What Kind of Gear Do You Need for Judo?

judo gear

Getting started in judo is pretty simple. However, before you get started there is some basic gear that you will need. So then what kind of gear to you need before starting your first judo class?

The kind of gear you need for Judo includes a special uniform referred to as a judogi. This includes a thick, cotton top, bottom, and belt. I would also highly recommend that you also purchase a quality mouthguard.

In this article, we’ll be going in-depth into all the gear you need for Judo, as well as some additional items you may want to consider having on hand. If you’re interested in learning more about these topics, keep on reading. 

What Kind Of Uniform Do You Need For Judo

As we stated earlier, Judo doesn’t require a lot of gear, but it’s important to invest in the proper equipment to perform at your best. You’ll find that one of Judo’s most important components is the uniform, also known as a Gi. It is very important to remember that not all gis are the same.

A judogi needs to be thick and specially designed for judo. A karate gi for example would not work in the sport of judo. That said, make sure that your gi is designed for judo before purchasing. 

How To Choose a Judogi

Your Gi should allow you to move freely and comfortably without limiting your movements at all. It consists of three separate parts, which include a top, bottoms, and a belt.

You’ll also want to ensure that your uniform is made of a thick cotton material that keeps you performing your best on the mat while also keeping you safe. 

During some matches, both competitors may be required to wear a different color for judges to identify them correctly. Due to this fact, it’s ideal to have at least 2 different Judo uniforms on hand to be fully prepared. A competitor will typically either wear a white or blue judogi. 

This Gi also comes with a white belt, making it an ideal purchase for beginners headed to their first Judo practice. This top-rated product is of amazing quality, and the fit is sturdy and comfortable.  

You can also get a different colored gi if it is ok with your Sensei. That said if you plan on competing you will need to keep this judogi at home. My advice is to start off with a white judogi.

How to Care for Your Judo Gi

Once you’ve invested in the proper Gi that’s both comfortable and durable, it’s important to take care of your Gi to maintain it for the long haul. It’s highly recommended that you wash your Gi after every use to keep yourself, as well as your opponents, comfortable. 

Having a dirty gi can result in more problems than a foul smell. In fact, a dirty gi is one of the biggest contributors to ringworm and staph infections in a dojo.  When sweat builds up in your gi it can develop fungi. Aka ringworm, athlete’s foot, staph, etc.

This then spreads not only to your body but to your partners also. It can also spread to the judo mats and could be the start of widespread problems in your dojo. So needless to say it is important not just for you but also for your teammates that you keep a clean gi.

 It’s important to note that keeping your Gi in quality condition will not only enhance your performance, but it will also save you and your opponent from breathing in an unforgiving smell. Or worse, getting a skin infection. 

Taking the time to care for your Gi is also necessary for preserving it for the long run. Your Gi is really the only necessary piece of gear you’ll need in Judo, so it’s important to do the proper maintenance to keep it in the best condition. For a full guide check out my Judogi Cleaning Guide Here

Mouth Guards

Another piece of equipment you may want to invest in is a proper mouthguard. If you’re looking for a comfortable mouthguard that’s ideal for both training and matches, the Sisu Max Mouth Guard will keep you safe no matter what type of martial arts you’re participating in. I use this mouthguard when doing BJJ or Wrestling as well. 

This mouth guard is to make it easy to breathe and comfortable. It is the easiest mouthguard to breathe in that I have ever used. This mouth guard has built-in technology that ensures a superior fit, keeping you and your teeth safe the entire time. 

It’s estimated that 39% of Americans have teeth lost each year while participating in high-impact sports such as martial arts. To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, investing in a comfortable mouthguard will keep you and your teeth free of injury or damage. 

What Other Protective Gear Do You Need For Judo

While protective gear may not be required in Judo, it’s still an important piece of gear you may want on hand. Below we’ll explore the types of equipment you may want on hand to stay safe and injury-free on the mat.

Keep in mind however that this is for the dojo only. Competitions have their own rules and regulations on what you can wear. 

Knee Pads

If you’d feel more comfortable wearing knee pads while practicing Judo, the Bodyprox Protective Knee Pads are a great product to help keep you safe on the mat. This breathable fabric is lightweight and provides you with plenty of freedom in terms of movement. 

This product also doesn’t require any adjusting, as it stays secure and in place throughout. If you’re looking to keep yourself safer and more comfortable on the mat, whether at practice or during matches, these are great knee pads for you. 

These knee pads are not only comfortable, but they are an ideal choice compared to some of the heavier and bulkier options available. They are also great for other grappling arts such as wrestling and BJJ. 

Wrist Guards

You may also choose to wear protective gear on your wrists or forearms if that makes you more comfortable. You will simply need to find wrist guards that will not get in the way of being able to get the proper grips on your opponent. 

While protective gear such as wrist guards may not be a required piece of gear, you definitely won’t regret having them at your disposal at the end of the day. 

Finger Tape or Grappz Compression Gloves

One of the most common problems in grappling is an injury to the fingers. If you don’t believe me simply look up a picture of a judokas hands. Making grips can potentially cause pain in the fingers long-term. In addition, jammed and broken fingers are quite common in judo as well.

The best thing you can do to protect them is to tape them up or to wear the right compression gloves. Though tapping them is a great option it is kinda a pain to worry about on a daily basis. I would suggest getting some Grappz gloves if you are going to get involved with any grappling sport.

Even if you do not have pain in your hands now that does not mean you should not invest in them. In fact, it is much better to do your best to prevent these problems instead of trying to fix them once the damage is already done.

Pain and problems in the fingers can differ from person to person. Of course, tape and compression gloves do not completely fix this problem for everyone. But anything that helps is well worth the investment.


Headgear is not as common in judo as it is in wrestling. That said, you do still see plenty of cauliflower ear with judo competitors and even hobbyists. A good pair of headgear will go a long way in helping you prevent the development of cauliflower ear.

Personally, I use the Matman Ultra Soft Wrestling headgear. Many people try to avoid cauliflower ear simply because of the way it looks. That said, there are also health reasons you want to avoid this condition as well.

Optional Judo Gear to Make You More Comfortable

It’s clear to see that Judo doesn’t require too much gear, but it’s important to consider optional items as well. Items such as these will not only make you more comfortable, but they’ll also ensure you’re prepared no matter what.

Below, we’ll explore some of the more overlooked, optional items you may want to have on hand as a participant in Judo.

Sports Bag

Having a sports bag on hand for both practices and matches will make your life a whole lot easier. Having a durable sports bag will comfortably carry all your items to and from practices, especially if you’re bringing multiple forms of protective gear.

A sports bag will also give you a space to toss your sports drink, as well as your pre-game snack, giving you less to carry and, therefore, less to worry about. If you wish to change out of your Gi after practice, you can easily carry a pair of clothes in your sports bag, making your life easier in more ways than one.

My go-to would be the Adidas Wrestling Gear Bag. Yeah, it is a wrestling bag but works just as well for judo.

Spats and Rashguards

Other items you may want to have on hand are spats and rashguards. Though more common gear for BJJ, spats and rashguards are great for judokas as well. They will help regulate your body temperature and help protect you and your judogi. 

These items help to absorb sweat so that your gi does not absorb all of it instead. This also helps keep sweat off the mats as well, preventing the spread of skin infections. It also helps protect you from coming into a skin infection yourself.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *