Finding the right grappling shorts is crucial to every grappler who plans to do No Gi BJJ, wrestling, or MMA. Grappling shorts are designed not only to soak sweat and dry easily, but it also helps facilitate movement. Grappling shorts are somewhat similar to your typical board shorts. However, there are some important variations on its design. Grappling shorts shouldn’t have any outside pockets or any metal rings. These have been removed to avoid injuries. And also, grappling shorts should be thick enough to withstand friction whenever you are having a grappling session.
If you prefer not to read the whole article, our clear winner for grappling shorts is Elite Sports Star Fight Shorts.
How to Spot the Best Shorts For Grappling
Known as fight shorts, MMA shorts, or simply grappling shorts, this gear has become essential for MMA fighters as well as grapplers alike. Nowadays, there are a great number of brands out there to choose from. And the most common dilemma for any grappler is choosing the perfect grappling shorts. Here are some pointers that can help you choose the right one.
Type of grappling shorts
The first thing that you have to consider is the style of the grappling shorts. We’ll go into detail the two most common types of grappling shorts. One, you have the type that looks similar to board shorts. On the other hand, you also have the Vale Tudo MMA shorts that are more like compression underwear.
The design of your grappling short is also crucial especially if you are a competitor. There are some BJJ organizations that are quite particular about the type of grappling shorts that are going to be allowed for its competitors. And of course, the more you feel good how you look, the better it is for you.
It’s common that the sizing of each brand is different from one another. Usually, it depends on the manufacturer that they use. When it comes to the sizing of your grappling shorts, you don’t want it to be too tight or too loose. You want the sizing to be just right to your body frame.
But of course, you will have to do a lot of research. Try to get the measurement for the shorts and see what size you should go for in a particular brand.
Next, the material of the grappling shorts is also important. It has to be durable and should be able to get soaked and dry fast. You want to choose a grappling short that won’t tear in case you use it consistently for training or competition.
Ability to Move
Doing no gi jiu jitsu is all about movement. In fact, compared to doing gi jiu jitsu, no gi is all about the explosive movements and scrambles. And because of this, you want to make sure that the shorts will allow you to move around without worrying that the material is going to break. Typically, it is important for the grappling shorts to have a flexible material in the crotch area, considering that you will be moving your legs a lot.
Cut and length
Next, the cut and the length will also be a good consideration for you. There are grapplers who prefer to have a slit on their grappling shorts while there are others who prefer to have a normal cut on their shorts. Also, there are those who prefer to have shorts that are around the length of their knees, while there are those who want to it shorter.
Different Types of Grappling Shorts
There are different types of grappling shorts. There are around three popular versions of MMA or grappling shorts in the market today.
Board Style Grappling Shorts
First, you have the board style grappling shorts. This is the most popular option for a lot of grapplers. It looks a lot like your typical board shorts. However, instead of metal rings and a rope to tighten up the waist, you have velcro material being used. There are grappling shorts designed to have their drawstring as well. Also, these types of shorts don’t have the pockets that you typically see in board shorts.
Modern day designs include a stretchable material found in the crotch area of the shorts. This allows the user to move around without being restricted by the shorts.
The board style shorts are not only popular in MMA. It is also popular in BJJ and submission grappling and submission grappling circuits. These shorts are the ones legally used in major BJJ competitions ranging from IBJJF and ASJJF/SJJIF.
Vale Tudo Shorts
Now, another option that grapplers can go for is a Vale Tudo style grappling shorts. This option allows maximum movement on the part of the grappler. And in the past, it has been popularized by a number of MMA fighters like Anderson Silva and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
What makes this different is that these are designed as compression MMA shorts. The bad news though is that it tends to be a bit short for some users. Usually, Vale Tudo shorts are above the knees in length and are designed just like compression underwear.
Best Shorts for Grappling
We’ve come up with some of the best shorts that you can go for if you plan on training MMA or doing grappling.
Made of 100% 150-gsm polyester material, the Elite Series Fight Sports offer a great tear-resistant fabric that can help grapplers push themselves beyond their limit. It offers superb stitching on all the stress areas too.
It offers both ergonomics and comfort to its user as it offers aggressive side slits that allow side to side movements. In addition to this, it makes use of two-fold non-chaffing velcro closure to secure the shorts. And inside, you also get to have a drawstring to secure the shorts during training.
The design of the shorts has been carefully studied to ensure that a grappler gets to move around without worrying about any restriction. It is also a good alternative pair of training shorts for those who plan to do Cross Fit. And unlike other fight shorts, it also has a good fit and length. It isn’t too long and it isn’t too short.
