The most important thing you can do as a good training partner is keep yourself clean. Come to class clean, and shower as soon as you can afterwards. Wash your gi and rashguard after every session. Trim your fingernails and toenails. Make sure you wash your hair. And if you have, or even suspect you have, a skin condition like ringworm or staph stay off the mats until it’s completely healed!

Hygiene is just as important as training safely. If you break someones arm because you’re acting like a meatstick and ‘taking it to the limit’ every time, you put that training partner out of commission for a while. But if you train with ringworm there’s a good chance you're going to infect everyone at your school! You could shut down the whole club!

We’ve reviewed a bunch of different brands of personal hygiene products that are designed for fighters or grapplers, and I always get some version of the question, “Does it work better than regular soap?”.

The short answer is, I believe that it does. While there are no studies that I am aware of that compare regular supermarket soap to something like Fight Soap, one of the main ingredients in Fight Soap is Tea Tree oil, which has well known anti fungal, antibacterial, and anti viral properties.

I’ve included a list of links in the reference section of this post if you want more information, but Tea Tree oil is effective in preventing the transmission of CA-MRSA. It also is an effective treatment for ringworm, other forms of staph, mites, lice, acne, yeast infection, and possibly even herpes, chicken pox, and shingles.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Does my family really need any more soap?

Another reason to use a soap marketed by a company like Fight Soap is that they support our community. They sponsor fighters, advertise in the magazines and websites we like to read, and support tournaments. They are part of our extended family. When was the last time Procter & Gamble ever did anything for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or submission grappling? I’d rather send my money to guys who are passionate about our art when I have a choice.

For me it’s an easy decision. I choose to use a soap that costs a few bucks more than the supermarket brands, but has a good chance to kill all the nasty little critters I might pick up from the mat.  It’s also made by a small company that supports the grappling community.

I think it’s worth it and I wish everyone would use soaps like this. Fight Soap is my personal favorite, I like the way it smells, and my skin feels great when I use it. They just released the new shower gel in the picture and it works great. They also increased the size of their bars and made it so the little exfolliant seeds are mixed throughout the bar instead of just sitting on the bottom like the older version. 

If you're not a fan of Fight Soap, there are other great products out there from Athletic Body Care, Defense Soap, and Manumission to name a few. Give them a try, and then pick one and use it regularly!

My good friend Rick reminds us of Apollo Creed's immortal words, “Be a Thinker, Not a Stinker”!
- Bill Thomas