BJJ Finger Tape Guide: Why Use It, How, & Top Picks

By Tsavo NealBJJ Gear2 Comments

bjj finger tape

Are your fingers and knuckles getting mangled from BJJ? If so, it’s time for you to invest in some BJJ finger tape.

The most common injury in jiu-jitsu is to the fingers and hands.

And one of the best ways to prevent this injury is by wrapping your fingers with finger tape.

bjj finger tape

In this article, I’ll share everything you need to know about BJJ finger tape.

BJJ Finger Tape: Quick Links

What Is BJJ Finger Tape?

BJJ finger tape is athletic tape used by BJJ players to wrap their fingers.

bjj finger tape on hand

It’s used to prevent injuries to your hands and fingers when rolling. It binds and compresses your fingers to prevent hypertension and irritation.

BJJ finger tape is typically made of cotton material with strong adhesive.

For BJJ, your finger tape should be between 0.3″ and 0.5″ in width for ample protection.

Proper BJJ finger tape sticks to your fingers. It can withstand the friction and moisture that come with training BJJ.

Here are the construction details for my favorite BJJ finger tape by Hampton Adams

  • 0.3 Inches x 45 feet
  • Surgical Grade Material
  • Sweat Resistant
  • Made From Hypoallergenic Materials (Latex-Free)
  • Extra-Firm Hold
  • Super Sticky Formula

This type of finger tape is also used by rock climbers for the same reason: to keep their hands and fingers healthy.

Why Use Finger Tape In BJJ?

Below are 3 of the primary reasons for using BJJ finger tape.

1. Injury Prevention

The most common injuries in BJJ are to the finger/hands, and the most common reported fracture is to the hands/fingers.

The primary use of BJJ finger tape is to prevent injuries to your hands and fingers.

By wrapping tape around your fingers and knuckles, you give your joints and tendons more support. It creates restrictions in the movement you want to restrict: hyperextension or excessive bending of your fingers.

If you work in a job where you can’t afford to hurt your hands or fingers, invest in some BJJ finger tape. It will help prevent you from BJJ interfering with your work, and allow you to continue training with minimal risk.

2. Preventing Soreness & Pain 

I’m sure you’ve seen people with “jiu-jitsu fingers” — fingers where the knuckles are twice the size they should be.

If you train in the gi often — especially if you use grip-heavy guards (like Spider Guard) and collar chokes — you’ll eventually wear down your hands and fingers.

You might not injure your hands playing this style of BJJ, but they will cause soreness.

By taping your fingers you’ll prevent soreness so you can train the way you like for longer periods of time. 

bjj finger tape benefits

Take this story from Stephan Kesting, for example:

“The first time I did this my fingers were sore but I still wanted to train; afterward I was surprised by how much it helped.

But just to make sure that it was the tape and not something else, on my next training session I did an experiment: I taped only the fingers of my left hand and did nothing to my right hand.

If there was any doubt before there was none at the end of the session; my left hand (which had been taped) felt perfectly normal, but my right hand (which had NOT been taped) felt sore and achy.”

If you don’t like the feeling of your hands being beaten up after class, tape them up.

3. Hygiene

BJJ finger tape does provide a small hygienic benefit.

I don’t know about you, but my fingers end up bleeding quite a bit. I’ve even gotten warts on my hands from BJJ.

With finger tape, you can cover up spots, preventing blood from getting on the mats. It can also help to prevent infections and warts.

Tape comes in handy if you have a small cut on your hands and want to cover up quickly so you can get back to rolling.

So, by using BJJ finger tape, you’ll…

  1. Prevent common injuries,
  2. Remedy your sore hands,
  3. And practice good hygiene.

How To Tape Your Fingers For BJJ

Now that you’re convinced of the benefits of taping your fingers, how do you actually tape them?

Here’s how to tape your fingers for BJJ:

  • Step 1: Wrap the tape around the bottom of the knuckle of your finger a few times.
  • Step 2: Bring the tape up and around the top of the knuckle of your finger a few times.
  • Step 3: Make an X to connect the tape around the finger.
  • Step 4: Repeat steps 1-3 on every finger that you’d like to protect.

bjj finger tape protection

Tape your fingers tight enough to support your knuckles. But they shouldn’t be so tight that they cut off circulation to the tips of your fingers.

Using this method, you’ll give your knuckles extra support to grip fight and choke your training partners without hurting your hands in the process.

Best Finger Tape For BJJ: My Top Picks

There are plenty of different finger tapes out there…but which is the best for BJJ?

