BJJ Finger Taping: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu strains the fingers a lot, especially when practiced in the Gi. Many Jiu Jitsu athletes report a range of finger injuries as discussed in this article. Taping fingers for Jiu Jitsu can help to prevent and treat most finger injuries in BJJ. In this article we will answer everything regarding the following questions: How to tape fingers for BJJ effectively? What is the best BJJ finger Tape to do so?
BJJ Finger Taping for Injured Finger Joints
Finger injuries are among the most common injuries in Jiu Jitsu as shown in our article on How common are Injuries in Jiu Jitsu. The positive aspect about finger injuries to the frontal finger joints is that in most cases you will be able to train anyway if you tape your fingers correctly.
The following taping methods are especially helpful for previously sprained/jammed or dislocated fingers. These injuries involve damage to the ligaments of the affected finger joint. To find out about the different severities of sprained finger joints as well as causes and treatments, check out our article on finger injuries. If your finger looks/looked like the finger in the following image, you have probably at least sprained your finger joint. In this case the following taping methods will be your life savers for the weeks to come.
BJJ Finger Taping for Sidewards Support – Buddy Taping
To establish sideways finger support, simply tape the injured finger to an adjacent finger on both sides of the injured joint. This kind of taping will limit sideways movement of the fingers and preserve bending ability. It can be a life saver. You can either use narrow stripes of tape or a finger connector specifically designed to support this kind of injury. If you use tape, make sure to use long stripes so you can wrap them around the fingers more than once. This is essential since tape sticks much better to tape than to skin.
BJJ Finger Taping for Bending Support
To establish finger bending support, simply use a wide stripe of tape to wrap the injured joint. It should be wrapped tight to provide stability to the joint but should never cut off blood circulation. As a result, the finger can’t be bend completely.
BJJ Finger Taping for Full Support
We have used both kinds of taping from above numerous times throughout the years and benefitted greatly from it. Combining both methods will provide the greatest amount of support in all directions:
Best BJJ Finger Tape for Injured Fingers
To be honest, you don’t need any special Jiu Jitsu tape for taping your fingers for Jiu Jitsu. Ordinary sports tape will do the job. It doesn’t have to be a special brand. Don’t get ripped off. We recommend going with sports tape that is good value for the money. Don’t overthink it.
Order a bundle of roles to save some money, even if you only need one at a time. They will come in handy at some point and you will always be able to apply plenty of tape and be secure.
You will only need wide roles of tape, which usually are 2.5 inches (3.8 cm) wide, as you can easily split them into narrow roles of tape.
We recommend simply going with one of these two options off Amazon as they are inexpensive and have been bought and reviewed thousands of times:
Alternative Finger Support
We generally recommend taping as it is very versatile and easy to use. Nevertheless, maybe you feel like taping is not for you for any of the following reasons:
- You don’t want to go through many roles of tape when treating a long-lasting injury as tape is not reusable
- You are allergic to the glue
- Taping takes too much effort and time before every class
For connecting adjacent fingers, a finger sleeve might be an option. This is something you have to try out yourself. These sleeves are not expensive. Simply order one to see if it fits well and stays in place while training. We recommend trying out the following sleeve:
Preventive BJJ Finger Taping
Many Jiu Jitsu athletes never practice BJJ without taping up their fingers. It is not only useful in preventing joint injuries but also helps preventing abrasions. Additionally, many competitors use it to support their fingers to minimize exhaustion and finger pain.
The methods shown above are great options after an injury or if you are in pain. Nevertheless, you obviously can’t preventively tape all your finger together and immobilize them. Instead, you might want to use the following methods to avoid abrasions and optimize performance as well as stability.
Jiu Jitsu Finger Taping to Avoid Abrasions
Abrasions, especially on the fingers, are usually only found in Gi jiu Jitsu. They can be a real pain since they tend to reopen if you continue training to soon. These open wounds are painful and involve risks of infections for you and your training partners.
The skin on the back of the finger joints is affected most. To prevent abrasions, simply tape up the abrasions-prone joints. Therefore, you should tape the joint diagonally while not wrapping the tape to tight to ensure mobility. Here’s how to do it:
Jiu Jitsu Finger Taping for Competitions
You are probably not willing to tape up all your fingers extravagantly for every class since it takes a lot of effort, time, and tape. Nevertheless, feel free to do so if you need some additional support. When it comes to competing, you might want to put in the time to tape your fingers more elaborately.
The following video provides a basic tutorial on how to tape your fingers for support while preserving mobility. You can also use your own variations of this basic method or add additional layers.
An even more elaborate taping tutorial by Keenan Cornelius, a highly decorated black belt that won numerous Jiu Jitsu World Championships in Gi and No-Gi, can be seen below. In the video he specifically explains how his method provides support while extending the range of motion of his fingers.
Best BJJ Finger Tape for Competitions
If you want to use the previous methods to tape your fingers before a fight or roll, you will need narrow stripes of tape. As explained before, wide rolls of tape are all you need since you can split them into narrow rolls.
Nevertheless, for convenience reasons you could also buy a bundle of narrow tape rolls. Again, you don’t need any fancy tape. We recommend the following tape off Amazon as it is an inexpensive and well-reviewed bundle:
Best BJJ Finger Splints
If you suffered an injury that forces you to completely prevent any bending of the finger, you need to wear a finger splint. Sometimes it might help wearing one for a few sessions to give the finger time to recover, even if the injury is not severe.
In case your doctor didn’t not provide you with a splint or you want to experiment with finger splints yourself, your best bet is to get a cheap and well-reviewed set like the following:
As BJJ athletes we all suffer together when it comes to finger pain and injuries in BJJ. The taping methods explained above are great tools to make our BJJ journeys more productive and less painful. The bottom line is: It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. There is no single right way of taping your fingers for Jiu Jitsu. Stick to the basics, experiment with variations, listen to your body and you will be on the right path.