Training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu requires specific training gear. When it comes to Gi training, it as easy as getting a few Gis and all the supportive training gear you might need. When it comes to training No-Gi, things are a bit different though. No-Gi gear is different, and much more diverse than Gi training gear. At the same time, if you’re looking to compete, you’ll need to make sure the gear you’re using for training is approved in the tournaments you sign up for. Plus there’s the supportive No-Gi gear as well to think about. With that in mind, we give you our best picks of No-Gi BJJ gear for this year.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu No-Gi Training
When people start training Jiu-Jitsu, most often they start with the Gi. The realization that there is also a No-Gi version of Jiu-Jitsu comes later on. For most, it turns out to be an even bigger draw than Gi Jiu-Jitsu, although there are Gi-only die-hards out there. Of course, the answer is to balance, particularly if you want to really learn Jiu-Jitsu as much as possible.
When it comes to training, getting the necessary gear together is not hard. Basically, you need nothing more than a pair of shorts and a T-shirt to start training Jiu-Jitsu. However, you’ll soon be itching to get your first Gi, starting your BJJ gear collection in the process. While one Gi will do the trick, for everyone training more than a couple of times a week, two or more Gis is a much more desirable option. And, if you want to extend the life of your Gi, and keep personal hygiene high, you’ll also get a pair of spats and rash guards to wear underneath the Gi. In other words, once you get all the necessary gear together, you’ll pretty much end up ready for both Gi and No-Gi. Just throw the Gi off and substitute it with shorts while wearing the rashguard and spats, and you’re all set for No-Gi.
Of course, if you’re really serious about No-Gi training, and perhaps even competing, you’ll need to take into No-Gi gear a bit more carefully. First of all, you’ll need more than one rashguard, and you’ll probably need them in both a long and short-sleeved version as well. A few different pairs of spats are also unavoidable, as are a couple of pairs of shorts. And that’s just the basic No-Gi gear. There’s also supportive gear for your knees, elbows, etc. that makes training and competing easier. Plus, once you get the bug for collecting different rashguards, you’ll have a hard time trying to shake it off.
What You Need For No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu
In order to train No-Gi, you need the bare essentials. Just like I said before, a rashguard and shorts are the two items you can’t do without. However, having spats undershorts is always a good idea, both tactically and in terms of hygiene. Whether you choose to wear a long or a short-sleeved rashguard is also up to you. Remember, that wearing spats and a long-sleeved rashguard improves your own grips, in situations like triangle chokes, D’arce chokes, etc. Trying to catch your own sweaty arm or leg can prove to be very difficult, and rashguards provide much-needed traction for grips. I’d recommend going long sleeve in every situation that you can, but it is ultimately a personal choice.
Apart from the basics, supportive gear is always a good idea. Despite what you might think about Gi Jiu-Jitsu, it is no Gi that causes more cases of cauliflower ear. So an ear guard, while training is a very practical thing to have on. In fact, this might just constitute integral, rather than supportive No-Gi gear. You won’t have to worry about finger tape at all, but your knees and elbows will need some protection, especially if you’re new to No-Gi. So, factor in supportive gear whenever you’re thinking about a full No-Gi kit.
The Best BJJ No-Gi Gear For 2020
Let’s talk about how to categorize the No-Gi gear you’ll need before we go into looking at the best possible options available in 2020. We’ll start off with the most obvious – rashguards. Rashguards come in all shapes and sizes, but the two main categories that you need to consider are sleeve length, and whether a rashguard is competition approved or not. Options in each of these are included below.
Spats are a bit easier to figure out, as you can’t actually wear them in competition, at least not under IBJJF rules. So, whatever you choose in this department is going to be for training only. Also, people seem to gravitate towards full-length spats, as those short ones really make no sense unless you decide not to wear shorts when training.
Shorts are also a bit of a tricky subject. You’ll need a pair of black ones if you intend to compete because those are the only ones allowed. Again, at least under IBJJF rules which are usually taken to be the golden standard. However, for training, you can choose anything you’d like, and there are some really cool shorts options out there.
