Equipment and Gear for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
If you're newly entering the world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, here is a comprehensive list of all the equipment and gear you need. All facets are covered from the fundamental attire to all protective equipment, and extra items to make sure that you're 100% ready for the mat.
Gi – Every BJJ practitioner's first purchase should be a gi, typically made from high-quality cotton. Both the jacket and reinforced trousers shouldn't be too thick or stiff, as it will obstruct your movements on the mat. They should also be the same colour, meaning you shouldn't get a white jacket and blue trousers, and the measurements for the sleeve lengths should follow the IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation) regulations.
Belt – Your belt is what will keep your gi in place, and there are a few things to keep in mind with your belt: its length should be longer than standard belts because it is meant to be wrapped around your waist twice; the width of the belt must be 4 to 5 cm; your belt must correspond to your respective rank.
Rashguard – Regardless if you're a gi BJJ practitioner, rashguards are still important to purchase for several reasons. For sanitary purposes, rashguards will limit skin-to-skin to skin-to-mat contact, preventing infections and—of course—rashes. The material also absorbs moisture quickly and leaves a cooling effect on the skin, which eliminates the worry of slipping and allows you to focus on your movements.
Grappling shorts – Similar to rashguards, grappling shorts will the absorb moisture from your body to keep your movements lightweight and fluid. The fabric of your shorts should be breathable and form-fitting. Learn on how to choose your BJJ or MMA shorts here.
Groin guard – Reduce the chances of unwanted or accidental movements that injure your groin area by wearing guards. These come in either jockstraps or 'cups', both of which will effectively provide security, though you have to make sure that your groin guard is an exact fit to your body or it might cause more discomfort than protection.
Mouthguard – Even though hitting or punching isn't allowed in BJJ, there is still a possibility that you might accidentally get stricken in the mouth or cheek as you grapple. Make sure to get a mouthguard that is specially moulded for your teeth for optimal protection.
Ear guard – If you're not a casual BJJ practitioner and intend to participate in live grappling often, getting cauliflower ear is still a substantial risk if you don't wear protective gear around your ears.
Knee pads – BJJ focuses on a lot of takedowns and twisting as you roll, and will inevitably place a significant amount of tension on your knees. You should have a sturdy pair of knee pads to prevent that strain.
Water bottle – This one's a no-brainer, but don't forget to have a water bottle with you for in between breaks or if you're a newbie and settling into the intensity of the sport.
Bag – Of course, you'll need somewhere to place all of your gear in. Invest in a sturdy gear bag, similar to the typical gym bag so everything you need for BJJ will be in one place.