What Do You Wear To No Gi BJJ Class?

What to wear to no gi BJJ

Perhaps you are considering going to your first no-gi BJJ class and you are not sure what to wear. Maybe you even have some shorts and a shirt that might be acceptable to wear but you are not totally sure. If this is you do not worry we will discuss everything you will need for your first no-gi jiu-jitsu class.

In short, you will need a rashguard compression shirt, grappling shorts, a mouthpiece, and spats for no-gi BJJ. Depending on your academy you might get away with some less ideal clothes for your first day of class but that would be up to your professor. 

We will get into each of the items in more detail but the main thing is that your clothes are keeping you and your partners safe. For example, your partner might get a finger trapped in a pocket if you are wearing the wrong shorts. This could lead to sprained or even broken fingers and toes.

The best thing to do is to ask your professor what they require you to wear at their academy for no-gi grappling. It might vary a bit from school to school. In addition, your professor might require that you wear a ranked rashguard or clothing from the academy. But with that in mind, let’s dive deeper into what to wear to no-gi BJJ starting with the rashguard.

What To Wear To No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu

There are several items you will want to purchase if you choose to practice no-gi jiu-jitsu. The most important difference between traditional and no-gi BJJ is that you cannot use your opponent’s clothing in any way in no-gi jiu-jitsu.

On the other hand, using your opponent’s gi is a huge part of traditional BJJ. So naturally no-gi jiu-jitsu clothing is tight-fitting and does not have sleeves or collars. Let’s take a look at what exactly you will need to wear to no-gi BJJ. 

No-Gi BJJ Rashguard

One of the most important things you are going to want to buy for no-gi BJJ is a rashguard. To be honest it is probably best to also wear a rashguard under your gi during regular BJJ class as well. A BJJ rash guard is a tight-fitting compression shirt that fits very tight to the skin. Very similar to what you might see a surfer wearing.

Historically old school BJJ grapplers didn’t wear rashguards back in the day. Back then if they were not wearing a gi, then they were likely training in a speedo with no shirt. Thankfully, no-gi BJJ clothing has evolved since then. The rashguard is probably the most important item that has changed since then.

There are a few purposes for wearing a BJJ rashguard. The first one is pretty self-evident since the name says it all. That is of course to prevent rashes and mat burn. In addition to this, rashguards will also help protect you from other things as well such as ringworm or staph.

There is a good chance that your academy might sell rashguards with thier logo or the name of your school. If so then you might consider buying one from your academy. However, you will likely want to invest in a handful of rashguards if you plan on going to class often.

Rashguards can also help to keep your rolling partners safe as well. Often times if someone is wearing a regular shirt it might make it more likely to spread germs and other diseases. In addition, when some shirts become wet they can become loose and trap people’s fingers and toes when rolling.

Rashguards come in a variety of designs and colors. There are honestly a ton of designs to choose from depending on your style. In addition, rashguards come in both long and short sleeve options. Though the long sleeves offer more protection, the short sleeves might work better in the warmer months.

No-Gi Grappling Shorts

The next thing you are going to want to invest in is some good grappling shorts. Like the rashguard, your academy might have grappling shorts that are made for their students. So you might look into that first before purchasing shorts online.

That said, it is probably a good idea to have multiple pairs of grappling shorts as well. When looking for a good pair of grappling shorts there are a few things you want to make sure of before purchasing. Of course, if they are marketed as grappling shorts then you probably don’t need to worry about this.

The first thing is that the shorts do not have any pockets. This is to ensure the safety of you and your rolling partners. You would not want you or your partner to get a finger or toe trapped in a pocket when rolling. Also, make sure that there is no metal or hard plastic on the shorts as well. They should be made from slightly stretchy polyester material.

Grappling shorts come in a variety of designs to choose from. Make sure that they are also velcro and will fit tightly enough to not fall off when rolling. You defently do not want to be wearing shorts with a zipper.

Another option some people choose to do is wear the gi bottoms to no-gi BJJ. Though maybe there is a chance your academy won’t like this, every school I’ve ever heard of is ok with you wearing gi pants to no-gi BJJ.

No-Gi BJJ Spats

Another option to wear instead of shorts or under your shorts are jiu-jitsu spats. Spats are tight-fitting compression pants that offer some of the same benefits as rashguards. Though both men and women wear spats, they are typically the preferred BJJ bottoms for women in no-gi grappling.

Personally, I wear spats under my grappling shorts for extra protection. Today you can find spats in all different colors and designs. So perhaps you can simply get some plain black spats or maybe some awesome tiger-striped spats instead.

Either way, BJJ spats will help protect you from rashes, mat burns, and many other things as well. I would suggest that you invest in at least a few pairs of spats for no-gi BJJ.


Another must-have for no-gi grappling is a mouthguard. A good mouthguard will help you to protect your teeth when grappling. So it goes without saying that you will need one for no-gi BJJ if you want to keep your teeth protected.

In addition, mouthguards also help to protect your lips, your gums, and your tongue from injury. A mouthguard will also help aid in protecting your jaw as well. The extra cushion between your teeth adds an extra protective layer to your jaw.

Wearing a mouthguard is extra important when competing or when rolling in class. There have been a few occasions where I have chosen to pass on wearing a mouthguard when rolling. Needless to say, I have learned from experience that it is not a good idea to roll without a mouthguard. For more info on mouthguards check out my article: Do you need a mouthguard for BJJ?

BJJ Headgear ( Optional )

Another thing you might consider purchasing is BJJ headgear. Though some people will choose not to use headgear, it is something you should consider. Personally, I wear headgear when I know I am going to be rolling pretty hard or for multiple rounds.

Headgear will help protect you from getting cauliflower ear. Some people might like this look but cauliflower ear can have negative health consequences. So if you want to avoid trouble then you might consider getting some BJJ headgear.

In Conclusion

When it comes to no-gi jiu-jitsu there are a few items of clothing I would recommend that you invest in. Now, this does not mean you have to buy the most expensive brands on the market. In fact, you can easily buy some generic no-gi gear for relatively cheap.

The items you definitely will need are BJJ rashguards, grappling shorts or spats, a mouthguard, and possibly some headgear. Eventually, it would be wise to collect multiple pairs of each item but you don’t need to do that from the start.

Instead, buy at least a few pairs of each if you can. Of course, if you are only going to go to one no-gi class a week then one pair of each should be fine at first.


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