Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a combat sport, and we’ve all had our fair share of bumps and bruises along the way. Most of these injuries are minor – stubbed toes, split lips, and the occasional sprain – but some can be quite serious. We’ve put together a list of our favorite protective gear for BJJ to help you avoid preventable injuries and spend more time on the mat instead of healing up at home!
Mouthguards for BJJ
Teeth are one of those body parts you never want to be able to see without a mirror. Using a mouthguard will keep your pearly whites safely inside your mouth where they belong!
Wearing a mouthguard results in a 10x reduction in risk of dental injuries! As redditor u/whitebeltforeva so aptly said: “Wear a mouth guard or help your dentist pay off his boat! It’s simple”
Despite being just 2 mm thin, this mouthguard comes with an impressive $50,000 warranty. Check out our full, hands-on review of this mouthguard for a more detailed look at this minimalist mouth protector.
For 10% off of a Sisu mouthguard, use code LEGACY10.
At the end of the day, boil-n-bite mouthguards rarely fit perfectly. Impact solves this problem by offering custom-fit mouthguards. The way they do this is by sending you a dental mold which you bite in order to make an impression of your teeth. Then, using the provided shipping label, you send the mold back to the company to be turned into a comfortable, stylish, and durable mouthguard. Check out our full, hands-on review of this mouthguard for a more detailed look at this custom mouth protector.
For 10% off of an Impact custom mouthguard, use code JIUJITSULEGACY.
Headgear for BJJ
People who have cauliflower ear wear it like a badge of honor – but here’s a secret: they don’t really have a choice anymore! Cauliflower is permanent and the surgery to fix it is incredibly expensive! Avoid it in the first place by wearing headgear and save yourself from a lifetime of cauliflower ear!
Check out our full article to see our complete guide to BJJ headgear and ear protectors.
Some BJJ ear protectors are known for being less than comfortable – but this set from Matman breaks that mold and offers protection and comfort.
This is easily the most adjustable headgear out there and is guaranteed to offer a great fit. Not only does this offer protection, but you’ll be able to hear at the same time! No more taking off headgear between rounds, so you can hear who you’re being paired up with next!
Knee pads for BJJ
In BJJ we put our joints through a lot of abuse. The best knee pads for BJJ provide both protection from impact and stability. Whether you’re looking for knee pads to prevent injury or to protect and rehabilitate an old injury, this article has you covered.
Bauerfeind is the best in the business, and this knee pad is great for anyone who has suffered a knee injury in the past and is looking for protection and support.
The Mizuno Elite is designed for Volleyball, but that doesn’t mean it won’t help for BJJ. This kneepad has great padding and is perfect for anyone whose knees hurt after taking one too many wrestling shots.
You’ve no doubt witnessed your gym’s competitors or an older Jiu Jitsu player in your gym sitting in their chosen corner of the mat, meticulously looping tape around each finger. While there isn’t a ton of scientific evidence supporting taping, most tape users report greater confidence due to the physical support, in addition to reduced pain during and after training.
Here are our top two choices for BJJ finger tape. For a complete look at finger taping, check out this article.
This is the tape of choice for JJL’s editor and for good reason. This easy to tear tape tears easily, stays on all class, and comes off without leaving any residue behind!
Powerful adhesive and lots of available sizes set this premium brand of BJJ finger tape apart from the competition.
While we often worry about the injuries we can get from submissions, our time on the mats exposes us to the invisible dangers posed by bacteria and fungus. Staph or ringworm will take you off the mat just as much as a sprained ankle! Keep these bugs at bay with a quality antifungal soap.
Check out our full article for more info about antifungal soaps for BJJ.
Defense soap is more or less the golden standard when it comes to antifungal soaps for athletes. This bar soap uses a mix of essential oils to eliminate fungal threats and keep you smelling fresh.
The antifungal body wash by Viking Revolution is the perfect choice for grapplers. This antifungal soap comes in a liquid form and helps deal with anything from athlete’s foot to eczema and body odors.
Guys, do you see something missing?
If you were expecting to see a cup recommended, think again. While these are a regular fixture of MMA, cups are illegal in most tournaments, including those which follow IBJJF rules, and for good reason. The cup poses a risk both to the wearer and to their training partner. In certain positions like arm bars and back control, a cup can impart an unfair advantage to the wearer.
Other protective gear for BJJ, like knee pads, is required to be soft, and so it should come as no surprise that a hard plastic cup is not welcome in our sport.
While there is a small risk of an errant limb striking your family jewels, the reality is that this is far less common than you may suspect, and while uncomfortable these impacts very rarely result in anything more than short term discomfort. Do your team a favor and leave your cup at home, or save it for MMA sparring sessions.
Evan is nomadic brown belt, currently living in Mexico. He enjoys pressure passes and tacos.