Wednesday, April 17, 2013

You Stink!

The mother of a Seventh Grade boy I know was all excited when he came home from school after the very first week of class and demanded that she buy him deodorant. “Finally,” she thought, “my little boy is beginning to grow up and take care of himself.” She was less enthused at the end of the school year when she found in his locker the full, unopened, still shrink-wrapped deodorant stick. The locker, by the way, was quarantined.

Basic personal hygiene is an interest most of us develop sometime during our adolescence. Most of us. Usually. Hopefully.

Every now and again some lost soul enters our training curriculum that has totally missed the bathtub, and dares to share his formidable pheromones to innocent martial artists unaware that pain awaits their next in-suck of wind.

There is nothing quite like a lung-sized gulp of noxious glandular excrement when one was expecting a soothing well-earned oxygen-rich air-treat. One of my lungs was so traumatized, it needed six sessions with a PTSD therapist.

I had one student that, I swear, just peed on his uniform. That’s the only explanation for the malodorous ‘golden’ stains and special clingy fabric.

Sweating is only the beginning. We also have the occasional Hobbit-Vulture, having feet that resemble swollen potatoes with nails as well-manicured as talons. It’s just our good fortune that martial arts are practiced without shoes. Or fishing waders. Or flamethrowers.

Respect is a key element of martial arts; respect for yourself and your fellow students. You should clean your uniform often; daily if you sweat hard. Trust me when I say that leaving your uniform in your gym bag between classes does not kill the bad smell-germs.

Additionally, asking your training partners if you smell during class will always yield a socially acceptable, “Oh no.” Your fellow students are lying. They hate you, and they want to dip you in acerbic acid. They want your toenails to fall off in your socks, and they want Angels of Ajax to infest your closet. They are afraid if they are honest with you, that you’ll hug them. It’s not worth the risk.

Bathe. Wash your uniform. Trim your nails. Train hard.

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