NoGi BJJ Gear : Essential gear any beginner will need
So you just started jiu jItsu training and thinking about NoGi BJJ. You maybe tried a trial class, had a good time and wanted to dive in a little deeper. But what's with all the bright fucking spandex and grown men in leggings?!?!
If you're a little lost don't worry. Here's a quick guide into the wonderful world of NoGi BJJ Gear.
NoGi BJJ Gear: The essentials
So you notice everyone wearing bright spandex tops and lycra leggings, rash guards and spats (leggings). That's not just because we're all mad, which we also happen to be, but there's a reason every NoGi BJJ practitioner packs these in their gear bag instead of a simple t-shirt and regular shorts.
There's a couple of reason every NoGi BJJ practitioner has a rash guard and spats as a part of their gear.
NoGi BJJ Gear: Rash guards
A NoGi BJJ Rash Guard is essentially a compression shirt. This is a form fitting top made typically out of a stretchy material. What makes a NoGi BJJ rash guard slightly different is the material is a little tighter fit and the construction needs to allow maximum movement with durable construction.
Due to the nature of NoGi BJJ training there is a ton of movement and friction. Unlike a regular tshirt the rash guard in built to withstand this beating and due to the form fitting nature will not get tangles up and snagged on your training partner like a regular tshirt. This is why it is a part of every NoGi BJJ Gear bag.
Tip: When selecting a NoGi BJJ Rash guard look for added side panels, these allow for a better fit and mobility. Also inspect the stitching, you should be able to stretch it without hearing any pops or feel any tension and there should be multiple thread in a zig zag. These will give maximum mobility with a durable construction.
NoGi BJJ Gear: Spats
It's hard to believe sometime that NoGi BJJ can have the biggest bunch of savages all walking around in bright colored leggings. These are called spats. In a very similar fashion to a BJJ NoGi Rah Guard, spats are an essential part of any Nogi Jiu Jitsu Gear bag as they offer compression, mobility, durable construction and will not get snagged on your training partner.
There is one other benefit to wearing spats during nogi BJJ training, that is they offer another layer of protection for the skin. If we are being 100% honest nogi BJJ in particular is gross. Unlike BJJ Gi training where you have a kimono made of thick cotton covering your body, during nogi bjj training your skin is pretty exposed.
In a room full of 30-50 people all training that's a petri dish of sweat and bacteria for your skin to bath in. Naturally spats will not completely stop all of this seeping through and contacting your skin but the additional barrier does help.
NoGi BJJ Gear: Grappling Shorts
Any NoGi BJJ gear bag would not be complete without grappling shorts. So what make BJJ grappling shorts an essential piece of training gear different to a regular set of gym shorts?
Firstly they typically have a more durable type of waist tie. This is either a velcro strap, draw string or both. For nogi bjj training this is important, as clothing gets wet with sweat it becomes more slippery. Without this you can often loose your shorts mid roll, that's not a show anyone wants to see.
Another element that makes nogi bjj grappling shorts slightly different to regular gym gear is the flex fit gusset crotch, form fitting thigh and waist cut and the material (typically 4 way stretch). As with the rash guard this makes nogi grappling shorts more form fitting so you don't expose yer junk while allowing maximum mobility making then another essential piece of nogi bjj gear.
NoGi BJJ Gear: Personal Hygiene supplies
As mentioned jiu jitsu training can get pretty gross. That does not mean we have to be! That said it is important to stock these essentials as a part of you nogi bjj gear.
Hydrogen peroxide: By nature there is a little more slip'n'slide with nogi bjj this can me a few more cuts and scrapes. It's essential to have something we can flush and clean them out as a part of our gear.
Paper tape & Gauze pads: When cuts do arise your skin will probably be wet. I have never found bandaids or regular tape to hold well. Paper tape and gauze pads have been a much more effective addition to our nogi bjj gear.
Antibacterial wipes: Not all gyms have showers and after 2 hours rolling around on the floor in the collective sweat of 20+ humans you'll want to get clean asap. Letting sweat sit on the skin longer than needed can lead to nasty infections.
Nail clippers: Most beginners don't carry these as a part of their bjj nogi gear but should! Finger and toe nails event slightly uncut can cause so many little cuts to your training partners. Nail clippers are an essential piece of gear especially for nogi bjj.
NoGi BJJ Gear: Slides
Not just an essential piece of nogi bjj gear, slides should be in everyone's bag, gi or nogi. As we spend hours on the mats, and as with nogi bjj our skin often has direct contact to the mat. That said is is important to carry slides you can slip on should you need a bath room break between rounds to prevent your feet treading dirt and bateria back onto the mats.