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What Makes a Good BJJ Rash Guard [Expert Explained]

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a highly physical and demanding sport that requires a lot of grappling, rolling, and sweating. To...

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a highly physical and demanding sport that requires a lot of grappling, rolling, and sweating. To ensure maximum performance and comfort during training and competition, BJJ athletes need to have the right gear, including BJJ rash guards. A good BJJ rash guard should not only be durable and functional but also comfortable and stylish. In this article, we will delve into what makes a good BJJ rash guard, as explained by experts in the industry.

History of BJJ Rash Guard

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) rash guards have a relatively short history compared to other BJJ gear like gis and belts. The first rash guards were originally designed for surfers in the 1970s to protect them from sunburn and rash caused by contact with their surfboards. It wasn't until the 1990s that the rash guard was adopted by the BJJ community, primarily for no-gi training and competition. At first, rash guards were often just simple, solid-colored shirts, but over time they have evolved to include more intricate designs and patterns, often featuring the logos of BJJ schools and sponsors. Today, BJJ rash guards are an essential part of many grapplers' training gear, providing protection against mat burn, compression for the muscles and allowing for greater range of motion during training and competition.


Materials Used

One of the most vital aspects to take into account when buying a BJJ rash guard is its material.  Although rash guards for BJJ can be made of a variety of materials, synthetic fabrics that are made to be light, breathable, and moisture-wicking are by far the most popular. With stretchability, toughness, and speedy drying features, polyester and spandex are two of the most popular materials used to create BJJ rash guards. For added flexibility and abrasion resistance, some rash guards may also contain elastane or nylon. A few businesses also combine unique materials to create distinctive features like UV protection, anti-microbial qualities, or temperature regulation. Antimicrobial treatments are also applied to some BJJ rash guards to help prevent the development of odor-causing microorganisms.

Polyester - it's a synthetic material that is commonly used in the production of BJJ rash guards. This fabric is lightweight, durable, and moisture-wicking that is ideal for athletic wear like rash guard. Polyester is also known for its ability to retain color, meaning that BJJ rash guards made from this material will maintain their vibrant appearance even after multiple washings.

Spandex - is a synthetic substance that is related to elastane. Stretchy and flexible, it offers a snug fit without impeding mobility. Due to its great range of motion, spandex is particularly helpful in sportswear since it enables athletes to perform challenging actions and techniques without feeling restricted. Spandex improves the fabric's stretchability and flexibility when combined with polyester, which makes it the perfect material for BJJ rash guards. The combination of polyester and spandex yields a tough, breathable, and elastic fabric ideal for high-performance athletic wear.

According to BJJ expert and Black Belt Tim, "Polyester and spandex blends are the most common materials used for BJJ rash guards because they are stretchy, durable, and moisture-wicking." The moisture-wicking properties of these materials help keep the athlete cool and dry during intense training sessions.

Proper Stitching

Proper and reinforced stitching is essential for the durability and performance of BJJ rash guards. The stitching should be strong enough to withstand the stresses of grappling, but also comfortable enough not to cause chafing or irritation to the wearer's skin. The most common types of stitching used in BJJ rash guards are flatlock stitching and overlock stitching.

Flatlock stitching is a technique where two pieces of fabric are joined together by overlapping and sewing the edges together with a flat seam. It rests flat against the skin, lowering the possibility of chafing or inflammation, making this form of stitching perfect for BJJ rash guards. Also, the robust, long-lasting seam made by flatlock stitching is less likely to unravel or tear during training.

Overlock stitching, sometimes referred to as serging, encloses the fabric's raw edges to stop them from fraying. This style of stitching is frequently used in the production of BJJ rash guards because it produces a neat, polished appearance and helps in strengthening the seams.

When choosing a BJJ rash guard, it is important to inspect the stitching and make sure that it is done properly. The stitching should be straight and even, with no loose threads or missed stitches. High-quality BJJ rash guards will typically have reinforced stitching at critical stress points, such as the shoulders and underarms, to provide extra durability and support.

“According to BJJ expert Dan, "Good BJJ rash guards have reinforced stitching in high-stress areas such as the shoulders, underarms, and waist." Double-stitching is also a common feature found in high-quality rash guards.”


XMartial Size Chart


 When it comes to sizing BJJ rash guards, it's important to consider both your chest size and your height. Getting the right size of a BJJ rash guard is essential for comfort and mobility during training or competition. Rash guards should fit snugly, but not too tight or too loose. Here are some general guidelines:

  1. Chest size: Measure around the fullest part of your chest, under your armpits, and over your shoulder blades. Use this measurement to determine your size according to the manufacturer's size chart.
  2. Height: Consider your height in relation to your chest size. If you are taller or have a longer torso, you may need to size up to ensure the rash guard is long enough to cover your midsection.

Moreover, it's a good idea to try on a variety of sizes if you can because various manufacturers may have somewhat different sizing. Remember that rash guards are designed to fit snugly, so they could feel tighter than a typical t-shirt. They shouldn't restrict your mobility or be uncomfortable, though.

