Club Rules

If you have ever trained at a martial arts school before, you know that they can range from classically strict and controlling, to dysfunctional, disorganized, and lacking any respect. Our club seeks a happy medium. We are not strict in any sense of the word, but do follow a simple set of rules intended to provide an open environment where students can feel comfortable and practice safely, while at the same time honoring the art we practice. You can find these rules listed below.

Earthbound Freestyle Judo Club Rules:

  • Proper Practice Attire.
    • Men: Tops must be t-shirt, tank top, sweatshirt, rashguard, or any kind of form-fitted/compression athletic top. Bottoms must be shorts, spats or spandex (if worn, must be underneath shorts), or sweatpants.
    • Women: Tops must be t-shirt, tank top, sports bra, sweatshirt, rashguard, or any kind of form-fitted/compression athletic top. Bottoms must be shorts, capris, spats/leggins/spandex, or sweatpants.
    • No footwear or socks permitted on the mat.
    • No gis! (Obviously)
    • No jewelry, with the exception of wedding rings.
    • All worn attire must be reasonably clean.
    • There is no requirement that you purchase attire from our club, however, we are a reseller for Hatashita Sports, one of the top makers of Judo, BJJ, and martial arts apparel in the world and official sponsor of USA Judo. They sell rashguards, spats/leggings, compression wear, t-shirts, and other attire that is suitable for practice. If you wish to purchase items from Hatashita, go to their website and let us know which items you want, and we will get them for you at a discount.
  • Proper Hygiene
    • Finger and toenails must be trimmed.
    • No offensive body odor beyond what is normal. Not everyone smells great when they sweat, we get it. Some people even have naturally strong odors, no big deal. But there is a difference between that, and not showering for days, or showing up to practice after working with pungent food (like fish) and not properly washing beforehand. Be considerate to your partners on the mat.
    • Cannot practice if you are sick, or have a medical issue where people can contract something from you on contact. That includes any type of fungus, ringworm, head lice, poison ivy, etc. If you have an issue like this, you must notify the instructor because it is crucial that we protect the health of our class members.
  • Respect the Mat
    • Bow before stepping onto the mat, and before exiting when class is finished. This is the one of the few aspects of traditional martial arts that we insist on keeping. There is nothing religious or devotional about the gesture. It is simply a way of honoring our practice space, and showing respect to the art that we practice.
    • No spitting or blowing your nose on the mat.
    • Do not bring water bottles or food onto the mat, or electronic devices unless approved by the instructor beforehand.
    • Gym bags cannot be left on the mat – leave them in the locker room, or at the front of the school.
    • Must get changed in the locker room – no changing at the front of the school or on the mat. The one exception is footwear.
    • Do not step onto the mat with shoes or other footwear. Leave them at the front of the school, or carry them into the locker room.
    • The incessant use of foul language is not permitted. Swearing every now and again is fine, it happens. We are adults. But if every other word you’re using is profane, please dial it down.
    • No conversations while the instructor is demonstrating a move, or during the warmup (unless it is a class discussion). Please do not interrupt a demonstration – if you have a question, just raise your hand and the instructor will answer as soon as he can.
  • Respect Your Partners
    • We have a zero-tolerance policy on sexual harassment, bullying, and the use of racist or bigoted language.
    • We also do not tolerate assault or groping of any kind that is beyond the boundaries for what is normal class contact. This is a physical sport, you will be in contact with one another, but you don’t have to be experienced in Judo to know what a grope is, or to know that attackingĀ someone without their consent is assault.
    • No making comments of a sexual nature inside the school, even in jest. That is the surest way to make everyone around you feel uncomfortable while practicing a sport that requires contact. This is a professional setting, treat it like one.
    • Our club is not a dating service. If two adult students are romantically interested in each other, that’s their business. But keep it outside of the school.
    • No religious, mystical, spiritual, or expressly non-religious preaching inside the school. It’s absolutely fine to say, “I’m a Christian/Muslim/Jew/Atheist/Buddhist/Mystic” etc, people have the right to declare themselves and we respect that. What you cannot do is preach about your spiritual/mystical/universal beliefs or non-beliefs to others who, quite frankly, might not want to hear about it.
    • Civic or Political discussion is fine, but do it before or after class, and be civil. Discussion is healthy, ranting in front of your classmates and getting heated is not. Basically, don’t treat the school like it’s a Facebook timeline or Twitter feed!
    • While practicing a hold or submission, if your partner taps you or taps the ground, verbally submits, or yells out in pain, you must immediately let go of the hold.
    • On the other hand, if you are feeling pain during a hold and wish to submit, the best way is to “tap out”. With one of your free hands, tap on your partner’s body or tap on the mat (once works, but to avoid confusion it is best to tap two or three times quickly). Tapping on your partner is always preferred to tapping on the mat if you can help it, but if you have to tap on the mat, try and tap loud enough so that your partner can hear it. If you do not have a free hand to tap with, you can verbally tap by saying “Tap!” Another option is to tap with your feet, though this is uncommon and we would suggest you tap verbally if you can’t use your hands.
    • Oh, we almost forgot: YOU MUST TAP. Letting an arm of ankle get broken, or letting yourself get choked unconscious is not an option. Don’t be a hero! Submitting is a normal part of training. It’s the last thing you want to have an ego about, trust us.
    • Do not crank on a submission 100% before your partner even has a chance to submit. Pressure should be applied slow enough so that your partner has time to attempt an escape or tap out within a matter of seconds.