ready. It means as soon as the first tap lands. The tap means you have done what you needed to do and there is no reason to proceed further.
- Do not pull on a training partner’s fingers in a desperate attempt to release his or her grip. People need working fingers to take care of kids, do their regular jobs, and do simple things like eat.
- For everyone’s safety, do not wear jewelry when grappling. Punctures, abrasions, and cuts are a likely outcome. Infections might follow.
- Be willing to share what you know. Others can learn from you as you have learned from others.
- Leave your ego at home. There is no room for boasting, taking cheap shots, belittling others, making snide comments, becoming angry, or walking off and pouting in the corner. If you are unwilling to play nice, don’t play at all.