BJJ expert Chad advises, "When choosing a BJJ rash guard, look for brands that offer a size chart with accurate measurements”. Also, consider the fit you want - a tighter fit for no-gi and a looser fit for gi training.


XMartial Rash Guard Design

Design & Construction

The design of a BJJ rash guard is a personal choice, but it can also have practical implications. It comes in a variety of designs, ranging from solid colors to bold patterns and graphics. Here are some common design features you may see on BJJ rash guards:

  1. Long-sleeved: Most BJJ rash guards are long-sleeved to provide full coverage and protection for the arms.
  2. Compression fit: BJJ rash guards are typically designed to fit snugly and provide compression to the muscles. This can help improve circulation, reduce muscle fatigue, and prevent injury.
  3. Moisture-wicking: Many BJJ rash guards are made from materials that wick moisture away from the skin, helping to keep you dry and comfortable during intense training sessions.
  4. Anti-microbial: Some BJJ rash guards are treated with anti-microbial agents to help prevent the growth of bacteria and odors.
  5. Sublimated graphics: Many BJJ rash guards feature sublimated graphics, which are designs that are dyed directly into the fabric. This can create vibrant, long-lasting designs that won't crack or peel over time.

BJJ rash guards are made to be sturdy and functional while still letting you show off your individual style. Rash guards come in a variety of styles, from plain and subtle to bold and striking.

According to BJJ expert Matt, "The design of a rash guard should not only look good but also serve a purpose.” For example, if you plan to compete in IBJJF tournaments, your rash guard must be plain white, black, or blue with no other visible markings.

Function and Benefits

BJJ rash guards are a key piece of clothing worn by practitioners of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and they offer a variety of functions and benefits, including:

  1. Protection: BJJ rash guards provide a layer of protection between your skin and the mat, helping to reduce the risk of mat burns, cuts, and other abrasions.
  2. Comfort: Rash guards are made from lightweight, breathable materials that help wick sweat away from your skin, keeping you cool and comfortable during training.
  3. Compression: Many rash guards are designed to provide compression, which can help improve circulation, reduce muscle fatigue, and prevent injury.
  4. Hygiene: BJJ rash guards are typically made from materials that are easy to clean and quick-drying, helping to prevent the growth of bacteria and odors.
  5. Style: BJJ rash guards come in a wide variety of designs, allowing you to express your personal style and show off your affiliation with your gym or team.
  6. Regulation: In some competitions, BJJ rash guards are required to be worn under the Gi or as standalone training wear to meet certain uniform regulations.

BJJ expert Gareth explains, "A good BJJ rash guard should provide compression to the muscles, helping to reduce muscle fatigue and soreness.” It should also have an antibacterial treatment to prevent the growth of odor-causing bacteria, especially for athletes who train regularly.

In addition, some BJJ rash guards come with UV protection, which is especially helpful for outdoor training or competition since it helps shield the skin from damaging sun rays.

Why do BJJ Wear Rash Guards?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners wear rash guards for several reasons. Firstly, they provide a hygienic barrier between the skin and the mats, preventing the spread of infections and bacteria. Additionally, rash guards offer comfort by wicking away moisture, keeping practitioners cool during intense rolling sessions. They also provide protection against friction burns and mat rash, common grappling hazards. Some practitioners dig the compression of rash guards aids blood circulation and reduces muscle fatigue. Finally, wearing rash guards is often part of the standard uniform in BJJ schools, fostering a sense of unity and identity among practitioners.

How to Take Care of your Rash Guard

Taking care of your BJJ rash guard is important to ensure it stays in good condition and lasts as long as possible. Here are some tips for caring for your rash guard:

  1. Rinse after use: After training, rinse your rash guard with cold water to remove sweat, dirt, and bacteria.
  2. Wash regularly: To remove deeper stains and odors, wash your rash guard in cold water with mild detergent. Avoid using bleach or fabric softener, as these can damage the fabric.
  3. Hang dry: Always hang your rash guard to dry instead of putting it in the dryer, as high heat can damage the fabric and cause shrinkage.
  4. Avoid sun exposure: Prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause the colors on your rash guard to fade over time, so avoid leaving it in direct sunlight for extended periods.
  5. Store properly: When not in use, store your rash guard in a cool, dry place. Avoid leaving it in a damp gym bag or locker, as this can lead to mold or mildew growth.

By following these simple care instructions, you can help prolong the life of your BJJ rash guard and keep it in good condition for years to come.

BJJ expert Franck advises, " Never leave your rash guard in a damp or humid environment, as this can lead to the growth of mold and mildew.” Also, avoid using fabric softeners, as they can clog the pores in the fabric and affect its moisture-wicking properties.

Finally, a quality BJJ rash guard should be produced from durable, stretchy, and moisture-wicking materials, with reinforced stitching in high-stress locations. Also, it should fit properly and be the ideal size, with a design that fits the athlete's standards and preferences. When used properly, a high-quality BJJ rash guard can offer safety, comfort, and other benefits both during practice and competition. You can select the ideal rash guard for your requirements and maximize your training by paying attention to the guidelines and recommendations of BJJ professionals.

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