Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is great for getting fit, toning, losing weight, and learning self-defense skills. It is also a great martial art for anyone interested in getting involved in MMA. The grappling skills you will learn are great for close-quarters combat. Here is what you need to know and get before you start with your new favorite sport.
Before You Go
Before going to your first class, talk to the instructor and ask if you need anything specific. Ask what time you need to be there and if you will be watching or participating in the first class.
Get a bag you will use for your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Keep all your kit together to make things easy when you head out. Get a good quality bag that is large enough to also keep a spare set of clothes for after the training.
If you shower after class, then also keep your toiletries and towel in the bag. It is a good idea to look for a bag with multiple compartments to keep sweaty gear away from clean clothes. Also, keep something warm like a hoodie in the bag for after practice.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Gi
A Gi is a heavy white jacket, drawstring pants that are worn with a belt for Jiu-Jitsu. You might not need to wear a Gi if it is your first visit to the school. If you are going to continue, though, you will need to buy a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Gi.
Make sure that the Gi you buy is specifically made for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. A beginner’s lightweight Gi is a good place to start. This Tatami Nova Gi review explains the pros and cons of a lightweight Gi. The Nova is a Gi designed for BJJ. These are tougher and of a slightly different design than most other martial arts.
You will wear a belt to close the Gi. The belt wraps around your waist twice and ties at the front. Beginners wear white belts.
Sometimes you will be doing No-Gi training and grappling. The reason for this is that the Gi gives your something to hold on to. Training without Gi’s is also a good idea for this reason. When training with no Gi, you will be wearing fight or grappling shorts. These are the same that fighters use in MMA. They can be loose, like board shorts or tight-fitting.
The rash vest or rash guard is what you will pair with your fighting shorts for no-Gi training and matches. The rash guards are similar to the tight-fitting shirts surfers wear. They are made from wicking material that gets moisture away from your skin. They are tight-fitting, so do not give an opponent easy handholds. They protect against skin-to-skin contact.
Rash guards can also be worn under a Gi, and they will protect against chafing. Opt for a long-sleeved rash guard for maximum protection, whether under a Gi or for no-Gi training.
A water bottle. This one is for staying hydrated like most other sports. A normal sports bottle is perfect. Remember to keep hydrated when training. You can also take a sports drink that contains electrolytes if you need a bit more on those hot days.
If you have any protective gear, you can take that along as well. Knee guards and a mouth guard are good for a start. You generally won’t be wearing shoes for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Your knees will thank you for the knee guards. Look for Jiu-Jitsu or grappling martial arts knee braces. They will protect your knees while allowing freedom of movement. Not everyone doing Jiu-Jitsu wears a mouth guard, but it is worth protecting your teeth, tongue, and mouth.
You will also want to pick up some headgear. Look for snug-fitting low-profile headgear that protects your ears. The low profile will help you get out of chokeholds. Ear protection is key if you don’t want to develop cauliflower ear over time.
Last but definitely not least is athletic tape. Make sure to keep some in your kit bag. You can tape scraped or tweaked fingers easily to protect them. You will often need to patch up a finger or two while doing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Make sure you have the correct kit and protection when you start your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu journey. The correct gear will protect you as well as give you maximum mobility. Get your gear bag packed today for your first training session.