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Are You Supposed to Wear Underwear with Spats in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

Yes, you should wear underwear or compression shorts with spats (leggings) in Brazilian jiu jitsu.

While it is largely a personal choice, it is strongly recommended for modesty, comfort, and hygiene.


Key Takeaways

  • Wearing underwear with spats in BJJ is largely a personal choice influenced by comfort and hygiene but is strongly recommended
  • Additionally, while you can wear spats without shorts, it may be frowned upon by other practitioners
  • Lastly, for IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation) events, competitors must use underwear/undergarments.
    • The wearing of thong-type undergarments is not allowed; only briefs-type undergarments are permitted

Proper Attire for Training

When training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), practitioners must adhere to specific attire guidelines to ensure safety, hygiene, and adherence to the sport’s etiquette, whether they are participating in a Gi or No-Gi class.

BJJ Gi and No-Gi Distinctions

In BJJ, there are two main forms of attire depending on the class: Gi and No-Gi.

Wearing the Gi, which is a traditional martial arts uniform consisting of a jacket, pants, and a belt, is mandatory in Gi classes. Underneath the Gi, practitioners commonly wear a rash guard or spats for upper and lower body protection, respectively.

In contrast, No-Gi classes require a different approach to attire, focusing on tight-fitting clothing that minimizes the risk of snagging and provides muscle support.

Standard No-Gi Apparel Guidelines

Men should consider the following standard apparel for No-Gi classes:

  • Rash guard: A form-fitting, moisture-wicking shirt that reduces friction burns.
  • Spats or compression pants (optional*): Tight-fitting pants that protect the skin and support muscles, often worn with or without briefs based on personal comfort.
  • Jiu-Jitsu shorts: Board-style shorts without zips or pockets.

Women may wear similar attire as men for No-Gi with some variations:

  • Rash guard: Specially designed to accommodate the female form.
  • Spats or leggings: Provide full coverage worn with undergarments.
  • Board shorts or form-fitting athletic shorts: Designed for flexibility and stability.

For both men and women, wearing moisture-wicking underwear or compression shorts beneath spats ensures hygiene and helps keep the practitioner dry. However, this choice largely depends on personal preference and comfort.

Understanding Spats in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Definition and Purpose of Spats

Spats, in the context of BJJ, are tight-fitting compression pants designed to be worn during training and competition. Their main purpose is to protect the skin against friction burns, mat burns, and other minor injuries that can occur during close contact with an opponent and the mat.

Benefits of Wearing Spats in BJJ

The benefits of wearing spats in BJJ are multidimensional:

  • Hygiene: Spats help wick away sweat, reducing the risk of bacterial and fungal infections.
  • Muscle Support: The compression offers support to the muscles, potentially reducing fatigue and strain.
  • Mobility: A quality pair of spats will allow full range of motion due to their stretchable material, typically a spandex blend.
  • Protection: Spats create a barrier between the skin and the mat, limiting direct contact and reducing the likelihood of cuts and rashes.

Hygiene Considerations

When practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), maintaining high standards of hygiene is crucial. This includes managing sweat and bacteria as well as preventing skin infections.

Managing Sweat and Bacteria

To combat sweat and bacteria build-up, wearing underwear with spats is advisable. Spats, typically made of moisture-wicking materials, prevent excessive sweat from accumulating.

Underwear adds an additional layer, absorbing sweat and reducing the proliferation of bacteria close to the skin. This is essential because spats alone can’t absorb all the sweat produced during intense BJJ sessions, and this sweat can become a breeding ground for bacteria.

Preventing Skin Infections

Underwear beneath spats acts as a barrier against mat-borne pathogens. Skin infections, such as ringworm and staph, are common in contact sports and can be curtailed by wearing a clean layer under spats.

Ensuring that this protective layer is made of antibacterial and fast-drying fabric helps minimize the risk of these infections spreading. Moreover, it’s courteous to provide an additional layer between oneself and the training partner, maintaining personal and communal hygiene standards.

Cultural and Gym Etiquette

In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, adherence to cultural norms and gym etiquette regarding undergarments is paramount for ensuring a respectful and hygienic training environment.

Gym Policies on Undergarments

Most BJJ gyms have explicit policies requiring practitioners to wear proper undergarments under their spats. The guidelines cater to different aspects, including:

  • Hygiene: To maintain a clean and safe training area, it’s crucial that all practitioners wear clean and appropriate undergarments below their spats.
  • Comfort and Functionality: Underwear should provide support without restricting movement. Compression shorts or athletic undergarments are commonly recommended.
  • Visibility and Appearance: Undergarments should not be visible through the spats, and light-colored or thin materials might require darker or thicker underwear to maintain modesty.

Respecting Training Partners

The choice of undergarments is not solely a personal preference; it also reflects respect towards one’s training partners. They should consider:

  • Odor Control: Fresh, clean undergarments help prevent unpleasant odors, a common courtesy for close-contact sports like BJJ.
  • Physical Protection: Proper undergarments act as a barrier, reducing the risk of skin infections and the transfer of bodily fluids.

It is essential for practitioners to understand the cultural and gym etiquette around wearing underwear with spats to foster a respectful BJJ community.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the appropriate attire under BJJ Gi pants?

Under BJJ Gi pants, men can choose to wear underwear, compression shorts, or spats with underwear.

Should men wear spats with no shorts for no gi training?

While this will come down to personal preference, some practitioners may feel that wearing spats without shorts can be too revealing for men during no gi training.

Are compression shorts necessary for No-Gi BJJ?

Compression shorts are not mandatory for No-Gi BJJ, but they are highly recommended. They minimize skin-on-skin contact, reducing the risk of infections and enhancing hygiene. In addition, they offer support and can prevent chafing.

What type of undergarments should be worn with Jiu-Jitsu spats?

Under Jiu-Jitsu spats, athletes should wear briefs or compression shorts that offer support and comfort. The choice of undergarments should prioritize function and personal comfort for training.

Is it common to wear anything under BJJ spats when training?

It is common practice to wear undergarments, such as briefs or compression shorts, under BJJ spats for hygienic purposes, support, and additional comfort during training.