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More On Nails

This is a follow up on Fingernail Courtesy. I received an email from a reader in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She read about a case there in which a person was blinded in one eye as a result of an injury with a toenail.

Could you imagine getting kicked in the eye by a person with long toenails?

If a student has long nails, perhaps nothing bad will happen. But say that once out of 100 times there will be an injury. Then it is just a matter of time. And if you have 100 students with long nails, someone will get hurt at each training (1 out of 100).

Now imagine 100,000 students in the United States. If they all have long nails, 1,000 injuries will result in just one training day.

It is a numbers game. When an unsafe condition exists, people will get hurt.

Keeping your nails short and clean is a safety issue. It is also an issue of courtesy because you do not want to injure your fellow students. Courtesy rules often have an underlying safety rationale.

So keep your nails short and clean! It is a good idea to have the seniors periodically check the nails of the students.

Except... there is an exception in some dojo permitting women to have longer fingernails, because they can be used in the self defense context. This is up to the dojo heads. I am not giving any advice about this. But even then, it is important to keep the nails clean and properly trimmed.

Talking about nails, I had a Filipino grandpa (calabash by marriage) who kept one thumbnail really long and sharp, presumably for use as a weapon if needed. It was almost like a small knife. This is something to watch out for.


Charles C. Goodin