Finally, supportive gear is easy, as it is based on your individual needs. Ear guards are not allowed in competition, but rules are quite permissive when it comes to knee and elbow pads.
Ranked rashguards are usually the competition-approved ones. They come in different designs, but the one thing they have in common is that they display the belt rank in one way or another. That said, a ranked rashguard is not the same as a competition-approved one. Those that are approved usually clearly state that, so make sure you get a rashguard you can compete in.
Fuji Baseline Ranked Jiu Jitsu Rashguard
- Anti Microbial
- Fully sublimated design
- Soft underarm panels
- IBJJF Approved
Fuji is a mainstay brand when it comes to BJJ attire, especially No-Gi gear. They have a selection of long-sleeved rashguards on offer that are both ranked, and IBJJF approved. Plus, they look very cool with a simple, minimalistic, and quite elegant design of great quality. Sublimated color and design guarantee no peeling or cracking of the print.
Reinforced stitching guarantees longevity, the fabric is 4-way stretch and offers an immense level of anti-microbial protection. The fabric also protects against all kinds of mat burn and has a cooling effect thanks to moisture control technology. Being IBJJF approved, these rashguards are available in all the adult belt colors and a variety of different sizes.
Sanabul Essentials Long Sleeve Rashguard
- Uncluttered classic style
- Mesh underarms
- Gradual compression
- Pull-on closure
- UV SPF 50 protection
- IBJJF Approved
The Sanabul Essentials rash guard is a great option if you have no idea what to buy. It is an excellent rashguard overall, but also a great choice for your first-ever ranked rashguard. Once again, 100% IBJJF legal, this rashguard comes in all belt colors, including red.
It features long sleeves and a special athletic fit designed for grapplers. The material is anti-microbial, extending the rashguard’s longevity. Gradual compression is also an important feature, as well as the introduction of mesh panels for ventilation. Comes in sizes S-XXL.
Hutz Sports Rash Guard, Short Sleeves
- Premium fabric providing moisture control
- 4-way-stretch features
- Durable 4/6 flatlock stitching
- Sublimated graphics and a stylish design
- IBJJF Approved
A short-sleeve rashguard option to round off our ranked and IBJJF approved rashguards category. Having both a long and short-sleeved rashguard as part of your No-Gi gear is the best way to figure out which one you prefer.
The Hutz short sleeves sports rashguard is the perfect one if you’d like to skip long-sleeved options. Once again, it comes in the usual belt colors and features an interesting and modern design. Made from premium fabric, this rashguard is built to last and has innovative moisture-wicking properties. In other words, this is one that lasts. There’s reinforced stitching a well, along with a distinct compression effect. Available in all the usual sizes.
This is where we take a look at the funnier side of BJJ No-Gi gear. If you’ve ever seen sub-only tournaments, you must have noticed all the crazy rashguards people come in. Well, you too can have your pick, as long as your ready to wear the “PG” stuff for competition. Here are some great options.
Under Armour Men’s HeatGear Short-Sleeved Rashguard
- Extremely comfortable
- Ultra-fast drying time
- Strategically placed mesh panels
- HeatGear fabric helps regulate body temperature
- Strategic ventilation
Under Armour is as classic a rashguard as they come. It is the epitome of a combat sports rashguard, especially in the short-sleeved version. Made out of 84% Polyester and 16% Elastane, this rashguard is going to be extremely comfortable, wick moisture second to none, and last you a lifetime.
Strategic placement of mesh panels, along with a special compression effect means you can wear this rashguard all day long. Dries really fast and comes in 12 different colors and 15 different sizes.
Venum Gladiator 3.0 Long Sleeve Rashguard
- Incredible looking, authentic design
- Compression technology
- Reinforced for extra durability
- Optimum control of body heat
- Improves blood flow
Venum is one of the brands that produce the highest quality Jiu-Jitsu gear, Gi, or No-Gi. While all their products are of great quality sometimes they excel exceeding everyone’s expectations. The Gladiator 3.0 rashguard is one such example.
