The Beginner’s BJJ Gear Guide (6 Must-Haves To Train)

By Tsavo NealBJJ GearLeave a Comment

gold bjj backpack review

In this BJJ gear guide for beginners, you’ll learn the must-have BJJ equipment and how to find the right gear for your budget, body, and preferences.

I’ll break down the 6 pieces of BJJ gear you need to train, explaining…

  • What they are
  • The price range
  • My top pick

My aim with this guide is to help you look, feel, and perform your best on the mats — and ensure you save money in the process.

bjj gear on bjj mats

A collection of some of my BJJ equipment

BJJ Gear Guide: Quick Links

1. Gi & Gi Pants

A BJJ gi is a traditional uniform in which you practice “gi” jiu-jitsu (“no-gi” jiu-jitsu is practiced in a rash guard and shorts). Because it has to withstand grip fighting, it’s much heavier and more durable than a karate gi. Gi pants are the pants that come with your gi jacket. Many gyms offer a free gi uniform if you sign up. But you’re free to invest on your own if you’d like.

Price Range

$60 on the low end, $250 on the high end.

My Top Pick

Best BJJ Gi: Top Pick
Gold BJJ Aeroweave Ultralight Jiu Jitsu Gi

Super light, comfortable, stylish, and fairly priced, Gold's Aeroweave Ultralight gi is my favorite BJJ gi. It's my primary gi for gi class, and as an added benefit, it dries much quicker than other gis. After wearing this gi, it's been tough to downgrade and wear other BJJ gi brands. If you're looking for your daily training gi, you can't go wrong with the Aeroweave.

Shop Gold BJJ Read My Review

2. BJJ Belt

A BJJ belt is a belt worn around your gi that signifies your rank. You’ll wear white, blue, purple, brown, or black depending on your level. BJJ belts also come with a black rank bar, which is where your instructor will apply stripes.

Price Range

Check low-end prices. $24 on the high end.

My Top Pick

Best BJJ Belt
Premium Jiu Jitsu Belts | Gold BJJ

The Gold BJJ belt is, as they say, is "a worthy belt for your BJJ journey." It's a heavyweight belt that's built to endure your trials and tribulations on the mats. The design is minimalist and clean, so it won't draw any unnecessary attention. It's a quiet luxury. No matter your belt level, you can't go wrong with a Gold belt.

Shop Gold BJJ

3. Rash Guard

A rash guard is a tight athletic shirt that’s made of spandex, nylon, or polyester. They’re what you wear when you train no-gi jiu-jitsu, although most grapplers also wear a rash guard underneath their gi. Rash guards protect you from getting rashes and other infections as you roll on the mats. They also create compression on your body, keeping you warm and helping prevent strains.

Price Range

Check low-end prices. $75 for high-end.

My Top Pick

Best BJJ Rash Guard: XMARTIAL

XMARTIAL is now one of my favorite BJJ rash guard brands. They are of the same quality as Origin rash guards, but they’re cheaper. Their comfort, fit, and durability are ideal for no-gi BJJ. They boast an impressive selection of styles — including the funniest rash guards on the market. If you’re looking for a go-to rash guard brand, you can’t go wrong with XMARTIAL. Use the discount code BJJEQ to get 10% off any XMARTIAL gear.

Shop XMARTIAL Read My Review

4. BJJ Shorts

BJJ shorts are gym shorts designed for no-gi jiu-jitsu. That means they are softer, more durable, and have no pockets (to prevent you or your training partner’s hands and toes from getting stuck when rolling). In my experience, they’re far more comfortable to roll in than regular gym shorts.

Price Range

Check low-end prices. $59 for high-end.

My Top Pick

5. BJJ Spats

BJJ spats are compression leggings designed specifically for BJJ. They help keep your legs warm, prevent mat burn, and decrease the chance of infection. You’ll typically wear BJJ spats for no-gi, but many grapplers wear spats underneath their gi pants as well.

Price Range

Check low-end prices. $82 on the high end.

My Top Pick

Top Pick
Gold BJJ Spats

These are my favorite BJJ spats and my most-worn pair whenever I'm training no-gi. Pair them with their Fight Shorts and you'll have the perfect set. These are inexpensive, durable, comfortable, and stylish — everything you want in a pair of spats.

Shop Gold BJJ

6. Mouthguard

What It Is

A mouthguard is a piece of plastic that protects your teeth when rolling. They’re not required for technical drilling, but they’re crucial for positional sparring and live rolling. If you want to keep your teeth, wear a mouthguard when you roll!

Price Range

Check low-end prices.

My Top Pick

SISU Mouthguard

The Sisu mouthguard is the best jiu-jitsu mouthguard. It’s customizable to your mouth and teeth, comes in many different colors, and is so minimal that you’ll barely notice it’s there. And most importantly, it will keep your pearly whites safe. I’ve been using the same Sisu mouthguard since my first jiu-jitsu class, and I don’t plan on switching to another mouthguard.

