top-bjj-gear

Whether you are just starting BJJ or earning your black belt, having the best BJJ training gear is a must-have for committed Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners. BJJ training equipment comes in a range of prices and many brands to pick from.

The proper BJJ training gear ensures that your training experience is seamless, your progression is consistent, and if you compete, that you have the best chance of reaching that number one spot on the podium.

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Whether your goal is getting your blue belt or getting a gold medal – you need the best gear available.

In this article, we break down the top BJJ training equipment by category so you can pick and choose when and where you need to upgrade.

We’ve included some pro tips as well when it comes to budgeting for your BJJ training gear so you can ensure you meet the essential training needs before investing in more serious equipment.

Finally, each section includes a few different BJJ training equipment options at different prices, as well as the pros and cons of each.

For BJJ training equipment attire we’ve included options that are great for women alongside our general gear selection – which is tends to be primarily aimed at men.

Note: if you decide to buy gear after reading this article and click through one of our links, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Without further ado, here is our categorized breakdown of the top BJJ training equipment to get you to the next level.

The Essential BJJ Training Gear

The essential BJJ Gear are all the things you need to get started in BJJ without having to constantly borrow gear or look like a fish out of water every time you cruise into the dojo.

BJJ Gi and Belt

If you plan to train Gi BJJ, you need a Gi and belt in your BJJ training gear bag, period. As a beginner, buying a mid-to-budget priced Gi is a good idea to ensure the sport is right before putting $200 into an expensive premium Gi.

The typical Gi includes the following when you purchase:

  • Gi top
  • Gi pants
  • White belt

If you take to BJJ for more than 2 to 3 days of training per week, you might consider getting a second Gi and perhaps upgrading to a nicer premium fabric option.

You will also need a belt. Often, a Gi will come with a white belt, which is where you’ll start anyways.

Once you get your first promotion, your instructor will typically provide the next belt.

Additional advice: wash your belt and Gi after every time you train!

The following Gis offer a range of price points and value depending on your current BJJ gear needs and budget – we’ve included some top women’s gear as well.

The women’s Gis are tailored more towards the typical female build and tend to run wider at the hips and chest area.

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BJJ Rash Guard

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For both Gi and No-Gi, a rash guard is a vital piece of BJJ training gear for every martial artist’s wardrobe.

Rash guards are typically made of synthetic material such as a spandex-polyester blends and are designed to be tight and form-fitting on your upper body.

In No Gi BJJ, the rash guard is the standard upper body attire and is an absolute must-have. While you might get away with a cotton shirt for some period, cotton gets stinky very quickly and gets ruined.

Don’t be the guy six-months into training looking like you showed up for a basketball scrimmage.

For Gi, wearing a rash guard underneath your Gi jacket can reduce any chaffing from the inside of the Gi.

It also offers another layer of protection from the mat, which can harbor some nasty stuff and give you a nice mat burn in of itself.

Rash guards come in a variety of styles and colors. Some rash guards are ‘ranked,’ meaning they have some coloration on them in line with the BJJ belt system that shows your rank even in No Gi when you won’t be wearing the standard belt.

Ranked rash guards are a new phenomenon and are not a requirement in most BJJ schools.

Additional rash guard options include a variety of colors, logos, and prints. Also, most rash guards are available in short and long sleeve, depending on your preference.

As with Gis, the women’s rashguards are often geared more towards female body types, as well as more feminine graphics – although many women find the standard rash guards work just fine.

Looking to buy a rash guard now? The following are a few of our top picks.

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BJJ Shorts – No Gi BJJ Training Gear

Shorts are a requirement for No Gi BJJ. While you might start training and be okay to wear basketball or other athletic shorts, in the long run you need shorts without pockets and ideally not made of cotton.

In competition, pockets are not allowed.

Additionally, most No Gi BJJ shorts include some way of securing the drawstrings with Velcro, or some other means of avoiding snags, tangles, and other mishaps.

Its worth mentioning that both males and females should wear some form of tight-fitting undergarment under your shorts, as they do not have the typical mesh found in swim trunks to keep everything ‘in place’ (looking at you male grapplers out there in particular).

The sooner you get your No Gi shorts, the less of a grappling noob you’ll be when you show up for No Gi.

Check out the following options for some of the best No Gi shorts at a range of prices.

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BJJ Spats

Spats are basically just leggings made of the same synthetic spandex-polyester blend found in most rash guards.

Spats are typically worn underneath No Gi shorts for additional protection from mat burn.

Spats also keep male practitioners from (NSFW) accidentally T-bagging their partner when going for a mounted triangle.

Some practitioners wear spats under their Gi pants to protect against chaffing, but this is more of a personal preference.

