Embarking on your jiu-jitsu journey? Congrats! BJJ is, in our opinion, one of the best and most rewarding sports/disciplines/workouts available. It can, at the same time, build your self-confidence and your humility. It can help you lose weight, build strength, introduce you to new friends, and help you improve your personal discipline. It can also be incredibly overwhelming at first. In addition to trying to survive class without feeling like you’re dying, you’ve got to make sure you have the right gear. Here’s a rundown of what you’ll need:
- Gi(s) -- Determine how many days/week you’re going to be training--make sure you have time to wash the gi and give at least 24 hours to dry between classes. If you are going to be training every day, you’ll need at least two gis. By the time you’re a blue belt, there’s a good chance you’ll be up to 5 or 6 (it’s an addiction).
- Rashguard -- If your school does no gi, or if you’re training a lot, you may want to invest in a rashguard to help save your skin. Long sleeve vs short sleeve is pretty much a personal preference; some people argue that long sleeves helps better protect against skin infections, others feel that long sleeves aren’t as comfortable.
- Grappling shorts -- These don’t necessarily have to be something specific for grappling, just make sure they are comfortable, don’t have metal pieces (zippers, etc) and don’t have pockets (or pockets have been sewn shut) to avoid injuring training partners.
- Belt -- You’ll need a belt to go along with that gi. Since you’re new, you’ll get a bright white one. (And yes, you’ll wash your belt too.)
- Sandals -- Even $2 flip flops from Target will do--you just need something easy to slip on and off. For the love of all that is holy, do not go in the bathroom or locker room barefoot.
- Bag -- Big enough to fit all of your gear for a class.
- Mouthguard -- nothing incredibly expensive, just something to protect your teeth from getting chipped. The boil and bite type are easy and reasonably priced.
- Wrestling headgear (optional, you may be made fun of by those who consider cauliflower ear a badge of honor) -- With any time on the mat, there’s a good chance you may develop fluid in your ear, so if you plan on getting it taken care of by a doctor or just don’t want to get it in the first place, here’s an option for you. Important note: do not get headgear that is held in place by velcro. Both you and your training partner will look like you just got in a fight with a herd of cats by the time you’re done.
- Jockstrap and cup (optional) -- There’s a major benefit to having one as it prevents some pain. However, they’re generally not allowed in competition and can change the application/effectiveness of certain techniques, such as armbars and triangles.
- Joint braces-- If you need them for bad knees or elbows, make sure to get ones that don’t have metal in them.
- BJJ t-shirt -- Don’t keep your love of BJJ a secret. Grab one of our BJJ lifestyle shirts to complete your wardrobe.
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