A Polyester and Elastan combination, this rashguard is specifically designed for grappling. It features reinforced seams, Venum compression technology and is designed to be extremely durable. There’s even an inner silicone rubber waistband to prevent the rashguard from slipping. The art is exceptional, and it comes sublimated, so it will never peel or crack. Available in black and white versions, and all the usual sizes.
Gold BJJ Jiu Jitsu Rashguard: Camo
- Smooth flatlock stitching
- Extended trip for an optimal fit
- Fully sublimated print
- Underarm vents
Talking about No-Gi gear, there’s no way we can’t mention a newcomer that has taken the BJJ world by storm: Gold BJJ and their Camo rashguard. This rashguard is ultra-strong, yet amazingly lightweight.
It comes in both short and long sleeves and features a white or black version, both with a distinct camo design. Fully sublimated digital printing means the design is there to stay. It features maximal breathability and is available in all the usual sizes. Comes with a full money-back, no-questions-asked guarantee.
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When it comes to shorts, performance, and comfort top the list. In that sense, No-Gi shorts feature a specific design that allows for both. They need to be durable but elastic at the same time. They need to be comfortable and not impede movement. Plus, they need to look cool, and, if you compete, be IBJJF approved (ranked or black).
Gold BJJ Jiu-Jitsu Shorts
- Maximum stretch
- Great for grappling, MMA, Wrestling, Muay Thai
- Hidden internal drawstring
- Modern athletic cut
- Maximum airflow
- IBJJF Approved
Gold BJJ has designed the ultimate grappling shorts. They are ultra-light, very comfortable, and actually designed specifically for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training. They feature an original blend of materials that allow for incredible stretching properties. The fabric is also very breathable and has moisture-wicking properties, thus guaranteeing comfort.
There is a drawstring closure system that is hidden and protected all-around so you won’t feel it at all while training or competing. These shorts are a perfect fit for competition, as they are fully approved by the IBJJF. Moreover, you get a full money-back guarantee if for any reason you are not satisfied with the product you receive.
Hayabusa Metaru Charged Fight Shorts
- Designed for optimal movement
- Silicon anti-slip, hardware-free waistband
- Reinforced seams
- Engineered for ultimate performance and durability
- IBJJF approved
Hayabusa has one of their best ever grappling products right here – the Metaru Charged Fight Shorts. They look great, come in ranked colors, and are created for No-Gi grappling in particular.
Stretch panels allow for maximal movement and an incredible level of comfort. The waistband is free of any hardware, yet stays in place perfectly, allowing for pain-free grappling. Available in 6 different sizes and all the belt rank colors.
- Built to last
- Innovative 3-way closure system
- Pro engineering flex-system
- Uparrareled durability and lifespan
- Unique camo design
Venum features yet again, this time with an awesome pair of shorts. The Venum Camo shorts are a real classic, both in design and performance. These are top-of-the-shelf No-Gi gear, and something you should own if you’re serious about grappling.
They come in all the usual sizes, and with an original green camo design, combined with the recognizable Venum logo. Ultra-lightweight, extremely durable, with a brand new 3-way closure system that ensures perfectly tight hold. $ way stretch fabric makes the entire experience extremely more comfortable, while reinforced seams provide additional strength.
- Athletic cut
- Super resistant to tears, cracks, and splits
- T3 stitching on seams
- Interlocking drawstring waistband
- Multiple flex panels to guarantee mobility
The RDX MMA shorts come as our final suggestion for the best No-Gi gear you can get this year. They come in a yellow, blue and black design, although this only refers to the background color. All the designs are unique and feature a few colors.
The shorts boast a perfect fit and a very strong waistband. They have an ergonomic design and are made out of ultra high-quality fabric that is tear-resistant. Probably the most durable pair of shorts you can get. Extremely breathable, and designed with functionality in mind. Available in 6 different sizes.