Many women and some men choose to only wear spats without shorts on top – while we can’t condone this (especially for you guys out there), if you are going to go ‘spats only,’ make sure they are ‘squat proof,’ meaning they won’t become see-through from stretching when you sit into a deep squat.

The following are our top picks for the best BJJ spats.

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Mouthpiece

You need a mouthpiece. Period. Full stop.

While some practitioners might choose to roll without one, you are asking to get your teeth cracked in the event of impact. If you grapple for decades, sooner or later it will happen.

Additionally, fighting through chokes is no fun when your teeth are slicing the inside of your lips into deli meat.

The typical mouthpiece is ‘boil and bite,’ which means you need it to roughly fit your mouth and then you’ll boil it and bite into it while it’s hot and soft to mold it to your mouth.

There are also high-end custom mouthpieces available, but these require a professional to take a mould of your mouth and then build the mouthpiece in a factory based on your individual specs.

While custom mouthpieces are great, starting with a boil and bite is your best bet, and they are inexpensive compared to dental work to repair your shattered teeth.

Check out the following mouthpieces if you still need to pick one up.

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BJJ Headgear

Headgear is arguably the most optional piece of equipment on our essentials list.

The purpose of headgear is protecting your ears from cauliflower ear, and as such they are common in wrestling.

Some individuals are more susceptible to cauliflower ear than others, so you may or may not need headgear.

Nevertheless, if any aspect of your career depends on your not looking like Shrek, you should consider getting headgear if you start developing cauliflower ear.

Additionally, if you do end up getting cauliflower ear, you must let it harden up before touching your ear, even if it’s drained. As such, wearing headgear can let you train sooner while avoiding additional contact with your ear, even if you don’t mind a little collie.

Check out some of these headgear options if you don’t yet have headgear.

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Gym Bag

BJJ gear gets stinky, even if you wash it every time you use it (which you should!).

As such, its worth having a designated BJJ bag that isn’t your overnight suitcase, normal gym bag, or school backpack.

Putting a sweaty Gi in a gym bag will leave a smell and keeping non-BJJ stuff out of that bag is the best way to ‘compartmentalize your stink’ and avoid any cross-contamination with your everyday clothing.

The following are some great picks for purpose-built BJJ gym bags.

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BJJ Sandals

This might be something you don’t think about, but proper footwear is key for being prepared for BJJ training.

The most cringey, gross thing we typically see white belts do is walk around on the bare, non-mat floor with their bare feet and then step back on the mat.

Worst of all is watching someone walk barefoot into the bathroom and then nonchalantly walk back onto the mats.

Having a pair of sandals or flip flops off to the side is crucial for ensuring you can quickly pop on some footwear when you hit the bathroom or grab a drink of water.

While you can slip on your normal shoes in the worst-case scenario, even that is kind of gross.

Just get some sandals, ladies and gents!

You can order them right now using one of the following links.

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The Pro BJJ Training Equipment

If you are in BJJ for the long haul, you will likely invest in more than just the essentials.

Pro BJJ tools aren’t just for competitive athletes.

If you train BJJ even casually a few times per week, you will eventually want some of the following gear.

Foam Rollers and Trigger Point Tools

Foam rollers and similar trigger point release/self-massage tools are a must-have for long term practitioners.

Training BJJ takes a big toll on the body, and proper recovery becomes essential. Rolling out stiff muscles before and after class can help prevent injuries, aid in recovery, and generally feels pretty good if you tend to have muscular and soft tissue aches and pains.

Foam rollers are the classic and most basic tool for self-massage, however, they are not always the best at getting those hard-to-reach trigger points in your shoulders and hips.

Additional trigger point tools include LaCrosse size balls with texture, the ‘peanut’ style double balls for hitting your spinal erectors, and other assorted trigger point tools.

Latest and greatest trigger point tools include the ‘Pso-Rite’ style tools for getting deep into your tissues – be sure to start gently!

Check out the following tools if you are looking for a good foam roller, massage ball, or Pso-Rite.

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You can also watch this video for a brief breakdown on using foam rollers.

Defense Wipes

Defense wipes are basically baby wipes with a strong tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, or other natural disinfectant liquid on them. These are less of BJJ training equipment and fall into the category of ‘BJJ hygiene equipment’ – so to speak.

You typically use defense wipes after class if you cannot shower right away. Wipe down your shins, arms, hands, and even face to kill off nasty ringworm, staph, and other germs without the need for harsh disinfectants – just be careful around your eyes.

Also, for the record, defense wipes are not suitable for babies.

Check out the following defense wipe products and protect yourself from skin infections.

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Athletic Tape

At some point in BJJ, you will need athletic tape.

Athletic tape can be used for all sorts of things.

You can tape your fingers to prevent and manage the typical hand and finger pains from all that heavy Gi gripping.

