Health on the Mats: Germs-Stepping up their Game

You’ve probably heard about “nightmare bacteria” in passing on your local news. Today, Marcelo Garcia black belt Emily Kwok shared this article on her Facebook-it’s something the entire BJJ community should be aware of. While a lot of these pieces are just efforts to send the public into a frenzy, germs are real, and anti-biotics are a big part of the problem.

One of our most popular posts on this site has been our talk with a microbiologist about the things we do in BJJ. If you haven’t read it, check out the online version here, or pick up a copy of our first issue if it’s something you’d like to see in your gym. It goes into more detail, but it covers some very important concepts to the grappling community that simply can’t be repeated enough:

1) We’re responsible for each other’s health. MRSA, herpes, ring worm, influenza…any disease that is communicable through skin-to-skin contact or through bodily fluids is game for transmission. If you are sick or infected, the best bet is to stay off the mats.

2) Come clean. Come to class clean (with non-antibacterial soap) and shower as soon as possible after. Wash your hands properly.

3) Wash your gear. Yes, even your belt.

4) Regular soap is best. Part of the reason society as a whole is struggling with gram-negative bacteria is the over, and improper use of anti-biotics/anti-bacterial substances, so put down the anti-bacterial soap (it kills your natural, good bacteria), and wash properly with regular, everyday soap. (And take your anti-biotics as directed)


Being a healthy, clean training partner is just as important as letting go after the tap. Safety is in all our hands.


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  1. noooo
    October 24, 2013 at 3:34 am


    you are actually INCREASING the chance you will pick up a communicable disease.
    When you shower you are not just washing away the bad bacteria, and good bacteria, but essential oils that protect your pores.


    • GiFreak
      October 24, 2013 at 8:56 am

      The showering before class debate is still up in the air (very much dependent on what you’ve done in the day and what you’ve been exposed to), so we’re going to do some research and will see if we can get some answers to the question out there. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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