Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a rapidly growing elite sport that is practiced by people from every corner of the world. It’s a combat sport that has been around for centuries but has recently taken the spotlight with big names like Connor McGregor, Andreson Silva, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and many others. What makes this sport different from the rest is that it does not use any form of striking. It’s a real-life situation sport that teaches you how to defend yourself in the real world. In the real world, people aren’t all trained ninjas, in the real world people will come at you with a weapon, from behind not necessarily knowing what to do other than harm you.
BJJ is a combat sport that utilizes leverage, weight, and momentum. You will find that when training, you will be on the ground a whole lot grappling, rolling, and squirming around with a sparring partner. It has been referred to as the “gentle art of choking”. It’s a beautiful art that anyone of any age, size, and gender can practice. Everyone can benefit from jiu-jitsu, it will improve you mentally and physically. But before embarking on your new journey, you must make sure that you have the correct gear. You must be prepared for everything in life, just like ben Franklin once said, “failing to prepare is preparing to fail”. So here are some essential BJJ gear you’re going to need.
The Gi is one of the most important articles of BJJ gear. It’s a kimono specifically designed for BJJ. It is consisting of a jacket, drawstring pants, and a belt. BJJ gi’s are not as thin as all other martial arts sports, Gi’s are usually constructed out of thick & heavy cotton. They are designed to be pulled, clawed, and grabbed. You will notice it is not as loose as all other martial arts gi for that will allow the opponent to gain more leverage and grip against you. There are multiple weaves you can acquire, which really means different price points. Recommended Gi’s are pearl weave Gi for they are placed in the middle when it comes to price points and strength. So find a Gi that is affordable yet durable, seek the thickest you can find, one that will prevent grabbing as much as possible, and one that of course meets your taste in style for there are many different colors and designs out there.
The rash guard or compression gear is another essential BJJ gear that is important for your sessions. You’re going to be sweating a whole lot when you’re training, so wearing a rash guard underneath your gi is advised. You’re going to be rolling around getting up close and personal with your opponent so the gi will at times open up exposing a lot of your abdomen, and when this happens a lot of sweat can get onto your opponent, all over the mats, and gi. You don’t want to completely soak your gi or your opponent. Your gi is completely constructed out of cotton so not only will it smell bad but you will undoubtedly develop a rash that can lead to infection. Not only can it cause a sanitation issue but it will prevent you from being able to acquire good grips or grab your opponent because the sweat will make everything slippery. So consider this and choose one that is right for you.
Mouthguards are an obvious must-have in this combat sport. Sure you can take a few hits and slams but do you really want to take one to the mouth? Accidental elbows or knocks to the face will happen it’s inevitable but getting your teeth knocked out is a different story. Mouth guards do exactly what the name says, and they can either come custom-fit your mouth from the dentist or the abundance of affordable brands available online or in-store. There are different types of mouthguards out there constructed out of either plastic, rubber, or gel. try to avoid plastic as it can eventually wear and cause sharp imperfections that can cut you up. Find a mouth guard that is comfortable and allows you to properly breathe. And yes, you wear this at all times, when you’re training and especially during a competition.
BJJ headgear usually focuses on the ears. When in BJJ you’re going to be rolling around and grappling constantly, it’s the nature of the sport. You’re going to take accidental hits and impacts on the mats. After a period of time, this will permanently deform your ears. This is commonly known as “cauliflower ear”. The ear takes up a deformed shape caused by blunt trauma and constant rolling. Blood flow becomes halted in the ears and takes up a light and lumpy appearance, hence the name “cauliflower”. So in order to avoid this, use your headgear religiously.