You can also use athletic tape to wrap up blistered or cut toes or fingers, minor sprains, and other assorted issues.

While your training partners might be OK to ‘loan you’ tape occasionally, your best bet is to keep a roll or two in your BJJ gym bag for when the situation arises.

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Groin Protector

A groin protector is probably the most optional piece of gear on the list, and realistically unless you do MMA you may never wear it. It’s typically worn by male athletes although some women may choose to wear a groin protector or athletic cup as well.

Groin protectors are sometimes banned in BJJ competition because they give you better leverage on armbars that can be an unfair advantage. Always check your tournament’s ruleset ahead of time if you plan to wear a cup.

Nevertheless, if you are prone to taking hits to the baby-makers, consider investing in a groin protector for training.

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BJJ Knee Pads

Knee injuries are incredibly common in BJJ. These include both injuries from getting torqued-on during training as well as the repeated impact of wrestling shots and the general moving around on your knees.

Knees were not meant to be the primary contact point between you and the ground, but this is simply part of grappling.

Some good knee pads are very helpful if your knees are prone to impact, or if you need the extra compression when managing those nagging knee injuries.

We recommend getting knee pads meant for grappling and combat sports as opposed to volleyball pads or knee sleeves, which do not offer adequate protection from impact.

The following knee pads will protect your knees from impact and provide support.

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Next Level BJJ Training Gear

The following section contains just a few items that can really take your BJJ to the next level.

These are not hard requirements for training, but if you’re as fanatic about BJJ as we are, it might behoove you to pick up some of these items.

BJJ Training Journal

If you already do BJJ, you’ve probably had the experience of learning a new move in class, thinking it’s the greatest thing ever, and completely forgetting it by the end of the week.

This is common. Normal, even.

The solution?

Journaling.

While it may sound boring or trite, if you get home after class and immediately document what you learned in writing, it will work wonders for improving retention and speeding up your progress in BJJ.

Additionally, you will be able to look back over time and see your progress documented, which for some of us helps us stay motivated, consistent, and on-track with out BJJ training.

While you can certainly use a standard notebook for tracking BJJ, there are a few purpose-built BJJ journals out there.

These journals include sections specifically meant for BJJ practioners to help them document exactly what happened at class.

Sections typically include:

  • date and time of class
  • class themes
  • techniques covered
  • sparring and rolling notes
  • reflection section and areas to improve on

Check out the following selection of BJJ journals and elevate your progress today!

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Grappling Dummy

The best way to improve at BJJ is training with real partners under the tutelage of an experienced coach.

But what about getting extra drilling at home?

Let’s face it, your significant other is sick of you asking to ‘try a move real quick’ or sit down and plug through instructional videos.

But what if there’s a better way?

Enter the grappling dummy.

A grappling dummy is basically a sand-filled pillow in the shape of a person, complete with arms, legs, head, and a chokable neck.

While a grappling dummy cannot completely replace training with other humans, it is a good solution to add more realistic solo drilling into your training week.

Additionally, you can now actually review the move you learned in class at home – you took notes in your journal, right?

Check out the following grappling dummies and start adding solo drilling to your schedule!

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BJJ Mats

The final and most committed investment you can make when it comes to spending money on BJJ gear is your own set of BJJ mats.

Whether you need a soft surface to practice with your grappling dummy or want to have some friends over to drill and perhaps even roll, having BJJ mats is an absolute blessing.

If you get a good home BJJ mat setup and take care of it, the mats will last for a long time.

Mats are typically available in 8×8, 10×10, and 12×12 squares, depending on your available space.

Some mats are designed to roll up for easy storage, while others are simply rectangular pieces you put together manually like a puzzle to fit whatever space you have.

While having your own mats might seem like overkill, you’d be surprised at how common it is for long term BJJ artists to have some mats at home.

You just never know when you might get that urge to do some private drilling sessions with your best training partners or choke out that annoying uncle who keeps talking trash at the family barbeque (we’re kidding of course…).

Check out the following options for home BJJ mat setups.

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Top BJJ Training Equipment and Gear: the bottom line

Compared to many other hobbies, BJJ training equipment is fairly low-cost if you just need the essentials.

For the minimum BJJ training gear, you absolutely have to have a Gi, shorts, rash guard, and mouthpiece.

As you develop as a martial artist and discover what specific BJJ training equipment you need to push your progress further, you can begin investing in the pro BJJ tools as well as the next level training gear.

While we love paying for our morning coffee when you buy your gear through our links, we definitely do not want you to overspend on your gear.

Add pieces to your BJJ training gear arsenal slowly so you can be sure you only buy what you need as you need it.

That said, we assure you that before long, you’ll want and need far more BJJ training equipment than just the essentials.

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