Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art that requires a lot of accessories to make your training comfortable. Even in terms of customary training apparel, you need many more pieces than just your Gi. As years go by and you become a true BJJ addict, your Jiu-Jitsu gear is going to slowly grow bigger. This is due to the nature of the sport and the fact that your experience teaches you what you really need on the mats. Actually, it extends beyond the mats and includes pre and post-training items as well as an “emergency situations kit”. Let’s take a good look at the Jiu-Jitsu gear essentials you absolutely need to have in your BJJ Gi Bag with you every time you go to class!
So you’re all serious about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. You got your Gi and you’re all ready to conquer the grappling world! You even have your specialized BJJ Gi Bag all packed up. Hold your horses there, cowboy, as you still have a boatload of taps to go before you even realize what it is you’ve gotten yourself into. That said, once you accept the BJJ lifestyle you’ll soon find out that a Gi just won’t cut it. You are going to need a bit more Jiu-Jitsu gear than that, along with a suitable bag to place it all in.
Just like with any other sport, grappling requires specific JIu-JItsu gear to make training possible. As such, some things are absolutely essential for training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. For example, the aforementioned Gi. And a belt, never forget the belt! On top of that, you have the essential accessories you’ll need to get through training. And there’s also the gear that is not crucial but helps make you BJJ experience more pleasant. Especially once all those pesky little injuries start.
The Complete Jiu-JItsu Gear Guide
First of all, you need a good BJJ Gi bag or backpack. Here is a list of our choice of the Best BJJ Backpacks For 2021. Pick your favorite and let’s go train!
So, time to go to the gym. Grab your favorite BJJ Gi bag or backpack, throw the Gi in and go. Proceed to fume when you arrive there and discover that your belt is still on the drying rack. Furthermore, you left your mouthpiece on the sink. Now you got to get through class beltless (if your instructor allows it) and hope your teeth survive all rounds of rolling.
Granted, I’m being a bit dramatic but it’s nothing you haven’t experienced so far at least once. The better approach is to have everything organized so that you’re sure that you at least have the minimum required Jiu-Jitsu gear on you at all times. This requires just a little bit of pre-planning on your part, and perhaps 20 minutes in a week to do an inventory. So, pick up your bag, turn it upside down until everything comes out (pinch your nose if you have to) and get ready to start packing. This is what you’ll need:
There’s really no point in mentioning this but stick with me. You need a Gi in order to train BJJ (unless you’re training at an exclusively No-gi gym). That means having both Gi pants and a jacket, preferably of the same variety packed in your BJJ Gi bag. Another very obvious point (yet somehow easily ignored by many) is to pack a clean Gi for every training session. If you’re new, wash your Gi regularly. If you’ve been training for a while, you already have at least a couple of Gis to rotate.
Make sure you have a good folding system for your Gi so that it doesn’t take up unnecessary space. Best case scenario, especially for those that train multiple times a day, is to pack a second backup Gi. Yes, it can be a logistical nightmare, so if you do not have space in your bag, you don’t need it. But if you can keep it there, by all means, have a backup!
This is probably the one piece of essential gear that people forget more than anything. In all honesty, it is quite easy to misplace a belt after washing it. There’s an easy fix for this through – a separate pocket in your BJJ Gi bag. Designate one pocket of your gym bag to carry nothing but your belt(s). Before you train, when you pack your Gi in, sneak a peek into the pocket. It’ll turn into a habit very soon and you’ll never forget a belt at home again!
Once again, you can get a backup belt and keep it in your bag. Same pocket or a different one, regardless, this is the one certain way to never be without a belt on the mats.
Now, this falls under the essentials even if you do not train without the Gi ever! As you should already know by now, you need to have a rashguard underneath your Gi, preferably both top and bottom. A rashguard and a pair of spats can do wonders in terms of protecting both your health and making your Gi last longer. Of course, a rashguard and spats need to be clean for every training session, so make it a habit to pack them with your Gi(s).
Secondly, if you have at least one No-Gi session per week, make sure you’re ready beforehand. Use your “inventory” time to pack a pair of shorts into your BJJ Gi bag. There’s no need to get them out until you use them, and you never know when you might need them. They do not take up a lot of space anyway.
This is the last crucial piece of Jiu-Jitsu gear you need to keep in your bag at all times. And, by personal protection, I mean a mouthguard. Along with the belt, this is another piece of equipment really easy to misplace. So, to avoid hiccups, assign it a permanent place in your bag. After training, get it out, wash it and leave it to dry where you can see it. Pack it back into the bag the moment it’s dry enough.
The Injury Kit
When you start training, this is not going to be a priority. As the years go by, you’re going to need yet another whole compartment of your BJJ Gi bag to fit this kit into. The one mandatory thing is athletic tape, and, if you need them, scissors.
Next, you have all your supportive gear. Knee pads, ankle wraps, elbow braces and all the rest fall into this category. Of course, you favorite pain-relief product (most likely in some sort of balm form) should also be a permanent feature of your gear.
Personal Hygiene Products
I can’t stress this point enough. While you do not need it per se, a basic personal hygiene kit is really a must. For your own health, and for that of others, look to have an antibacterial soap with you. This is going to ensure you stay clear of stuff like ringworm, staph, and other pests that might lurk in a gym. Since you’re already showering, a small towel and a bottle of deodorant are also not hard to carry. Particularly when you have a specialized BJJ Gi bag.
A very important point is to never forget flip-flops, along with something to store them in. A basic supermarket bag will do, as long as they do not come in touch with anything else in your bag. Use flip flops to get around the gym (apart from the mats, of course).
And, all you ladies out there, have a feminine product or two, ready, in case of surprises.
Bottle / Shaker
This goes without saying but still, when you pack plan some space for at least your water bottle. If you’re like most grapplers out there you’ll probably need a shaker bottle as well. Whether you fill it up with state-of-the-art supplements or a Gracie diet smoothie, you’ll need to fit it in the bag.
Finally, if you have the opportunity, have small pocket designated for everyday items. This is where you can keep your headphones, a phone charger, sunglasses, car keys, etc. This will work in reverse of all the other pockets in your bag. This is the pocket that’ll help you bring everything you need home from the gym instead of the other way around.
If you can make sure you get al lof the items above to fit in your BJJ Gi Bag, you’re truly ready for anything! In all honesty, though, you probably do not need every single item at any given time. However, make sure you at least have all your essentials packed neatly, and make it a point to keep everything clean. To that extent, never leave sweaty Jiu-JItsu gear in your bag any longer than absolutely necessary!