BJJ Gear Check List | What Gear Do You Need For BJJ?

BJJ gear check list

Before starting your first BJJ class, you probably wonder what kind of gear you will need. Though some gear is essential for BJJ, others might also come in handy. There are a few BJJ gear staples that I tell my students they must wear to class.

Essential gear you must have for BJJ would include a BJJ gi. This includes a kimono top and gi pants as well as a BJJ belt to tie your gi. In addition, it is highly recommended and sometimes required that you also wear a mouth guard.

If you don’t know what to get do not worry we are going to cover a full BJJ gear checklist now. We will talk about what you must get and also what you should at least consider.


If you train traditional Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, you must get a BJJ gi. Though some schools only do no-gi jiu-jitsu such as 10th Planet, most schools train in the gi.

BJJ gis cost about $80-$200 on average. Of course, you can find some for around $40 and some as high as $400. But if you are just starting I’d start with one under $200.

Quality is important, but you do not need the best BJJ GI at first. Not only this but you might also want to check with your academy because some schools require you to purchase their GIs.

You might not be allowed to wear a gi purchased outside of your academy because they want you to wear a gi with their logo. But the rules are different from academy to academy. But you might check before forking over $200 on a gi you can’t even use.

BJJ gis are not the same as the gis from other martial arts such as karate or taekwondo. This is because BJJ gis are made to be grabbed and pulled on. So you want to choose a BJJ GI that is durable.

Good BJJ Gi’s To Get Started With

I am sponsored by Level Black and I love their Gi’s. Though they might not be the cheapest gi on the market they do make high-quality BJJ gear.

A BJJ gi is something that you want to have for a long time. So in my opinion I would make sure to buy a Gi that is higher quality if you are committed to BJJ.

Mouth Guard

So many things can happen when rolling in BJJ. I have been kneed in the face, elbowed in the face, and even kicked in the face when rolling. Most of course, by accident.

Sometimes it might not even be from the partner you are rolling with.  But from people rolling next to you not paying attention to the space.

Not too long ago a student of mine got his eye cut open from a flying foot that came from the people rolling next to him. I don’t say this to scare you, just to tell you that you need a mouthguard for BJJ. 

Even if you are being careful, your partner or the people rolling next to you might not be. It’s like driving a car. Just because you might be driving safely does not mean the other people on the road are.  

Of course, I just gave you some examples of reasons to wear a mouthguard in BJJ. However, there are many more reasons to wear a mouthguard than simply protecting your teeth.

Mouth guards also help in protecting your gums, your lips, and even your tongue.  A mouthguard can potentially be the difference between needing or not needing stitches in an accident.

In addition, mouthguards can also assist in protecting your jaw. The extra cushion between your teeth acts as an extra layer of protection for your jaw. So a mouth guard is another essential when it comes to BJJ Gear.

My Favorite BJJ Mouth Guard

Of all the mouthguards on the market, my favorite would have to be the SISU 1.6 Aero Guard. It has all of the attributes of a great mouthguard but is about half as thick as most other mouthguards.

However, that is not to say that it is not just as protective. It is a very high-quality mouthguard but is much more comfortable. This makes it easier to breathe, talk, or grab a drink of water between rolling sessions. It is also in my opinion, simply the best-looking mouthguard as well. 

Non-Essential But Recommended BJJ Gear

Some things are not essential or required to start BJJ but you still might want to consider them. Of course, if money is an issue you could wait on a few of them.

However, some things such as headgear might be essential if you want to avoid cauliflower ear.

BJJ Spats

Spats are compression pants that are typically worn alone, under grappling shorts, or under the gi pants in BJJ. BJJ spats serve many purposes when practicing or rolling in BJJ. One of the big reasons for spats in BJJ is that they help keep your body temperature regulated. 

Of course, BJJ spats are a little bit different from many other regular compression pants. They are typically much thicker and are made to hold up when you are rolling.

There are a good number of benefits to wearing spats when training jiu-jitsu. The first and most common reason is for temperature regulation.

BJJ spats do more than keep your muscles warm. Think instead that they help regulate your body temperature. So they also help keep you cool as well.

Wearing spats can help keep sweat off your body and help prevent chaffing. A good pair of BJJ spats should be thick enough to absorb a fair amount of sweat.

Becuse of this BJJ spats will not only keep your muscles warm but will also help you from overheating and getting more sweat on the mat.

BJJ Rash Guard

Rashguards have a similar role to spats and protect the skin from chafing, cuts, scrapes, abrasions, burns, and infections like staph and ringworm. These compression shirts were initially designed for surfers but have seen increased popularity among martial artists, including those who practice BJJ. 

Rashguards essentially create a barrier between you and your opponent’s skin and between you and the mat. Some argue that a GI provides enough protection during BJJ rolling.

However, the sturdy canvas fabric creates friction which can cause abrasions when rolling. Wearing a rashguard under a gi smooths things out and prevents friction burns.

Head Gear

Headgear is not required for BJJ. However, if you want to prevent cauliflower ear then I would say it is essential.

Cauliflower ear can give people an unwanted appearance as well as even cause health problems. In rare cases if can even cause deafness.

The best way to prevent yourself from developing cauliflower ear in BJJ is to always wear headgear. Though nothing is certain headgear is your best bet at preventing cauliflower ear.

If you are new to the sport and are looking to purchase quality wrestling headgear, as we strongly recommend all to do, the Cliff Keen Fusion headgear is the top of the line in terms of safety, style, and cost.

Other BJJ Gear

Another thing you are going to want for BJJ is flip-flops or sandals. Wearing sandals will make it easy to get on and off the mats while keeping your feet clean.

You should always be barefoot when on the mats and you want to make sure that your feet are clean. The last thing you want to do is drag dirt onto clean BJJ mats.

You also are going to want to purchase a good gym bag to keep all of your BJJ gear in. I would recommend also showering after class if you have access at your gym.

If this is the case you also want to stock your BJJ gear bag with a good BJJ soap and a dry clean towel. This will help prevent ringworm and other skin infections that are common in BJJ and grappling.

Do You Need A Cup In BJJ?

Cups or groin guards are typically not recommended for BJJ. This is mostly because some cups can pose risks to your training partners. They are even banned in just about every BJJ competition. 

So if you are hoping to compete then you should probably just get used to training without a cup. There is a chance that you will injure your jewels but it is not very likely to be a serious injury. If you are simply wondering if you need a cup for BJJ class the answer is probably the same.

It is really up to your BJJ academy on whether or not they will allow cups. That said, most people who practice BJJ do not wear a cup when they train. This is again because of the potential injuries you could impose on your training partner.

That said, many people do think this is outdated information that only applies to athletic cups of the past. I have never worn a cup to class and do not plan on doing it anytime soon. Of course, I have suffered a few unpleasant experiences but nothing a few deep breaths didn’t take care of.

What About No-Gi BJJ Gear?

If you are also interested in No-Gi BJJ then you are also going to want to purchase a few more items. I’d suggest checking out my No-Gi BJJ Gear Check List!

Essential for no-gi BJJ you are going to need a rashguard, shorts or spats, and a mouthguard as the base essentials.

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