Are you interested in starting Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ)?
If so, you may be wondering what gear is necessary for training…
And you’ve come to the right place!
We’re going to be taking a look at the various pieces of gear you need for BJJ training. We’ll break down what’s essential and what’s nice to have.
Given that BJJ is a grappling martial art that involves a lot of close contact and ground fighting, having the right gear is essential for both safety and comfort.
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned practitioner, investing in quality gear can help you perform at your best.
So, let’s dive into what gear you need for BJJ.
What Gear Do You Need for BJJ
Gi – Essential
The gi, also known as a kimono, is the most iconic piece of gear in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
It consists of a jacket, pants, and belt. The gi is essential for traditional BJJ training and competitions.
When choosing a gi, it’s important to look for one that fits well, is comfortable, and can withstand the rigorous training associated with BJJ.
There are a ton of different brands out there to choose from, with gis coming in various colors, weights, and designs, so picking one can often be tricky.
Fortunately, we’ve got a ton of articles on the best BJJ gis for various requirements, which I’d recommend checking out:
- The Best Lightweight BJJ Gis
- The Best BJJ Gis for Competitions
- The Best Women’s BJJ Gis
- The Best Kids BJJ Gis
- 10 Best BJJ Gis
- Best BJJ Gis for Beginners
Belt – Essential
While the belt serves to identify your abilities, it’s also crucial in keeping your gi together.
Learning how to tie a belt can take a bit of time, but once you’ve figured it out, you’ll be doing it second nature without any thought.
Beginners typically start with a white belt and progress through the ranks as they gain experience and skill.
BJJ belts follow this order:
It’s important to tie your belt correctly to ensure it stays in place during training. Admittedly, your belt will inevitably come undone during rolling, but the better you are at tying it, the less fiddling you’ll be doing mid-roll.
We’ve got a whole article dedicated to the best BJJ belts, so be sure to check that out if you’re in need of a new belt.
Rash Guard – Essential for No Gi BJJ
A rash guard is a tight-fitting shirt that can be worn in both Gi (under the jacket) and No Gi BJJ.
It helps to prevent skin irritation and protects against mat burns.
Rash guards are available in short-sleeve, long-sleeve, and sleeveless styles (not many people opt for sleeveless though).
Look for one that is made of a breathable, moisture-wicking fabric to keep you cool and comfortable during training.
In competitions, rash guards are often colored to reflect the belt of the wearer (as long as the design follows the IBJJF criteria). Check out our list of the 10 best BJJ rash guards for some great options.
Shorts – Essential for No Gi BJJ
BJJ shorts are designed to be durable and comfortable. When wearing shorts to BJJ, it’s important to wear a pair that does not have pockets, as this could easily lead to an injury if someone’s finger got stuck in your pocket whilst you rolled.
Look for shorts that are made of a stretchy, breathable fabric and have reinforced seams. I’d also recommend wearing shorts that have a stretch panel around the inner thighs, as this will ensure that the shorts don’t hinder your ability to move or your range of motion.
Similarly, BJJ shorts typically have a shorter inseam than traditional athletic shorts, as this allows for greater mobility.
You can also use compression shorts for BJJ. These are tight fitting shorts, usually made out of some form of spandex or lycra material.
There really isn’t a best type of shorts, and it comes down to which style you feel most comfortable training in.
Spats – A Great Alternative to Shorts
Spats are tight-fitting pants, essentially leggings They provide an extra layer of protection against mat burns and can help to keep your muscles warm during training.
Look for spats that are made of a moisture-wicking fabric to keep you dry and comfortable.
Mouthguard – Nice to Have
A mouthguard is essential for protecting your teeth and jaw during training, especially if your gym tends to roll (spar) hard.
Look for a mouthguard that fits well and is comfortable to wear.
Boil-and-bite mouthguards are the most popular option as they can be molded to fit your teeth and are much cheaper than custom mouthguards from the dentist.
Groin Guard/ Cup – Nice to Have
If you’re a guy, then a groin guard can be a very essential piece of gear that’s often overlooked until it’s too late. It helps to protect against accidental kicks and knees to the groin, which can easily occur given the nature of BJJ.
Look for a groin guard that is comfortable to wear and provides adequate protection.
I’d recommend Diamond MMA here, as they make some of the best protective cups around.
Ear Protectors – Nice to Have
BJJ can be tough on the ears, and many practitioners develop cauliflower ears as a result of repeated trauma.
Ear protectors, also known as ear guards or wrestling headgear, can help to prevent this. Look for ear protectors that are comfortable to wear and provide adequate protection.
Check out our full breakdown of the best BJJ headgear for some great options.
Knee Pads – Nice to Have
Knee pads can help to protect your knees from impact during training. Look for knee pads that are made of a durable, shock-absorbing material and provide a snug, comfortable fit.
It’s important that the knee pads do not have any metal or hard material, as this can be dangerous when training.
Tape – Nice to Have
Tape can be used to protect your fingers, toes, and other areas of the body from injury. Look for athletic tape that is strong and provides good support.
I have to tape my toes virtually every time I train, as they tend to be very susceptible to cuts, caused by friction from the mat.
Gym Bag – Nice to Have
At the end of the day, any old backpack will do for a gym bag.
That said, if you’re starting to train regularly, multiple times a week, having a dedicated gym bag is probably a good idea. Having all your gear in a central place makes it easier to keep track of.
Plus, a bag designed for sports gear will likely have the adequate ventilation needed to prevent any odor from building up.
Look for a bag that is durable and has plenty of pockets and compartments to keep your gear organized.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between gi and no-gi BJJ gear?
The main difference between gi and no-gi BJJ gear is the attire worn during training.
In gi BJJ, practitioners wear a uniform consisting of a jacket, pants, and belt made of durable cotton.
On the other hand, No-Gi BJJ is typically practiced in shorts and a rash guard.
While the two are extremely similar, techniques will vary between the two, given that there is no material from the gi to utilize in techniques in no-gi BJJ.
Is a BJJ training dummy necessary for practice?
While a BJJ training dummy can be a helpful tool for practicing techniques, it is not necessary for training.
Many BJJ schools have partners available for training, and it’s important to practice with a live partner to develop timing, sensitivity, and other important skills.
However, if you are unable to find a partner to train with, a training dummy can be a useful supplement to your training routine.
What Gear Do You Need for BJJ – Final Thoughts
Now that you know what gear you need for BJJ, you can start preparing to train.
Remember that the most important gear is your BJJ Gi and belt, as they are essential for training.
However, if you plan on training No-Gi, you’ll need to invest in a rash guard and grappling shorts.
Remember that while having the right gear is important, it’s not the only thing you need to succeed in BJJ.
You also need to have a positive attitude, a willingness to learn, and a commitment to training regularly.
With the right mindset and gear, you can achieve your goals and become a successful BJJ practitioner.