Gi or no gi, what to wear to Jiu-Jitsu

Here’s what you should (and shouldn’t) wear to Jiu-Jitsu class

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has exploded in popularity in recent years. Ever since Royce Gracie demonstrated it’s superiority over other forms of martial arts all the way back at UFC 1, more and more people have opted to try it for themselves. Starting a new sport can be daunting but we’ve got you covered. Here’s what you should and shouldn’t wear to Jiu-Jitsu class.

What NOT to wear to Jiu-Jitsu

While Jiu-Jitsu translates to “the gentle art” do not be fooled. There is a very real danger of injury just like with any sport. To minimize this risk, you need to avoid certain items of clothing. Do not wear:

  • Loose fitting clothing
  • Baggy hoodies or shorts
  • Anything with pockets
  • Anything with belt loops

The reason for this is that Jiu-Jitsu is a grappling martial art. While grappling it’s easy for fingers (or even toes) to get caught in awkward positions that could cause injury. It’s simple to avoid this by not wearing the above items to class.

What you SHOULD wear to Jiu-Jitsu

Now that you know what you shouldn’t wear, what should you wear to Jiu-Jitsu? For beginners, you should wear:

  • Tight fitting clothing
  • A rashguard
  • Board shorts

The above list is perfectly fine to wear as a beginner at the stage when you’re still trying out BJJ to see if you like it.

As you progress you can decide whether you want to train Gi or No-Gi, or a combination of both. This will require a little investment but it’s not something you need to decide on right away.

Do I Need a Gi for Jiu-Jitsu Training?

The Gi is the traditional Jiu-Jitsu uniform. To train for Gi competitions in Jiu-Jitsu you will certainly need a Gi. However, most gyms will have a selection of these to lend you for your first few classes while you decide if it’s for you.

It’s best to contact the gym ahead of time to find out but wearing tight fitting clothing like rashguards and board shorts is fine at the beginning.

Alternatively you might decide that Gi training is not for you. In this case you can continue with No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu training. This is increasing in popularity in recent years however it’s worth noting that the majority of practitioners train for both. Especially when training specifically for an MMA bout.


So what should you wear to Jiu-Jitsu? The answer is pretty simple.

DO wear tight fitting clothing or a Gi of you have it.

DO NOT wear loose fitting clothing or anything with pockets, belt loops or zips.

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