The good thing about the Elite Sports Star Series is that it offers different colors for its users. You can choose from white to red, to other colors based on your preference. It also has a simplistic design that makes the fight shorts even a good option for IBJJF grappling tournaments for white, blue belts and black belts.
The RDX MMA Shorts is another great option for grapplers and MMA fighters. These fight shorts are great for those who are looking for something that they can use for a long time. It is a good pair of training shorts considering the durability that it offers.
It makes use of fabric known for its tear-resistant properties. This means that even if someone accidentally grabbed your shorts, you actually don’t have to worry that it will get ripped off. Next, RDX MMA shorts also make use of T3 stitching to ensure that it doesn’t give out on stress areas. It also has a slit right at the edge of the shorts in order to give the user an opportunity to do different grappling and striking movements.
The only problem with these shorts is that it is a bit too long. It means that though it has a good design overall, it can still limit the way you move. Plus, it doesn’t look fashionable whenever you wear it. It also has a loud design that doesn’t match the modern look of top MMA/BJJ shorts. It also tends to lack the elasticity that other fight shorts have. It means that you might find yourself thinking twice whether to make your move considering how the shorts can limit your movement.
The Hayabusa Metaru Charged BJJ fight shorts are made specifically for no gi players. What makes it such a good option is that it is a ranked rashguard. Since IBJJF made the necessary changes in its prescribed no gi uniform, Hayabusa came up with fight shorts that are available in different colors. It is available in black/white, blue, purple, and brown making it a good option if you plan on competing in an IBJJF tournament soon.
In terms of construction, these BJJ/MMA shorts are well made based on the material used by Hayabusa. It also has great workmanship in terms of the stitching found in all areas of the shorts especially in areas with the most stress. It also makes use of stretch panels to help with the person’s movement.
There is a bit of a problem though when it comes to the fit of these BJJ shorts. For one, you have the fact that it doesn’t have an elastic waistband. It means that you will have to pull the shorts up if you want to lock it in your waist. It can be a bit uncomfortable at first as you will have to pull it over your butt. Also, though it makes use of great materials, it can still be a bit restrictive, despite the stretch panels.
Fuji is known for its no-nonsense simplistic design. For the last decades, the brand has been known both in judo and in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Over the years, Fuji has been known for making Gis. But this time around, the Fuji Baseline Grappling Shorts prove that the brand is also capable of producing high-quality and stylish no gi gear.
This product offers high-quality material that can easily make it possible for you to train in it for a long period of time. You won’t have to worry about the possible tears both from accidental grips and grappling and striking movement. It is also lightweight which makes it a great option for those who plan to compete. And as for the fit, it allows you to wear them without the possibility of falling off.
Unlike other fight shorts that have a slit by the side, the Fuji Baseline skips this part. Instead, it offers enough clearance for your side to side movement and your high kicks.
The design is also simplistic. You won’t see much except the logo of the brand. And because of this, it has become a favorite among competitors. This is the type of fight shorts that won’t give you any problem with an IBJJF checker.
Anthem Athletics Resilience MMA shorts offer comfortable grappling apparel that can be enjoyed not only by grapplers and MMA enthusiasts. Built using tear-resistant polyester, it offers something great construction for daily use and even for competition. It also has different colors to choose from. In fact, it has a great design that can also be appreciated by those who love to do CrossFit and even running.
Wearing the Anthem Athletics Resilience MMA shorts give you the optimal movement that you need. And for this reason, it can be used not only for BJJ and MMA but also for Muay Thai and going to the gym every now and then. It has a 4-way stretch crotch that gives you the ability to move your legs without the possibility of tearing your shorts.
The size is a bit weird for the Anthem Athletics. Unlike other brands that are quite accurate when it comes to sizing, you will have to order a pair that is an inch bigger than your waist measurement. If your waist measures 32”, you will have to get the shorts that measure 33”. However, there were times when some users find the sizing to be a bit too big for them despite following Anthem’s instructions.
Having the right no gi attire can play a crucial role in how you play. It affects more than your looks. In fact, the right choice of no gi shorts gives you the ability to perform well. Nowadays, there are a lot of grappling shorts available on the market. In fact, a lot of these products are similar considering the fact that lycra/polyester seems to have become the gold standard of today’s grappling shorts.
But given all the products that we’ve covered, we consider the Elite Sports Star Fight Shorts as the clear winner in this batch. It has a great cut, fit and design that is suitable for any grappler who plans to do no gi. It is also a great option for those who plan to do MMA considering that you have the necessary movement that you need.