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What Do I Wear For No Gi BJJ?
There are many reasons a Gi class versus a No Gi class in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are different from a technical perspective, but one of the most basic aspects that separates them is what you wear.
If you have a Gi (which you should, if you have a membership at a martial arts gym) then you are all set for Gi class- simple! Nogi, on the other hand, is a little more complicated; do you wear shorts, leggings, tights, long sleeves, a T-Shirt? So many options!
If you are attending your first few classes and still learning fundamentals like breakfalls, shrimping etc. then wearing athletic clothes you have around the house already is fine, put on those gym shorts and T-Shirt and just get to class! Once you have committed to Jiu Jitsu and are planning on making yourself a regular then you should invest in some more appropriate NoGi attire. It is best to take into consideration what the IBJJF approves for competition use, even if you are not planning on entering a competition soon, so you can be the most comfortable in that gear.
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For NoGi grappling your shirt should be elastic and cling to your body rather than hang loose or billow. These shirts (Rashguards) are usually made of moisture wicking material that helps with thermoregulation during rolls. Secondly, the fact that they cling to your body and don’t ride up or move around limits skin-to-skin contact, which aids in the prevention of diseases such as ring-worm. Rashguards are approved in both short sleeve and long sleeve form, depending on your preference.
NoGi bottoms should be grappling shorts, also referred to as fight shorts, MMA shorts or Vale Tudo shorts; Spats are also an option for training, but in competition must be worn underneath your grappling shorts. It is also acceptable to train in Gi pants during NoGi, but this will give your opponent an advantage since they will have more fabric to grab and control your bottom half with. Grappling shorts are made for the movements and Jiu Jitsu techniques you will be doing, thus giving you the freedom and flexibility to carry out the different motions you are putting your body through during a grappling session. They do not slide off easily, stay in place and do not contain any metal (zippers, buttons).
Approved NoGi competition gear is similar for both Men and Women. Rashguards should be solid black, solid white or black and white. It is necessary to be the correct length so your belt is visible as well, so your rank is clear to officials. If you do not plan on wearing a belt then a rashguard that is the color of your belt rank is also accepted. Board shorts are not allowed to have pockets, even if they are stitched shut.
It is also illegal to have shorts with metal or plastic to avoid injury. They must reach at least halfway down the thigh, or no more than six inches (fifteen centimeters) above the knee. Spats or lycra shorts/pants are also accepted. The coloring of your bottoms should be either primarily black, white or a combination black and white with less than or equal to half of the coloring the same as your belt rank.
Here are some examples of approved gear for both men and women:
Short or Long Sleeved Rashguards are accepted, these are good examples of predominantly black with some white so they are competition legal.
Grappling shorts with leggings or spats underneath, grappling/fight shorts on their own that land just above the knee or training spats by themselves are all great options for NoGi night at the gym.
What NOT to wear:
Shorts With Zipper Pockets
Loose Tank Top
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