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06/15/2024 08:35 pm GMT

BJJ Gear Extras: 6 Optional Pieces of BJJ Equipment

Now that you have your essential gear, let’s break down some nice-to-have extras if you want to improve your training, health, and convenience.

1. BJJ Bag

A BJJ bag is a backpack or duffel bag that is designed with compartments to hold your BJJ gear. So instead of throwing all of your stuff into the bottom of your bag, a BJJ bag enables you to organize everything in a specific place before you go to class. They’re also waterproof and resistant to sweat, which is helpful when you’re taking your sweaty gi or rash guard home from class.

Price Range:

Check low-end prices. $124 on the high end.

My Top Pick:

Gatame Jiu Jitsu Backpack for Gi and No-Gi | Gold BJJ

The Gold BJJ backpack is now my go-to BJJ bag. It’s stylish, compact, durable, and carries everything I need — all at a reasonable price. If you want to make going to training easier and more convenient, this is a great bag. However, if you want to carry multiple gis or you’re looking for an all-purpose backpack, I’d look elsewhere. This one is designed for jiu-jitsu specifically. And it pairs perfectly with their Aeroweave Ultralight Gi, which is my go-to BJJ gi.

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2. Knee Pads

A BJJ knee pad is a thick padded sleeve that fits around your knee, providing compression and protection from impact. Knee pads are different from knee braces, which are designed to provide extra support and stability for an injured knee. If you do a lot of wrestling, takedowns, or grappling from your knees, knee pads are a great investment.

Price Range:

Check low-end prices.

My Top Pick:

3. Finger Tape

BJJ finger tape is athletic tape used by BJJ players to wrap their fingers. It’s used to prevent injuries to your hands and fingers when rolling. It binds and compresses your fingers to prevent hypertension and irritation.

Price Range:

Check low-end prices.

My Top Pick:

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.

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06/15/2024 07:59 pm GMT

4. BJJ Mats

BJJ mats are mats constructed specifically for Brazilian jiu-jitsu. They’re typically 1.25″ to 2″ thick. BJJ mats are an excellent investment if you want to build a home gym. Gymnastics mats can also work as BJJ mats if they are thick enough (1.5″ to 2″ thick).

Price Range:

Check low-end prices.

My Top Pick:

Top Pick
BalanceFrom All Purpose 4'x10'x2" Gymnastics Mats

BalanceFrom mats are the best BJJ mats for home. They are comfortable for solo drilling, drilling with training partners, positional sparring, and rolling. They’re easy to store even in my small apartment. They’re sturdy and difficult to tear. They’re versatile: I use them for stretching and yoga. They’re transportable: easy to carry and fit in your car. You can even take them outside for some outdoor BJJ! A pair of BalanceFrom mats are my recommendation for any BJJ hobbyist who’s looking to build a BJJ home gym.

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5. Grappling Dummy

A BJJ dummy is a type of grappling dummy. It’s a fake human for you to practice jiu-jitsu on. Using a dummy will enable you to “shadow grapple” and drill positions and submissions so you can improve your game when you’re not in class.

Price Range:

Check low-end prices. $750 on the high-end.

My Top Pick:

Best Grappling Dummy
Grappling SMARTY 2.0

The Grappling SMARTY 2.0 is the best grappling dummy on the market for jiu-jitsu players. It’s realistic, you can practice most techniques on it, and it’s durable. If you’re a kinesthetic learner, serious hobbyist, competitor, or already have a home gym, investing in a SMARTY will help you level up your BJJ. Use code TSAVO5 at checkout to get 5% off your Grappling Smarty.

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6. Instructionals

BJJ instructionals are video courses about jiu-jitsu. They teach you about positions or techniques in a comprehensive, systematic way. The cool thing about BJJ instructionals is that they enable you to learn from the best coaches and grapplers in the world without having to be with them in person. They’re a fundamental part of taking your learning into your own hands and improving your game beyond what your instructor teaches you.

Price Range:

From $79 to $349.

My Top Pick:

This depends on what you want to learn. But if you’re a beginner, I recommend the following instructional:

John Danaher‘s New Wave Jiu Jitsu: A New Philosophy Of Positional Escapes is like a long, dense, and boring textbook. But, when you do take the test, you ace it. It’s not very entertaining. It can feel like a slog to get through the 8 volumes. But when you apply the escapes on the mats, they work. This instructional will help you build a terrifying defensive game where your training partners or opponents won’t feel safe — even if they’re in top mount.

Takeaway Thoughts

So there you have it: all of the BJJ gear you need to get on the mats and start rolling.

What are your favorite pieces of BJJ equipment? Do you have any BJJ brands you love?

Leave a comment in the section below. I’d love to hear what you guys are wearing on the mats.

And if you’d like to see me review any particular piece of gear, let me know!

Happy rolling. 🤙

tsavo neal

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.

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