Starting new martial arts can be intimidating and gear selection can be a daunting task.
In this guide, you can find all the necessary gears for BJJ and why you need them. Also at the end of the writing, you can find my tips as well. Without further ado let’s start with the essentials.
BJJ Beginner Equipment Guide
BJJ GI (Kimono): You need a light and sturdy BJJ Gi which provides you freedom. With that, keep in mind that everybody has different bodies. So a gi can be a good fit for you but you may not like the other. For example, I have an average body and I just love my Scramble Gi and my friend has long legs, wears Tatami Estilo 4.0 religiously.
There are many styles and gi brands to choose from and of course, you need to consider the material quality and weave types (double, single, gold, etc.) as well.
If you are interested in getting a gi for your body type or your budget, you can check out these best BJJ Gi reviews and I am sure that you can find a one for your need.
BJJ Belts: These specify your level and many of them are made of cotton. With that, these need to take a lot of wear and tear. With that, please keep in mind that some of them may need a break-in period but it is nothing much and won’t take more than three weeks. Also, if you want to compete, these need to be IBJJF approved. Lastly, BJJ belts have affordable prices and you don’t need to break the bank while purchasing.
Rash Guards: It is one of the essentials since even if your mats have very good quality your skin has lots of deformations while doing submissions and your kimono can’t save you. So in order to avoid rashes and have hygiene, you need to wear a protective rash guard period. These also improve the durability of your BJJ gi since these wick the moisture pretty quickly before it gets into your gi.
Shorts: You need to wear good MMA shorts which allow complete freedom and have incredible stretching qualities. There are many short types (Vale Tudo, board etc.) to choose from and you can choose according to your preference. One thing is to note that these shorts also need to have good thermal regulation qualities and strategically placed meshes. If it does not, you can get really uncomfortable after just a couple of minutes.
Grappling Socks: I always train in martial arts gyms and there are many people who sweated before I even trained there. And I honestly don’t want to step in a place like that. With that, I also travel a lot and do grappling sessions in many different gyms. So these are just necessary for hygiene. With that, while you are rolling on the BJJ mats, you can also have cuts or rashes on your foot. So, grappling socks are also needed for safety purposes.
Groin Guard: There are many flexible and protective ones out there and these groin guards also need to have ergonomic designs. So you can move comfortably and get good protection. After all, you can’t live it to chance, can you?
Mouth Guards: Mouth guard does not only protect your teeth and gum. It also protects you from concussions, head and jaw injuries. Custom ones tend to provide a better fit and these have more ergonomic designs. If you are interested, definitely check out these best mouth guards for BJJ.
Knee Pads: You can get many bruises during BJJ sessions and good knee pads can save you from it. I also know that many people, who have knee injuries, just need to wear them due to the medical conditions. Many wrestling brands offer great selections and after I have an article, I will definitely provide you with these selections and as a side note, Asics offers great ones.
Ear Protectors: While you are doing grappling, it can get rough and your ears can get hurt. Even though these are not popular after many injuries in BJJ gyms many people started using it. As a side note, I was living in the suburbs of Thailand and I had to get an ear protector from a famous sports company however it did the job just fine. These need to pass certain safety requirements and have standards. So check the material quality and as long as you buy it from a reputable company you are good to go.
Grappling Dummy (Optional): If you plan on doing your sessions in your own home comfort. you can do almost any submission techniques (arm bar, triangle) with a grappling dummy. Actually, the best grappling dummies on the market are pretty versatile and can mold into many different positions like sprawl, lying flat… I never had the luxury of doing my training sessions in my home but if you have it, I highly suggest you grab one.
Recommendations: Alright, you may have never used some of the products above and I get it. I also did not use knee pads for 2 years. With that, I wished that I started using them earlier. For example, knee pads would have saved me from bruises. Also while you are getting protective BJJ gear, please be careful about the material quality and don’t get a plastic one for saving some money. You will be happy to make that choice in the long run. Because these actually do the job and last more!
Let’s Wrap It Up
These are all the gears and equipment which you need for BJJ training. Some of them are necessary for your safety and some are needed for both your safety and training performance. For example, a better BJJ gi can directly improve your training performance. With that, always buy gears that have good reviews on websites. Because better investment always pays off. For example, if you get good knee pads, you can actually use them for life. I really hope that this beginner BJJ equipment guide is helpful for you and if you have any questions or anything to share please leave a comment below.