So you're looking to start Brazilian Jiu Jitsu but you're not sure what to wear for your first NOGI session. We can help!
NOGI is the version of BJJ trained without the traditional kimono/gi, focusing on gripping the body itself rather than the clothing.
The key is that you don't wear anything too baggy so that you will prevent toes and fingers from getting caught up, and potentially broken, in your clothing!
For NOGI BJJ you need a rashguard, some spats and a pair of BJJ shorts!
BJJ Rashguards and Spats
Rashguards and spats are skin tight, compression fit training tops and bottoms usually made from a combination of spandex and polyester.
Benefits to wearing a rashguard and spats:
1) It's in the name! It will guard you from picking up rashes from the mats by covering your skin in the most vulnerable areas.
Skin infections such as ringworm and staph infection are nasty buggers you most definitely DO NOT want on your skin!
2) The fabrics are usually made from moisture wicking fabric.
Meaning that the fabric can move moisture away from the body and the fabric itself.
This will help keep the body dry and cool even when the person sweats from exertion - which in your first BJJ NOGI class you probably will!
Basically the fabrics aid in what they call thermoregulation - keeping the body cool.
3) Rep the latest Jiu Jitsu fashion. These days its not just about how you roll but how you look whilst you roll.
No one wants to roll with the guy in the baggy wife beater with hair poking out of his armpits. This guys choice of attire quickly becomes just one big sweat patch which screams "stay the hell away from me".
Whereas that cool guy across the room in his crisp and clean rash guard, with a slick design and a pair of shorts to match... Well lets just say we all know who'd we prefer to roll with.
BJJ Shorts are usually also designed with a combination of spandex and polyester.
The benefits of wearing BJJ shorts are very similar to the above so rather than repeat verbatim what I've said before I'll try and come up with some other benefits for shorts in particular!
1) Most BJJ shorts have a quality waistband, reinforced seams and a toughness and durability that a lot of regular branded shorts won't have! Meaning they will last longer in the midst of being thrashed about on the mats.
No one wants a split seam there... You know what I'm talking about.
2) A good pair of BJJ shorts will not be overly baggy or long! Meaning that you're not feeling as if you're rolling in a skirt. Which each to there own and all that, it might be your thing but I think most people would prefer a clean cut pair of BJJ shorts that aren't going to flutter about as if you're a ballerina.
3) Complete the image with a pair of shorts that match the design of your rash guard.
People say "ah it doesn't matter what you're wearing or what you look like, this is a combat sport, quit your fashion brigade and just smash skulls.". But we all know (excuse the cliché) that when you look good, you feel good.
Maybe a regular T-shirt and shorts will do to begin with but really you need to invest in some BJJ gear at some point, for all the reasons listed above and many more!
Look the part, whilst you learn how to play the part.