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  • Writer's pictureJess D

What to Wear Under Your BJJ Gi: A Black Girl, White Gi Guide

When gearing up to train in the gi in jiu-jitsu, make sure you are wearing the right undergarments. Check out this guide!

white jiu jitsu gi pink letters jiu-jitsu

 

 

During jiu-jitsu training, what you wear matters. Since you’ll be rolling around with other people, you want to make sure that you and your training partners are comfortable. This guide is aimed at providing you with dos and don’ts of what to wear under your gi to make your life easier when it comes to training jiu-jitsu in the gi. 

 

One thing to keep in mind is that your jiu-jitsu attire might go through a revolution as you get through the sport: you might go from your gym gi and whatever exercise clothes you have in your closet to having all the latest gis, rashguards, and whatever athleisure for jiu-jitsu there is out there.

 

Here is a guide on what you should wear under your gi for BJJ training. 

 

Things to Keep in Mind About BJJ Undergarments: Sweat and More


sweaty face. sweat beads after exercise looking down

The one thing you should keep in mind is that sweat is everywhere! It doesn’t matter if you don’t sweat a lot. Someone else’s sweat will get onto you. It’s a gross thought but it’s the nature of the sport of jiu-jitsu.  Because you sweat, you want to make sure that you are wearing materials that won’t hold in sweat and the weigh you down aka t-shirts and cotton material. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been waterboarded by someone else’s t-shirt on my face.

 

Another thing you must keep in mind is that you want to wear things that feel comfortable and don’t restrict your movement. So, finding the right compression gear, rash guards, and shorts that aren’t too tight and don’t make you chafe is important.

 

 

BJJ Rashguards


jiu-jitsu rash guard assortment black, yellow, multicolored

The first thing that you will most likely wear under your jiu-jitsu gi is a rashguard.  I know that many people just wear their bare skin or a sports bra under their gi which I think is required for some competitions.   That’s fine but there are a couple of things that I consider; For example, grips, specifically in gi. Sometimes if your bare skin is out, you get pinched or scratched, and sometimes your gi folds in different areas which also causes pinching to your skin.  Another thing is mat burn. If your gi opens while you are training and your skin slides against the mat, it’s going to hurt.

 

 

For me specifically and many people who are affected by keloid scarring, I am always trying to prevent my scars from touching the mat and having other people grabbing or scratching them.  The reason for a rashguard is to protect your skin from these scratches, pitching, mat burn, and skin-to-skin contact, especially if someone has some unknown rash that did not see before training (if you have an unknown rash, please don’t train).

 

For my ladies with large breasts, rashguards are a must. Even if you have the most supportive bra in the world you don’t want to have your chest on other people. Even for me as a non-large-chested girl, I have squished people with my boobs.

 

 

Long Sleeve vs. Short Sleeve Rashguards: Which One Do I Pick?

 

You might be asking yourself “Should I wear a long sleeve or a short sleeve rashguard under my gi?” My answer for you is that it doesn’t matter.  It’s all up to your preference. For example, usually during the winter months, I tend to wear long-sleeved rashguards under my gi and make sure my gi is on the thicker side, so I stay a bit warm when I roll.

 

If you tend to get hot, then short-sleeved rashguards might be your best bet. But keep in mind your arms can still get pinched under your gi because your arms are exposed.

 

 

What Bottoms Should I Wear Under My Gi?


jiu-jitsu bjj shorts and spats bjj leggings. leggings for jiu-jitsu 93 brand

When it comes to your bottoms, spats and compression shorts are the way to go. You want to make sure the bottoms you wear underneath your gi can fit into your gi pants, so no thick sweatpants or non-stretch material pants. Spats and compression shorts give you the support you need, don’t absorb sweat that much, and make sure that you’re able to move around freely.

 

Using BJJ Shorts vs. Using BJJ Spats

 

Using BJJ shorts or spats (leggings for jiu-jitsu) is up to you. What you choose also might depend on the climate you’re in as well: if you’re in a hot climate most of the time then shorts under your gi might work better. If you experience perpetual cold or want to sweat in the heat, then spats might be for you. Everything depends on what makes you feel comfortable.

 

 

What to Wear Underneath it All: Underwear


assorted lace women's underwear what to wear under fitness clothes

 

The topic of undergarments can be a bit touchy and of course, your underwear preferences are yours to keep.  The best underwear for women while doing jiu-jitsu or any other workout activity is cotton underwear to prevent yeast infections and bacteria.  In addition, finding the best sports bra that provides great support while you roll is also very important. Plus, the support is very different.  If you’re running, you want something for your breasts to not come up and hit you in the face. In jiu-jitsu, we must be mindful about rolling on our chest or our opponents applying pressure to our chest area. I can account for many uncomfortable times when someone accidentally pressed me too hard.  Many bras can support you well and there are even some that are made just for jiu-jitsu.  We want to make sure our areas are protected.

 

Men’s Underwear in Jiu-Jitsu and Protection

 

I’m not a man but I do have male friends and training partners, so I’ve heard a few things. For men, I’ve heard that it’s best to wear briefs or boxers briefs for jiu-jitsu to prevent your man bits from going everywhere and to keep you secure.  In addition, wearing a cup might add support and protection to your area.  I have friends who wear cups and friends who don’t wear cups.  Like everything else, it’s up to your discretion and security.

 

 

Going Commando in Jiu-Jitsu: Don’t


woman crossing her arms indicated not to do something


In my opinion, going commando in jiu-jitsu is a big no-no. Just don’t do it. There have been many debates about going commando while working out, but for jiu-jitsu, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

1.     Jiu-jitsu is close contact and there are sometimes when you are sitting on someone’s head. I want more layers between my face and someone else’s genitalia while I’m rolling.

2.     Genitals secrete and sweat. The idea of underwear not being between that sweat and secretion grosses me out.

3.     As I mentioned before, specifically for women, we need to wear bras to protect our chest area. Not wearing a bra is asking for breast pain.

 

I can’t tell you what to do but if you respect your training partners, I would err on the side of wearing underwear or at least multiple layers of pants. It’s to protect yourself and your partners.

 

 

Keeping Your Training Gear Laundered and Fresh

 


laundry being washed. laundering gis to be fresh

I always emphasize the importance of being clean and smelling good when training jiu-jitsu. BJJ is a close-contact sport, and we want to make sure that we aren’t assaulting people with our body odor.  So, when choosing the gear you’ll wear underneath your gi for jiu-jitsu, having sweat-absorbent and anti-microbial fabrics will be your best friends. In addition, knowing how to clean your BJJ Gi and Training clothes is very important in maintaining your hygiene in all aspects. 

 

 

The Role of Comfort, Hygiene, and Respect in What You Wear Under Your BJJ Gi



jiu-jitsu roll. slap bump before jiu-jitsu sparring two people in black gis

   What you wear under your gi should not only protect your skin but make you feel comfortable, fresh, and clean.  There are a variety of styles and items you can wear but it’s of course up to you. 

 


 

Question: What do you tend to wear under your gi? Tell me in the comments or on Instagram @blackgirlwhitegi_bjj

 

 

 

 

1 Comment


Angel Bridgeforth
Angel Bridgeforth
Mar 26

I wear wrestling singlets under my gi. It's nice to not have to worry about my gi pants shifting or my top getting funky while I roll. If I need higher chest coverage, I wear a high neck sports bra or a rashguard under the singlet. As a larger woman, it had brought a sense of comfort on the mats that allows me to focus on technique and not stress about staying covered. Also, being mostly a single layer is very helpful as a person who gets really hot in my gi, even after searching out lightweight gi options.

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