NO-GI BJJ SPATS
Spats are actually pretty simple. You need them to be comfortable, you need them to wick moisture, and perhaps have compression features as well. Apart from that, art is the only real factor you need to consider before deciding on a favorite pair of BJJ spats. Take a look at a few suggestions.
Red Plume Men’s Sports Compression Pants
- Soft and breathable
- Awesome designs
- Computer-controlled digital printing
- 4-way stretch fabric
As previously said you can’t use spats in competition, so there are no real limitations here in terms of design. In fact, with BJJ folks it seems that the crazier the design, the more popular and in-demand it is going to be. Well, these spats fit right in.
They come in a wide variety of designs, most of them featuring a unique theme. You might run into anything from a panda to a dragon in these designs, or a superhero costume, mostly Marvel and DC inspired. The material is a blend of Polyester and Elastane and works pretty much like a rashguard. Durability, moisture-wicking, quick-dry, and top performance properties come guaranteed. Sizes include everything in the range between small and XX-large.
Sanabul Men’s Compression Base Layer Spats
- Polyester/nylon/spandex blend
- Pull-on closure system
- Special 4-way stretch material
- Reinforced 5-thread 2-needle stitching
- Rubberized printing
These are a simple pair of spats, for those that are looking for the best possible piece of high-performance No-Gi gear. They are available in 5 different sizes and three colors: navy blue, steel grey, and black. As such, they’re perfect to combine with any pair of shorts and rashguard you might already own.
The Sanabul spats are ultra-lightweight, extremely comfortable, and breathable. They feature fast-dry technology, as well as unrivaled compression to help with performance and recovery. The combination of polyester, lycra, and spandex ensures 360-degree mobility, while reinforced seams provide security and durability. Not a pair of spats designed for BJJ, but they seem destined for No-Gi. They are even a good option to ear under a Gi.
Pressure Grappling Women’s Premium Jiu-Jitsu Spats
- Colorful designs
- Durable and elastic
- WikPRO Polyester blended fabric
- Heavy-duty elastic band
Special consideration to all the grappling ladies out there. These spats will offer not just something different in terms of design, but also in terms of fit and performance. Moisture-wicking material is a must, as always.
There is also a 4way stretch technology, allowing for maximal elasticity and performance while providing compression at the same time. The waist is elastic, integrated into the fabric, and has no role. Flatlock /6 stitching ensures they’ll last long, even under the rigors of grappling. Sizes include everything in between XS and XXL. The designs are unique, to say the least, with 7 different options available. Of course, all the art is high quality both in design and printing.
Elbow pads are there to offer an added level of comfort, particularly if you have trouble in that department. When grappling with NO-Gi gear, particularly short-sleeved rashguards, anything from mat burn to old elbow injuries can feel painful. Even more so, in fact, given the speed of NO-Gi grappling. A good pair of elbow pads go a long way to ease this pain, and we have the best lined up below.
G-Form Pro-X Elbow Pad
- Smart flex technology – hardens on impact
- Comfortable and breathable
- Machine washable
- Ergonomic design guaranteeing full range of motion
Let’s start with some heavy-duty supportive No-Gi gear here. These pads, which come in a pair feature Smart Flex technology, making them flexible while you move and hard on impact. They’re not designed for BJJ per se, but they are more than appropriate.
The inside is a body-mapped compression sleeve that has an impact absorbing SmartFlex pads. It has moisture-wicking properties, quick-dry technology, and maximal breathability. Machina washable and featuring an ergonomic design, these pads come in 5 different coloreds designs and 9 different sizes, fitting both adults and children.
COOLOMG Arm Compression Sleeves
- Soft and breathable
- Conforms to arm anatomy
- Snug fit and strong support
- Non-slip technology
- Prevents injuries and stabilizes muscles and the elbow joint
While not offering as much in terms of protection, these arm compression sleeves offer extreme levels of compression that help your muscles work better and recover much faster. They help increase blood flow to the muscles, while wicking moisture away.
