8 Things to Pack in Your Bag for BJJ Class! Some Things Aren’t That Obvious
Showing up to BJJ class is the first step. You do also need to carry a couple items to help conquer you training
When you’re training, you’re trying to think about all the techniques, all the basics, getting to class on time, competing and a whole bunch of other things. The last thing you’re thinking about is what to carry in your bag. I've talked about the best BJJ training bags to buy, but never what to put into that bag. The long and short of it is that you put whatever you think you need to carry for before, during and after class. But there many things you might not have considered.
For me, my bag changes depending on the time of year and the class I’m doing. If it’s the summertime, I’m just going to the gym, changing my clothes, and leaving to enjoy the warm air. In the wintertime, I might take my time with a warm shower at the gym, a little time spent in the sauna and then putting on some comfy clothes to go home.
Whatever you decide to carry again is up to you but here is a list of things you should carry in your BJJ bag based on what class you’re doing and some things you need to ensure you are comfortable and prepared.
Things to carry in Your Bag for BJJ Class
I think this is the most obvious item to carry in any jiu-jitsu bag. To me, this is the most important item to carry in your bag for a number of reasons: 1) you don’t want to be the funky person in class 2) You don’t want to spread other people sweat all over you and 3) You don’t want to spread ringworm.
The type of toiletries depends on what you need but typically I carry: body wash, deodorant, body spray, face wash, and lotion.
Some of these things change depending on if I have plans after I train but these items generally stay in my toiletries’ bag.
2. Comfy Clothes
After you shower and you’re about to go home or go out or do whatever you like to do after training, sometimes it’s best to have something comfortable to wear after. Everyone’s level of comfort differs but I personally don’t like squeezing into jeans after I shower and train. Plus, if you went to the gym with your work clothes, I’m sure you don’t want to put on dirty clothes after showering.
Putting a comfortable sweatshirt, sweatpants or leggings in your bag gives you a nice comfortable set of clothes to have after your training session. I personally have my favorite sweatshirt and pants that I wear especially if I’m planning to go out after training with my teammates.
Bonus: I actually bring two -extra pairs of underwear: one for training and one for after the shower. It’s important just so I don’t smell funky when I train.
3. Training Clothes
This is the most obvious one especially if you’re me and you constantly forget to pack your belt or sometimes even your gi pants. Personally, I like to have my gi, my belt, rashguard, spats for no-gi, shorts for under my gi, and an extra rashguard (just in case). Sometimes if it’s open mat, I’ll make sure I have my gear for both gi and no-gi. Not a lot to say here but make sure you bring your gear.
4. Tape, First-aid stuff, and other odds and ends
These are smaller items that your gym might have but it’s always good to have your own just to have it. Tape is great for taping knuckles to secure your finger joints, keeping a band aid on, or replacing (or adding stripes to your belt). Carrying first aid items doesn’t need to be a big to-do. Just band-aids and wraps will suffice. Some other items you might considering carrying are nail clippers, mouth guards, head gear, hair ties, or a knee brace. I even carry pain killers just in case. It’s all up to you.
5. Flip-flops or slides
You don’t understand how important flip-flops and slides are when it comes to bjj training. You might not need them on the mat but when it comes to getting off the mat, grabbing some water, going to the bathroom, or showering after class, they are vital in terms of preventing the spread of nasty germs and viruses such as ringworm. Keep in mind that your face is going to touch the mat one way or another. So, if someone walks off the mat barefoot where people’s dirty ass, dog poop, spit, snot rocket, pee-pee shoes have been, all that will get back on the mat. So PLEASE don’t forget your flip-flops or at least shoes that can easily slip on and off.
6. Notebook and pen
If you’re new to BJJ, you’re probably thinking. I’m here to roll not be in school! Why do I need a notebook and pen Well first off, technically the gym is a school and second, I don’t care how big brained you are, it’s hard to remember everything you’ve learned throughout the years. Having a dedicated notebook for BJJ review, notes, and training logs is the best way to remember and track your progress.
7. Water bottle
This one goes without saying. You gotta stay hydrated! Especially if your coach likes to crank up the heater even in the summer (all the BJJ veterans know about their coaches trying to simulate Brazil heat) and make sure you and your team gets an intense sweat on. Plus, be environmentally friendly and try to avoid buying water bottles if you can help it.
8. Protein and snacks
After an intense session, you need to make sure that you’re fueling your body right after the class. I sometimes carry some protein powder, coconut water or Gatorade, a bar, some fruit, or a pre-mixed protein shake for after class.
9. BONUS: Make-up
Sometimes if you’re planning to go out after class, it’s nice to make sure you have a bit of make-up or something to help the transition from mat to going out a bit easier. When I plan to go out on a date after class but don’t want to take forever to do my make-up, I make sure I’m carrying a compact, eyeliner, mascara, small eyeshadow pallet, and lip gloss to make that transition easier.
Stay Ready so You don’t have to get ready
Being prepared for jiu-jitsu isn’t just about coming to class and learning the moves. It’s about having the right tools and equipment to help you be successful before, during, and after class.
What is your top three things to carry in your BJJ bag and why? Share with me on Instagram @blackgirlwhitegi_bjj