It finally happened. I was That Guy.
One of my most beloved gis is my first Toro. It fits great, is comfortable, has just the right amount of wear so I look like neither a first-day guy nor a slob, and it has my team and affiliation patches on it. It was my regular competition gi for a long time, and some of my favorite tournament memories happened in that gi. I still train in it regularly.
So it shouldn’t have been a surprise when it finally got the funky gi smell. I know because one of my training partners informed me of this in the manner of De La Soul:
Granted, this dude has scent powers comparable to Daredevil or Willy the Nose from the McGurk Mysteries. Still, the lesson was clear. If I wanted to keep using this righteous gi, I had to be a considerate training partner.
I’m a pound-for-pound sweating champion, so I try super-hard to stay on top of the standard BJJ hygiene practices — deodorant, regular showers, nails clipped, teeth brushed, etc. — but my “body as a temple” attitude had to extend to my gi, too. So I returned to a tactic that I’d used for months but gotten away from after I ran out of it. I want to tell y’all about it.
This embarrassing incident caused me to go back to Odoban, which is a product you can get for $10 at various home improvement retailers. They use it in fire restoration, so you know it’s powerful. Throw a little bit of it into the load of laundry and your old gi comes out smelling fresh. I’d used it before (for similar reasons), but had slacked off until being duly chastised.
I am not sponsored by Odoban and have not received any compensation for this unsolicited endorsement, although if y’all want to ship a case to the Dirty White Belt Mansion in historic Durham, NC, I promise it’ll get used.
We all know who That Guy is. None of us want to be him. I was him for a session. Don’t let this happen to you!