No matter which rashguard you might be wearing, these come as an added bonus, particularly given how much grip fighting is involved in BJJ. The material is a Polyester and Spandex blend, there are special anti-slip technology and a very cool design. In fact, there are 13 different designs, featuring everything from the American flag to neon colors.
McDavid 489 Elbow Strap
- Relieves tennis/golf elbow symptoms
- Targeted, pain-relieving pressure
- Flat seam construction
- 100% latex-free neoprene
This is a slightly unusual contraption for BJJ, but boy does it help. It is a highly specific piece of No-Gi gear, that those with tendonitis and/or tennis elbow will understand and come to love immediately. The McDavid Elbow strap is a 100% latex-free neoprene strap that goes on the top of the forearm, right below the elbow joint.
It helps relieve the symptoms of golf and/or tennis elbow, which are common ailments among grapplers. There’ is targeted pressure that helps relieve the pain associated with tendonitis along with added thermal therapy as a result of the material. The strap hooks with an adjustable hook and loop closure system. Still, there are three different sizes in order to guarantee the perfect fit. Comes in black.
Another huge piece of No-Gi gear. In fact, I guess knee pads are a crucial piece of BJJ gear in general. While most people do wear them under Gis, when it comes to mat burns, particularly without spats, they become essential in No-Gi. That’s before I even open up on the subject of knee injuries and other common issues.
Bodyprox Protective Knee Pads
- High density super strong foam
- Lightweight, ergonomic design
- Impact resistance, stabilization, improved circulation
- No slippage
Kicking things off, a pair of protective knee pads that also offer compression as well. The Bodyrox knee pads come in a pair, they’re black in color and available in several different sizes. The pair do have a left and right knee pad.
They are made of Polyester, EVA, and Rubber blend, offering unique protection and unrivaled comfort. An ergonomic design, paired with the lightweight of the pads makes them tailor-made for Jiu-Jitsu. They’re not bulky at all, yet completely protect from mat burn, provide compression, and even some knee stability as well. Featuring non-slip technology, they’ll stay on even if you decide to wear them over your spats.
Shock Doctor’s Knee Support Sleeve
- Provides targeted compression and warmth to muscles
- Gel inlays provide extra support
- Ultra-breathable and comfortable
- Elastic knit neoprene
The Shock Doctor Knee support Sleeves are state-of-the-art knee pads that provide light to moderate knee support for grapplers and fighters. In another word, only knee braces that are impossible to train with, provide more support and stability for an injured knee.
There are two variations of this knee sleeve available – a light support one, and a gel-infused one that provides moderate support. Both are made of special neoprene that wicks moisture, conforms to the anatomy of the leg, and is extremely comfortable to wear. Sizes range between extra small land extra large. Protects from arthritis, tendonitis, patella alignment injuries, bursitis, meniscus tears, and more.
Meister MMA Knee Wraps
- Heavy duty
- Strong hook-and-loop Closure
- Stabilization and knee support
- Used by professionals
Wrapping the best knee pads to include in your No-Gi gear are actual knee wraps (pun intended). The Meister Knee Wraps are heavy-duty, elastic wraps that have multiple uses, You can use them to stabilize an injured knee joint, you can use them for compression, or for abrasion protection.
They have a loop and wrap design, and coming at 72″ Length and 3″ Width, provide you with a lot of material to fit your specific needs. Available in three different colored designs, these come as a pair.
While everyone says cauliflower ears are cool and love the memes, I doubt anyone is really looking forward to developing them. There’s a reason why all those wrestlers wear ear guards – cauliflower ears are not fun. Given how similar No-Gi BJJ is to wresting, particularly in terms of gripping and escaping, ear guards are a smart choice to help you avoid the painful process of draining your ears after practice.
Venum Kontact Evo Ear Guard
- Made from Neoprene
- Three-way enclosure system
- One size fits all
- High-density foam
- Comfortable and light
A great ear guard to start with, Venum’s Kontact Evo ear guard is soft as described. It helps protect your ears while keeping you perfectly comfortable all the time. The ear guard is completely adjustable and sits tightly in place once you find the perfect fit.
