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Should You Wear Spats Under Your Gi in BJJ?

In BJJ, wearing spats under you gi pants is not a requirement but is something that will come down to personal preference.

Some Brazilian jiu jitsu practitioners may prefer to wear spats underneath their gi for an added layer of protection against mat burn and skin infections.

Key Takeaways

  • Again, wearing spats underneath you gi pants is not a requirement for training.
  • Spats can provide hygiene benefits and muscle support for BJJ practitioners.
  • Some schools and competitions have rules regarding the use of spats.
  • Organizations that regularly hold events like the IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation):
    • Do not allow men to wear spats beneath their gi pants
    • Do allow women to wear spats underneath their gi pants as long as they don’t extend longer than their gi pants.

BJJ Attire Basics

For Gi Training:

  • Required:
    • Gi jacket with gi pants
    • Undergarments
  • Optional:
    • Rash guard (recommended)
    • Spats*

For No Gi Training:

  • Required:
    • Rash guard
    • Boardshorts or fight shorts
    • Undergarments
  • Optional:
    • Spats

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) attire is designed with functionality and tradition in mind. For gi training, a practitioner wears a Gi, consisting of a jacket, pants, and a belt that indicates their rank. For no gi training, athletes usually wear a rash guard or tight fighting shorts and boardshorts.

The Purpose of Spats in BJJ

In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), spats serve multiple functional purposes. They are essentially tight-fitting compression pants worn under the Gi pants. Here are their primary uses:

  • Hygiene and Health: Spats are instrumental in safeguarding practitioners from bacterial and fungal infections, which can easily spread through grappling mats. By covering the skin, spats reduce direct contact with the mats and, subsequently, the transfer of germs.
  • Skin Protection: Training in BJJ often involves friction and can result in abrasions. Spats provide a protective layer that minimizes the risk of scrapes and helps in preventing conditions like mat burn.
  • Muscle Support: They provide compressive support to the muscles, which can enhance performance by promoting blood circulation and reducing muscle oscillation during strenuous activities.
  • Sweat Management: Spats help in managing sweat by wicking moisture away from the skin, thereby reducing chafing and discomfort during training sessions. This also helps to protect the longevity of the Gi by minimizing direct sweat absorption.
  • Comfort and Mobility: The stretchable material of spats allows for a full range of motion, which is critical for executing various BJJ maneuvers without restriction.

While spats are not mandatory for training, their benefits make them a popular choice among BJJ practitioners who prioritize comfort, hygiene, and the protection of their skin and muscles during training.

Pros and Cons of Wearing Spats under Gi Pants


  • Hygiene: Wearing spats can help maintain hygiene as they provide an additional layer between the practitioner and the gi, reducing direct contact and absorption of sweat.
  • Comfort: They offer a snug fit which can prevent chafing and discomfort during intense training sessions.
  • Mobility: Designed for flexibility, spats typically do not restrict movement, allowing practitioners to perform a wide range of motions without hindrance.
  • Protection: Spats protect the skin from mat burns and can help reduce the risk of skin infections.


  • Overheating: The extra layer may cause some practitioners to overheat more quickly during training.
  • Cost: Purchasing high-quality spats adds an additional cost to training gear.
  • Preference: Some individuals may find spats unnecessary or uncomfortable, preferring the feel of traditional gi pants alone.

Alternatives to Spats in BJJ Practice

In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), practitioners have options other than spats when choosing what to wear under their Gi pants. Here’s a breakdown of those alternatives:

  • Compression Pants: Athletes may also opt for tights which can be similar to spats but occasionally come in different materials and thicknesses. They serve to decrease friction and may offer varied levels of compression.
  • Compression Shorts: For those who prefer less coverage, compression shorts are an option. They provide the key benefits of spats, such as muscle support and reduced friction, without covering the entire leg.
  • Standard Athletic Shorts: Some practitioners choose to wear their regular athletic shorts beneath their Gi pants. However, these may lack the specialized features like compression and rapid moisture-wicking.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do People Wear Spats under thei Gi pants for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Training?

Wearing spats beneath your gi comes down to personal preference. While they may offer added protection from mat burn or skin infections., they may also cause overheating.

What is the proper way to wear spats for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

Spats should be worn as a tight-fitting undergarment beneath the gi pants. They provide a compressive fit that supports muscles during rigorous training.

Is it necessary to wear a rashguard under the gi in BJJ?

Wearing a rashguard under the BJJ gi is highly recommended as it helps to manage sweat, reduce friction burns, and prevent skin infections.

What are the benefits of wearing spats in BJJ training?

Spats provide muscular support, help to manage moisture, reduce friction, and lower the risk of skin infections. They also maintain personal hygiene by offering a barrier between the skin and the gi.

Can spats be worn alone under gi pants in BJJ?

Yes, spats can be worn alone under gi pants. They are specifically designed to be worn as a single undergarment layer that complies with BJJ attire etiquette.

Are compression shorts a good alternative to spats for BJJ?

Compression shorts are a suitable alternative to spats for those who prefer a shorter garment. They still offer muscle support and moisture management necessary for BJJ practice.