What to Wear to Jiu Jitsu: Complete Beginner’s Guide

What to wear to Jiu Jitsu

If you’re new to Jiu-Jitsu, figuring out what to wear can be a bit confusing and your ward robe might not offer optimal BJJ clothing.

For the most part it’s up to you what you want to wear to Jiu Jitsu class. However, there are some clothing requirements and limitations for both Gi and No Gi classes, and you’ll also need to consider what to wear underneath your uniform.

In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about what to wear to Jiu Jitsu, from your first class to advanced training sessions.

What to Wear to Your First Jiu Jitsu Class

If you’re thinking about joining a BJJ school, you may be wondering what to wear to Jiu Jitsu class.

The answer depends on whether you are planning to attend a No Gi Jiu Jitsu class or a Gi Jiu Jitsu class. Here’s what we recommend:

First No Gi Jiu Jitsu Class

Although there is Jiu Jitsu specific clothing that is optimal for BJJ training, you don’t need to worry about it for your first training sessions. Most schools don’t have specific clothing rules, and you can simply wear a T-shirt and sports shorts.

Don’t overthink it! It’s your first class, and it doesn’t really matter what you wear!

Important: Make sure your clothes are clean and don’t have zippers or any other hard material, as they could damage the mats and injury your training partner!

First Gi Jiu Jitsu Class

For Gi classes, you’ll generally need a traditional Jiu-Jitsu uniform, also known as a Gi. A Gi typically consists of a jacket, pants, and a belt.

Make sure to talk to your instructors before your first Gi class. Sometimes they can provide a Gi you can borrow for a trial class.

For every beginner, we recommend checking out our complete BJJ Gi guide and our articles on the best cheap Jiu Jitsu Gi’s, best women’s BJJ Gis, and best youth Jiu Jitsu Gis.

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What to Wear to No Gi BJJ

For No Gi BJJ classes, you can typically dress very casually. But although you won’t need a traditional Jiu-Jitsu uniform, there are still a few clothing requirements to keep in mind.

You’ll want to wear a pair of sports shorts that allow for plenty of mobility and have no zippers or any other hard material. Optionally you can wear spats or compression pants under your shorts to avoid abrasions and deal with sweat.

Preferably, you will also need a rash guard or compression shirt for your upper body. They are very comfortable and won’t restrict your range of motion.

It’s also a good idea to bring a towel, flip-flops, and a change of clothes for after class.

We recommend checking out our reviews of the best cheap BJJ rash guards, best women’s rash guards, best BJJ shorts, and best spats for Jiu Jitsu. This way you will get high quality grappling equipment without spending a fortune.

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What to Wear Under a BJJ Gi

If we talk about the topic of what to wear to Jiu Jitsu class, we also have to talk about what to wear under the BJJ Gi.

What to wear under the Jiu Jitsu Gi is totally up to you and your personal preference. The two most common options are either wearing a rash guard or compression shirt underneath the Gi or wearing nothing under the Gi.

Both options are legitimate for BJJ training, and your best bet is to try out both variants.

When it comes to competition, different promotions have different rulesets. For example, under the IBJJF ruleset, the “use of a shirt under the GI top is prohibited, except for women”. Just something to keep in mind.

We like to wear a rash guard or compression shirt underneath the Gi to prevent skin irritation and sweat buildup. The stiff material and rough surface of the Gi can cause abrasions and discomfort.

You can also wear spats or compression shorts underneath your Gi pants to keep your legs covered and provide extra protection. However, the extra layer will provide additional warmth and isn’t suited for every environment.

Should You Wear a Mouthguard for BJJ?

While not required, we always recommend wearing a mouthguard during Jiu Jitsu classes. Mouthguards can help protect your teeth from impact during training and sparring. Better safe than sorry!

If your mouthguard is fitted correctly (which isn’t hard), it won’t bother you at all.

We reviewed different Jiu Jitsu mouthguard variants depending on individual needs in our dedicated article:

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Should You Wear a Cup for BJJ?

Wearing a cup during Jiu Jitsu classes comes down to personal preference. About half of the practitioners we know prefer wearing a cup for training and competition. The other half doesn’t want to recreate.

Jokes aside, we recommend always wearing a cup when training Jiu Jitsu or other martial arts!

The safety benefits of a cup for BJJ are clear, but it can also be uncomfortable if you are not used to wearing one.

Important: If you do decide to wear a cup, it has to have the right fit. A cup that doesn’t stay in place does more damage than good! We discussed the fir of a protective cup for Jiu Jitsu in our dedicated article.

Also check out our in-depth article on BJJ Cups if you want to find out which one is the best option for you:

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BJJ Shoes and Footwear

Usually, Jiu Jitsu is done barefoot. We highly recommend you do it this way and get used to it.

However, if you want to try BJJ shoes and footwear, you have a few different options: special BJJ shoes, wrestling shoes, and sambo shoes…

Check out our complete guide on BJJ footwear if you want to learn about the benefits and drawbacks of different Jiu-Jitsu footwear:

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Hopefully, we were able to bring some light into the dark, and you now know what to wear to Jiu Jitsu class.

In conclusion, wearing the proper clothing and protective gear is essential for a safe and comfortable Jiu-Jitsu experience.

Whether you’re attending your first class or you are a seasoned veteran, following these guidelines will help ensure you have everything you need to focus on your training and improve your skills.

However, don’t overthink it! As long as your equipment is safe for you and your training partner, nothing else matters.

Remember, your equipment will not necessarily improve your BJJ skills and doesn’t have to be expensive!

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