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Should You Wear a Rashguard Under Your Gi in Bazilian Jiu Jitsu?

Yes, it is recommended to wear a rashguard underneath your gi for Brazilian jiu jitsu gi classes since it adds another layer of protection against skin infections. However, depending on preference and gym apparel requirements, you may also wear a T-shirt underneath your gi or go shirtless.

It should be noted that it is slightly frowned upon to go shirtless underneath your gi since it causes more skin on skin contact for both you and your training partners.

Lastly, the IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation) require that all adult male gi competitors do not wear a shirt or rashguard underneath their gi for competition.

Why a Rashguard Is Optimal to Wear Underneath Your Gi

Rashguards are ideal for BJJ training because they are moisture wicking, stay tight to your body to avoid getting in the way of training. Plus they can also denote your belt rank color.

  1. Skin Protection: Rashguards help protect the skin from mat burns, scratches, and abrasions that are common during grappling.
  2. Moisture Wicking: Rashguards do not hold moisture and are sweat wicking. Since they are often made from spandex or polyester they do not hold moisture as much as cotton based fabrics.
  3. Hygiene: They provide a barrier between your skin and the mat, reducing the risk of bacterial and fungal infections such as ringworm and staph.
  4. Muscle Compression: Rashguards can offer slight compression which may help in reducing muscle soreness and fatigue, potentially aiding in performance and recovery.
  5. Temperature Regulation: The material used in rashguards is typically moisture-wicking, helping to keep the body cool during intense training sessions and warm when resting between matches.
  6. Reduced Friction: The smooth surface of rashguards allows for less friction on the mat and against an opponent, which can make certain techniques easier to perform.
  7. Comfort and Mobility: Rashguards are designed to fit snugly without restricting movement, ensuring comfort and full range of motion during training.
  8. Rash Prevention: True to their name, rashguards help prevent rashes caused by the repetitive rubbing that occurs during grappling exchanges like from rubbing against the mat or gi.

Rashguards are strongly encouraged over T-shirts for training since they don’t retain moisture and won’t get snagged on your or your partner during training.

me wearing a loose T-shirt underneath my gi in my early white belt days

Competition(IBJJF and Others) and BJJ Gym Requirements

Again, the IBJJF does not allow adult male gi competitors to wear rashguards underneath their gi for competition. Their stance is that it may create extra grips and/or friction for competitors.

Other organizations that hold competitions may differ in their gi uniform rules.

For example, NAGA (North American Grappling Association), states that competitors are allowed to wear either a shirt or rash guard under their gi. However, they also state that opponents cannot grab them during competition.

Lastly, some BJJ gyms have specific gi and no gi requirements. For example, Atos, requires that you wear their specific gi and their brand rashguard underneath it during training.

Some Reasons Why You Might Not Choose to Wear a Rashguard Underneath Your Gi for Training

  • Mirroring training how you will compete
    • (if you are planning to compete in an IBJJF event you may want to mirror that in training by not wearing anything underneath your gi)
  • If you train in a hot climate you may not want to wear one to remain cooler
  • If you find rashguards to be an added layer of restriction or discomfort during training
  • Overall, requires you to do less laundry!

Final Words on BJJ Training Apparel

While wearing a rashguard underneath your gi for training will largely come down to preference and gym uniform guidelines, it is recommended to provide extra protection and less skin exposure for you and your training partners.

BJJ training can be tough and uncomfortable so feel free to go with whatever apparel you prefer that makes your training more comfortable!

Thanks for reading and see you in the next one! – Zack