There are many things to love about Jiu Jitsu. The smell of your kit after training is not one of them. While your own sweat might pass as mildly funky, the combined sweat of a class full of twenty, spread all over your clothes, hair and face is, without doubt, one of the most abhorrent kinds of stench. It brings to mind a cage full of mice in the back of a primary school classroom (this practice might have been banned since I went to school in the 70s) – a sort of tangy uriney smell that burns the nostrils and brings on involuntary wincing.
Along with the threat of ringworm, staph or other flesh-mangling diseases, ridding yourself and your stuff of this whiff is a priority once you step off the mat. So this particular notice, pinned up on the California Suites walls, was rather an issue.
Once I had got over the kind of spelling that makes me want to pour bleach in my eyes, a sinking dread set in. When you’re training once or twice a day, the washing stacks up pretty quickly. And, for those that don’t know first-hand, the longer you leave BJJ stink, the more it seemingly multiplies, and the harder it is to get out. Two or three days later, your room smells like the devil’s own armpit.
It was time to hit up the laundrette. Situated a couple of blocks away, Andy gallantly offered to take the lion’s share of the washing load (the dirty clothing).
I did my bit by bringing along the powder and some fabric conditioner.
Obviously all of the martial arts training is paying off. This is possibly the most testosterone-laden Man vs Washing Machine pose I’ve ever witnessed. It’s the modern version of the 1980s Topless Man with Baby poster. If Andy’s amenable, I might pimp him out to overworked housewives.
As with everything in the US, laundry comes in large, extra large, and just stupid sizes. I began to feel guilty we hadn’t messed up more clothes.
Loaded up, it was time to assume the position and wait.
Here are a couple of pros styling it out...
...and here's Andy giving it an admirable shot for a beginner.
Like the sunshine and the rain, the cloud and the silver lining, with washing comes drying, and a room full of damp gis.