Ultrasoft neoprene panels ensure high-level protection, plus feature moisture-wicking properties. Very importantly, the ear guard does not impede your ability to hear, thanks to the use of modern technology in the design. Moreover, the smooth outer fabric reduces skin irritation. Molded shells guarantee a maximal level of protection. Does not hinder training experience.
ASICS Unisex Gel Wrestling Ear Guard
- Gel technology for extended protection
- 3-strap closure system
This ear guard is slightly different than the neoprene headgear before. It is simpler in design, yet offers even more protection. It is a piece of NO-Gi gear for people that really like to go all-out when grappling. Once again, it is fully adjustable and easy to set up to your liking.
The material guarantees comfort and the design is minimalistic, meaning you’re not wearing a helmet, but just ear guards with straps. The protective panels contain special GEL technology that cushions even the hardest blows. Extremely lightweight and available in three different colors. One size fits all.
BJJ No-Gi Gear Frequently Asked Questions
What should I wear to my first No-Gi BJJ class?
The best thing to wear to a first No-GI BJJ class is a T-shirt and shorts that are comfortable but do not contain any accessories like zippers or pockets. The ideal attire would be a rashguard, spats, and shorts, but that is for those that are maybe trying out No-Gi for the first time and have some experience training in the Gi.
Is No-Gi better than Gi?
Simply put – no, but it is different. Apart from the obvious lapel and collar-based techniques, most things that work with the Gi will work in No-Gi as well. However, No-Gi si more dynamic does provide movement options for both partners that would be easy to block when wearing a Gi. NO-Gi will teach you a different way of controlling people though, and how to escape more proficiently.
Is No-Gi harder than Gi?
That would be a yes. The lack of grip surfaces and the lack of friction makes it very hard to hold on to people. In other words, things you think you can pull off in the Gi will need adjustments in No-Gi, really improving your level of control. That, paired with the dynamic nature of movement exchanges means that without the Gi, you should be ready to have your cardio tested a lot more.
Does No-Gi help Gi?
It certainly does. You will learn how to use direct grips (wrists, elbows neck, knees, ankles, etc.) and you will get the chance to explore how to use grip configurations like S-grip, plan to palm, V-grip, etc. Moreover, you will develop a reaction time that will help you beat or at least match Gi-only players’ speed.
What Color should my No-GI gear be?
That is influenced by two things. The first one is the academy’s code. Most academies are quite loose on the subject, allowing people to wear whatever they want to No-Gi, which is exactly why there’s such a rich choice of colorful No-Gi gear available. However, some academies have strict No-Gi attire rules which you’ll need to obey. The same holds true for competitions, where you need full black or white shorts and a ranked rashguard.
How do I choose BJJ No-Gi Gear?
You should first and foremost go for quality. Then, consider a design you like, but do keep in mind if you’re going to compete in the same No-Gi gear as well (that limits you to IBJJF approved attire only). Apart from that, price and available sizes will be the final two parameters that might affect your choice of No-Gi BJJ gear.
Should I wash my No-GI gear after every use?
Yes, absolutely! No-Gi gear, and especially rashguards and spats are designed to be moisture-wicking, which means you will need to wash them as soon as possible after training. the good thing is that all of the best No-Gi gear is machine washable and dries really fast, so you really do not have that much of a chore in that regard.
Can white belts wear black BJJ rashguards and spats?
It depends again on the academy rules, but in most cases, in training, the answer here is yes. In competition, the answer is no on the rashguard and yes on the shorts. Spats are not allowed in competition. When it comes to training though, I doubt most academies will not allow white belts to wear black No-Gi gear, or any color gear, for that matter.
No-Gi gear is fun to collect and even more, fun to wear when you have the best pieces. Try anything, (or better yet, everything) from our list and notice the difference compared to your usual No-Gi gear. It is all about comfort, performance, and support, and you get it tall in our guide, with nothing but the best priced and highest quality products available. Time to kit up!