Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or BJJ for short, is one of the most popular self-defense/combat forms in the world. This combination of eloquence, strength, and mental toughness has attracted many newcomers to the world of mixed martial arts for decades.
Getting into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu requires you to have the physical fortitude and patience to learn the moves and train every day. However, just like any sport, you need the tools of the trade to help improve your chances of getting better. Here are some of the essential things you need to help you along your way.
1. Athletic Tape/Wraps
Athletic tape and wraps are going to help you tremendously. Wrapping up and taping fingers together if the muscle is tired or sore, or if you receive cuts, will help keep you sparring and training for longer. Likewise, wraps are great for ankles and wrists to keep them from swelling or hurting when struck/stricken with. A cheap solution for a much-needed fix.
Probably the most important piece of gear you need is your Gi. The BJJ Gi is your uniform for the sport, it is the identifier for your belt class, and it is a must for taking classes in many instances. Having a good and comfortable Gi will be helpful in giving your body freedom and movement for training. A high-quality Gi will last you a very long time as well.
Much like athletic tape and wraps, the mouthguard is a small and cheap but mighty piece of gear. For your safety, you want to use a mouthguard for blows to the head. Chipping or losing a tooth, or worse, biting down on your tongue, is incredibly painful and easily avoidable. Mouthguards can be molded easily to fit your teeth, not to mention you can store extras when they get overused. Always use a mouthguard when sparring with a partner to stay safe.
While Gi’s should be comfortable, there is an unavoidable issue when wearing full-body uniforms. Uncomfortable rubbing of cloth to skin, and rashing, is a common issue in martial art forms that use similar uniforms. Rashguards that fit underneath your Gi or undershorts will help maintain your comfortability. Having these will drastically reduce distraction and discomfort so you can remain focused on your training.
5. Gym Bag
You may already have a gym bag, but you want one with separate compartments for your BJJ gear. Gym backpacks work well because they have individual pockets for your mouthguards, tape, and a large one for your Gi. Having a dedicated bag for all of your BJJ equipment is good for organization so you never leave home for training without everything you need.
While BJJ is all about technique and repetition of training, you still need some extra gear to help you learn faster. This gear helps with safety and improves your comfortability while you are learning. Having the skills, along with the gear, will increase your goal of receiving higher belts and becoming a better student.