Do You Need A Cup For BJJ? The Truth About Wear A Cup In Jiu-Jitsu


Do you need a cup for BJJ?

Cups or groin guards are typically not recommended for BJJ. This is mostly because some cups can pose risks to your training partners. They are even banned in just about all BJJ competitions. 

So if you are hoping to compete then you should probably just get used to training without a cup. There is a chance that you will injure your jewels but it is not very likely to be a serious injury. If you are simply wondering if you need a cup for BJJ class the answer is probably the same.

Some BJJ Gyms Prohibit Wearing Cups

It is really up to your BJJ academy on whether or not they will allow cups. That said, most people who practice BJJ do not wear a cup when they train. This is again because of the potential injuries you could impose on your training partner.

That said, many people do think this is outdated information that only applies to athletic cups of the past. I have never worn a cup to class and do not plan on doing it anytime soon. Of course, I have suffered a few unpleasant experiences but nothing a few deep breaths didn’t take care of.

My goal is not to convince you one way or the other. I simply want to help put the information out there for you to decide. Ultimately the decision to wear a cup is up to you and the BJJ school you choose to attend.

Why Cups Are Banned In BJJ Tournaments

The main reason that cups are banned from BJJ competition is that they could impose injury on your opponent. This would usually happen when taking the back or from the mount position. The fear is that the hard cup could impose injury on your opponent’s spine.

Another reason is that a cup can create a hard fulcrum point when executing certain submissions such as an armbar. Not only is it a harder surface than your body but it is harder for you to feel the pressure you are imposing on your opponent. Thus there might be a greater chance of you accidentally harming your opponent.

From my understanding, these are the main reasons that cups are banned from many BJJ tournaments. There may also be other reasons that I am not fully aware of but these are the most common objections that I have heard.

Why Some People Do Recommend Wearing A Cup For BJJ

Many people believe that most of the reasons for not wearing cups for BJJ are outdated. Their reasoning is they believe that some of the newer cups are safer for BJJ. That the old days of jockstraps and a super hard cup have evolved a bit.

Now some cups fit comfortably into compression shorts. Many of the cups have a softer layer over them now as well giving them a bit of cushion. Lastly, some cups are now shaped in a way that makes them ideal for BJJ.

If all of this is true then wearing a cup may simply help protect your jewels without much-imposed risk to your training partners. Since I do not wear a cup I cannot go into much detail on the truth of these claims. These are simply the most common objections I have heard or read online.

So Should You Wear A Cup In BJJ? 

Whether or not you choose to wear a cup during class is up to you and your school. That said, you should expect that most BJJ tournaments do not allow athletic cups. This is simply because these organizations believe the risks outweigh the potential protection.

I do not wear a cup nor do most people I know.  That does not mean that’s the right answer for you, but I have not had any real issues with not wearing a cup for BJJ.

If you do just make sure you choose something with some padding on the outside to help protect other students.

Joshua Paul

Joshua Paul is a BJJ purple belt who lives in Austin, Texas. Joshua loves all forms of grappling and when he is off the mats he is likely spending time with his wife and son.

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