Equipment for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Training
One of the nice things about training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is that you don’t need to spend a small fortune on equipment and training gear. Nonetheless, a few items will be necessary to ensure your safety and comfort while training.
If you’re brand new to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training, all you need to wear are some comfortable workout clothes. A t-shirt and a pair of shorts will be fine for your first few classes. Avoid anything too loose; baggy clothing can sometimes get caught while you’re training.
Please Note: BJJ is a close-contact grappling sport. As such, we expect all members to preserve good personal hygiene; keep your nails trimmed and gear/uniforms washed regularly, please.
The majority of classes will focus on training without the traditional Jiu-Jitsu uniform, commonly referred to by the Japanese terms gi or kimono. For these classes, you will need the following items which can be purchased at nearly all sporting goods stores, department stores, or online:
T-Shirt or Rash guard: A t-shirt that’s not too loose is fine, but most BJJ practitioners find they prefer to wear a compression shirt (also known as a rash guard). Rash guards are form-fitting and wick moisture from your body.
Shorts or Gi Pants: Board shorts or fight shorts are the most preferable for no-gi training, although the pants from a martial arts gi may also be worn. Some men and women prefer to wear compression shorts or full spandex leggings or spats.
Some of the classes will focus on training with the traditional Jiu-Jitsu Uniform, commonly referred to by the Japanese terms Gi or Kimono. Although a gi is not required, it is preferable for these classes:
BJJ Gi: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with the kimono places significant emphasis on grasping the cloth of your training partner’s uniform, so durability is a factor. If you have a gi from another martial art, you’re welcome to bring it along to start, but unless it’s a Judo gi, chances are good you’ll need something stronger before long.
Both BJJ and Judo gi are made in a variety of weaves and thicknesses and are designed to withstand the rigors of these sports. There is a growing variety of gi types available for purchase at a range of prices. Starting out in Jiu-Jitsu, it’s recommended that you get something well-made, but not exceptionally expensive. White or blue gi are the most traditional colors and the best to start with.
Choice of gi is a largely personal one, based on style, fit, and cost. Advice on which ones to buy may be asked in class or on the Facebook Group. Online purchases offer the best selection and prices, by far. We often recommend checking out BJJHQ, a deal-a-day site that has regular offers on Jiu-Jitsu gi and other gear.
Recommended and Optional Equipment
The following equipment is optional, yet encouraged:
- Jockstrap with Cup: One of the most important additional items. Even though there is no striking in competitive Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, accidents happen and it’s best to be prepared. Not all BJJ practitioners opt to wear jockstraps, but we encourage it. Tighter-fitting is preferred here in order to prevent much shifting while training.
- Mouth guard: Another important option, for the same reasons as listed above. There are a number of styles available for a range of prices. Be sure to follow the instructions closely when fitting for your mouth.
- Protective Ear wear: A small percentage of BJJ practitioners find that the friction inherent to the sport can cause pain and eventual swelling to their ears. For most people, this won’t be a problem; but for anyone with sensitive ears, we recommend headgear specific for grapplers. If you start feeling pain in your ears, speak with an instructor to see if headgear might be the right option for you.
Please understand that for your own and others’ safety you will not be permitted to wear any jewellery.