When beginners start up they’re usually aware that they need a Gi but what they often learn along the way is that there’s plenty of other trinkets necessary to make the jiu-jitsu journey as effective and as safe as possible.
Mouthguard is a first Absolute Must Have on our list. This small accessory, sort of speak, can save you plenty of discomfort as well as money. While gi burns, blisters and broken toes are somewhat shrugged off, people are rarely nonchalant about breaking their teeth.
Accidents happen even to the best of us, no matter how careful we are. Check out a snap from the submission only expert Garry Tonon:
Of course, starting jiu-jitsu doesn’t automatically mean you have to go a special custom mouthguard for both upper and lower jaw that tastes like coca cola, but some protection is more than welcome. Especially if you’re partial to spazzing.
Kneepads are not necessarily a requirement but they might end up saving you a lot of trouble long term. Depending on what kind of mats you exercise on you might want to wear knee support that ranges from knee compression sleeve upto a volleyball kneepad. There are no particular rules but knee support is especially welcome if you practice on some form of puzzle mats and especially so if you’re female – because it’s scientifically proven knees and particularly ligaments in the knees are more fragile in female practicioners.
Finger Tape is another welcome help. Sports like rock climbing, wrestling, judo, jiu jitsu, BJJ, volleyball, and basketball can sprain fingers or put gradual wear and tear on your knuckles from the daily grind. Thin medical tape specifically designed and cut for fingers, such as Tape Armor will provide you with the necessary support to prevent injury and help recovery.
You can watch a simple finger taping technique here.
Rashguard is an absolute must have in most situations. Many beginners come to NoGi classes dressed like gangsta rappers with wide clothes and or shorts. This type of clothing is more than likely to frustrate your sparring partner. While some will have complete disregard for your property and will probably end up tearing some of it, others will try to work around it. Sooner or later you’re gonna come in a T shirt but why not make it easier on your sparring partners and make that T shirt not go upto your knees.
This is a must for another reason – some people take it in a completely different direction.
This brings us to another important aspect – borrowing necessities once or twice is bound to happen but running around and borrowing every single session is a bit distasteful especially given how much the bjj lifestyle can set you back financially.
This is why it should be a given that you have your own Waterbottle. While nobody will deny a thirsty teammate it’s fairly annoying if it happens on the regular. It’s the equivalent of constantly asking your family members to bring you a glass of water while you sit comfortably in an armchair. Not to mention it’s not really the most hygienic.
Flipflops are a handy way to avoid compromising the mats. Nobody wants athlete’s foot or smelly shoes so why not invest in a pair of cheap flip flops that could serve as a go between for mats, shower and a bathroom trip here or there.