What to Wear: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Style
Ohh, how exciting it is to put together your BJJ gear and begin what may seem as a never-ending pursuit of finding more. Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned BJJ athlete, there’s a BJJ gear checklist that will help you put together the ultimate gear that you’ll need and want. If you are a beginner, this is for you. Maybe someone has introduced you to the incredible benefits of BJJ or were inspired by some cool video on your explore page on Instagram. Whatever the reason that has led you to begin your BJJ journey, good on you. There’s a good amount to know, but that’s okay – that just means more opportunity to learn. This will cover both traditional and non-traditional BJJ gear and style!
BJJ is 100% a contact sport and protection must be paramount when training and in competition. While the main objective of training isn’t necessarily to strike, accidents still do happen and protection is needed. With a grappling art, every part of the body falls within a “vulnerable” category or potentially at risk. A mouthguard is one piece of gear that everyone needs and it is a form of gear that prevents injuries rather than helping you get through them. There are different type of mouthguards – some made from rubber and others from a thermoplastic material. You don’t have to wear it the whole time while training! You can give yourself a break while rolling. Make sure to do your research on what makes sense for you based on need and money.
Highly recommended because it is easy for a knee, foot, or something else to get planted right where you don’t want it. The groin is exposed in a variety of BJJ techniques and movements. A groin protector typically comes with a supporter that is used to ensure a good fit and prevent shifting. Keep in mind comfort, size, protection and price when looking to invest in a groin protector.
You’ve probably heard of the cauliflower ear or other conditions that can be caused from trauma – usually an accidental strike or repeatedly pulling the head out of chokeholds. There is friction on the ear that can cause the skin to separate from the cartilage. This then results in a mangled looking ear caused by the calcification of the blood that fills up in between the cartilage and the skin. Honestly, not the most ideal look nor ideal for one’s hearing. To prevent cauliflower ear, get some headgear and use it.
Knee Pads / Braces
There is no doubt that BJJ will put strain on the knees. Think about it. You’re constantly posturing, landing, and twisting the knee as you roll. Bruised knees and popped kneecaps are a standard injury in BJJ. Good news is that knee pads / braces are used to prevent these types of injuries. The biggest part to pay attention to with knee pads or braces is to find something low key and flexible. You don’t want your knees or flexibility to be restricted and impede on properly executing technique. Also – who wants a mat burn, right? Once you switch to training with knee pads, it may be difficult to go back. Not every knee pad comes in a pair, so make sure you pay attention before clicking “order”.
Traditional Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Attire
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gi
The BJJ Gi or sometimes known as Jiu Jitsu Kimono is for traditional training of BJJ. In Japanese, the word ‘gi’ is derived from ‘keikogi’ or ‘dogi’, which translates to “uniform in training”. It is very important to have a gi that is for training BJJ as there are other gis for different types of martial arts. BJJ Gis are made from a tough material that is designed to be durable as well as create more difficulty for the opponent to grab a hold of. A BJJ Gi consists of a jacket and pants.
More so than a fashion statement, a BJJ belt is used to functionally tie around your Gi jacket to help keep it in place. A belt is also used a representation of ranking and expertise within the sport of BJJ. Beginners will start with a white belt and continue through with blue, purple, brown, and black. There is a different ranking system for children. BJJ belts are meant to wrap around the waist and still have excess length to tie it off. There is typically a black bar on one end where stripes are put to indicate progress in between belt levels. Make sure to choose the same size for your belt as you do your gi.
NO-GI Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Practicing BJJ with no gi has become much more popular as of late and more respected than previously. Sometimes it is possible to get away with wearing Gi pants or a t-shirt instead of a rashguard. It is not recommended and here’s the best way to be suited up properly for no-gi.
Grappling shorts, fight shorts, MMA shorts, Vale Tudo shorts, you name them. Basically, they are essential for no-gi BJJ. These shorts are designed for the movements and technique of BJJ. They don’t slide off easily, so need to worry about holds, grabs, and pulls. Grappling shorts will allow for flexibility AND do not have any metal objects such as buttons or zippers that would get in the way of causing damage to yourself or the opponent. There are two different styles – one style is more of a board short that is loose while the Vale Tudo style is very form fitting.
Rash Guards are major for several reasons. The material is moisture wicking that helps draw moisture away from the body while leaving a cooling effect of sweat evaporating. The moisture wicking material also provides thermal insulation to allow easy air flow which essentially creates cooling air around the torso and arms. Rash guards also do a great job at limiting skin-on-skin contact and in turn helps prevent the spread of skinborn diseases such as ringworm. Rashguards can also be worn under a Gi as well.
Whatever your style…
Just make sure to remember to train safe and always wash your gear as soon you’re done training. You don’t need to be that one.
BJJ at The Boxing Club
At TBC, we offer the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) classes in San Diego. We have a full understanding of the power and stamina of grasping flexibility, core strength, grappling, and advancing your mental game. Jiu-Jitsu combines combat arts, strength training, and self-defense into one. Our classes are designed to give white belts a new place to learn and those who are on a winning streak a place to keep learning. Learn from the best with our award-winning coaches that pride themselves on bringing the most valuable instruction to students. Learning BJJ is practical, fun, and a great skill to have. Try a class with us.