Whether you’re just starting out as a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu student or have been learning for a while now, it’s never too late to learn what kind of gear you should be using to protect yourself. While injuries are not meant to be inflicted, accidents do happen. Here is some common Jiu Jitsu gear you will need to look presentable as well as protect yourself.
GI literally means “uniform for training.” No surprise, this GI will be your uniform you wear for BJJ training. Just make sure to get a GI that is made specifically for BJJ, as they are made of a tougher, more durable material that’s hard for your opponents to grab. A GI consists of a jacket and pants. The only part of your uniform that will change will be your belt.
Your belt has two purposes. First, its function, which is to keep your jacket in place. And second, its symbolism, which tells your rank. Depending on your years of experience and level, your belt will be a different color. You can read all about the BJJ belt system in our previous blog: Jiu Jitsu Belt Levels: Climbing the Colors. This belt should be long enough to wrap around your waist twice with excess after being tied. Typically, your belt size will be the same as your GI size.
With feet flying through the air, accidents happen. Mouths get kicked. Which is why you should prepare and get a mouth guard. If you’ve never worn a mouth guard before, don’t worry. They are custom molded to your teeth, so they shouldn’t fit uncomfortably.
Considering the groin is often exposed in many Jiu-Jitsu movements and positions, a groin protector is recommended for all guys learning BJJ. In addition to the protector, you will also need a good supporter for the groin protector, so it can’t slide and end up causing more harm when hit.
One of the most common serious injuries among BJJ fighters is cauliflower ear, which happens when the skin separates from your ear’s cartilage from being hit either too hard or repeatedly. Since this not only can cause a lot of pain but also potential hearing loss, it’s best to prevent such an accident from happening by protecting yourself with headgear. Just make sure to keep it low profile enough that your opponent can’t use it against you in a choke hold.
Knee Pads and Braces
Due to the types of moves and harsh landing BJJ requires, the knees of a BJJ student are often twisted, bruised, and popped. While these injuries cannot be entirely prevented, they can be minimized with the use of knee pads and braces.
When getting into BJJ, you have to go into it expecting minor injuries to inevitably happen. You can stay protected, though, simply by suiting up with the proper Jiu Jitsu gear.