Here’s my personal favorite finger tape for BJJ:

Best BJJ Finger Tape: Hamptom Adams
$17.99 $13.99

Hampton Adams finger tape is built specifically for BJJ and rock climbing. Unlike other tapes, it comes at the perfect width for your fingers and is much easier to put on. I'll use this tape when I'm working on techniques that rely on strong grips (spider guards, gi chokes, etc.). This tape lasts an entire class and open mat, and by the end, my fingers feel as good as new.

Check Pricing
05/27/2024 10:37 am GMT

What’s your favorite BJJ finger tape brand or product? Leave a comment in the section below and let me know what you like.

BJJ Finger Tape Alternatives

Don’t feel like taping your fingers every time you train?

Here are some alternatives to BJJ finger tape that will also minimize your chance of injuring your hands.

1. Train No-Gi

You don’t need finger tape if you train no-gi.

Why?

Because in no-gi, you grip your opponent primarily using your palms instead of your fingers.

doing a rear naked choke on the grappling smarty

Practicing no-gi submissions (rear-naked choke) on my Grappling Smarty — no finger tape needed!

There is no gi jacket or gi pants to grip.

For this reason, no-gi grips and grip fighting is far less taxing on your hands and fingers.

2. Use No-Gi Grips

If you still want to train in the gi and not use BJJ finger tape, switch your grips.

Limit yourself to primarily using no-gi grips instead of gi grips. Pretend your training partners aren’t wearing a gi.

For example, grab your opponent’s ankles instead of their pants if you’re playing de-la riva guard. And write off spider guard and lasso guard altogether.

This may limit your gi-specific BJJ guard development, but your fingers will thank you.

3. Finger Sleeves


If you find taping your fingers too time-consuming — but you still want to protect your fingers — consider investing in finger sleeves.

Finger sleeves are another form of compression that joins two of your fingers together.

They accomplish the same thing as finger tape except you don’t have to manually tape them. You simply slide them down your fingers.

You won’t have as much precision with finger sleeves, but putting them on is much quicker and cleaner.

4. Grappz Gloves

grappz gloves

Grappz gloves are a finger-splint athletic glove that helps support your fingers in BJJ.

They’re composed of two finger sleeves that join your middle finger to your ring finger. 

The advantage of these gloves is that they provide bracing and support (like finger tape) without the process of having to tie up your fingers every class.

So, if you’d prefer to simply wear gloves instead of tying up your fingers to protect your hands, consider picking up a pair of Grappz.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do BJJ Players Tape Their Fingers?

BJJ players tape their fingers primarily for 2 reasons:

  1. Protect their fingers from injury (especially when training in the gi).
  2. To enable themselves to train if they are currently dealing with a finger or hand injury.

Should You Tape Your Fingers In BJJ?

You should tape your fingers in BJJ if…

  • You train a lot in the gi.
  • You use a lot of grip-heavy techniques (spider guard, de la riva guard, etc.).
  • Your work or other hobbies require your hands and fingers to be healthy.
  • You want to safely train through a hand or finger injury.

You shouldn’t tape your fingers in BJJ if…

  • You mainly train no-gi.
  • You limit the amount of gi-grips you use (even when training in the gi).
  • Sore hands and fingers won’t affect your work or other hobbies.

How Many Fingers Do You Tape In BJJ?

It depends on your hands and current injuries, but typically, you’ll tape between 2 and 5 fingers on each hand.

What BJJ Tape Should I Use For Fingers?

I use and recommend Hampton Adams BJJ finger tape because of its width, stickiness, and protective factors.

hampton adams bjj finger tape benefits

If I missed any questions about BJJ finger tape, drop your question in the comment section below and I’ll answer you there.

Takeaway Thoughts & Discussion

Using BJJ finger tape is an excellent way to preserve the health of your fingers if you play grip-heavy gi guards.

However, it’s not necessary if you only train no-gi, never use positions like spider guard, or you’re careful with your gripfighting.

What’s your take on BJJ finger tape? Do you use it? Why or why not? What brand do you like best?

Leave a comment in the section below and join the discussion.

Happy rolling. 🤙


tsavo neal bjjequipment.com

Tsavo Neal

Tsavo is the founder of BJJ Equipment, an assistant BJJ instructor at InFighting, and a BJJ purple belt. He's a passionate hobbyist and BJJ gear/equipment aficionado. He launched BJJ Equipment in 2022 to make it easy for grapplers to find the best BJJ gear so they look, feel, and perform at their best on the mats.

2 Comments on “BJJ Finger Tape Guide: Why Use It, How, & Top Picks”

  1. Greate article on BJJ Finger tape! Finger protection is a must in our sport, and this post covers everything from why it’s important to top tape recommendation. Very helpful, thank you!

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