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What to Wear for No-Gi BJJ – Uniform Rules

Walking on the mats for a No-Gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) session is a thrilling experience that tests both body and mind. BJJ Nogi fighters don’t wear the traditional kimono-like uniform, enabling them to grapple with more freedom and flexibility. Even though BJJ Nogi may seem liberating, it has its attire guidelines and rules to ensure fair and safe competition. Knowing the wardrobe to wear for No-Gi BJJ is necessary for practitioners to get through the intricacies of this fighting style.

Competing In IBJJF Nogi Competitions

The International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) is among the most reputable BJJ competition organizers worldwide. Fighters need to pay for the membership and should follow their strict rules and regulations to compete in their events. IBJJF holds Nogi tournaments annually from July to December.

BJJ Nogi Gear Requirements

Nogi fighters must strictly follow the dressing rules mentioned in the IBJJF rule book (article 6.3.2), as non-compliance with these standards may cause disqualification.

Men’s Nogi Shirts

BJJ Nogi for men includes shirts or custom BJJ rash guards made of durable, stretchy fabric to protect from rash and abrasion. Sleeveless, half-sleeved, and full-sleeved shirts in black, white, or black and white colors are allowed. The shirts should have at least 10% of the athlete’s rank color, matching their belt division.

Additionally, the shirts representing the athlete’s rank are acceptable, except for black belts, which can include some red. The fabric of the shirts must be stretchy to fit the body properly, and they should cover the shorts’ waistline.

BJJ Nogi Men’s Board Shorts

Board shorts are the preferred attire for men. Compression spats and trunks are also permitted, although they must be worn under the board shorts and should be black. Compression shorts made of elastic material ensure a comfortable fit without being skin-tight and should be the same color as the board shorts. 

The board shorts must meet specified color criteria. These must be black, white, or a blend of white and black with 50% of the athlete’s rank color. 

The shorts must be longer than the thighs but shorter than the knees. Additionally, accessories such as pockets, buttons, zippers, and exposed drawstrings are not allowed to minimize injuries.

Women’s BJJ Nogi Gear

Women’s BJJ Nogi gear is the same as men’s, with slight differences. Full sleeves, half sleeves, and sleeveless Shirts or rash guards are allowed, with full sleeves being the most preferred option.

Female rash guards should be black, white, or a combination of black and white with up to 10% color representation of the fighter’s rank. Shirts completely representing the athlete’s rank are also allowed.

The rash guards should be stretchy and made with spandex or lycra, providing a snug fit and contouring the fighter’s body. It must cover the waistline of the trousers or shorts.

Women’s Compression Pants and Shorts

While men have to wear board shorts on top, women can go for black compression pants during fights. This flexibility provides room for both comfort and functionality during training and competition.

The shorts should not exceed the knee level, whereas the pants should cover the leg for maximum coverage and performance. In the same way as men’s attire, the ban on accessories like pockets, buttons, zippers, or exposed drawstrings remains to keep uniformity and reduce the risk of injury during competition.

No-Gi: Benefits And Challenges

The following points highlight the benefits and challenges of training without Gi: 

Enhanced Grip Strength And Control

The training without the Gi makes the practitioners find alternative ways of grip strength and control. However, with no cloth grips, the grapplers must rely on their natural grip strength and hand placement to control their opponent’s motion. It leads to increased hand grip and agility, improving overall performance in Gi and No-Gi grappling situations.

Dynamic Techniques

Without the friction caused by the Gi fabric, movements from one position to another and submission attempts are much more aggressive, quicker, and active. This enhanced speed and fluidity demand the participants to keep pace and think on their feet, developing agility and responsiveness on the mat.

Focus On Body Movements

No-Gi forces people to focus on body mechanics and positional awareness because they don’t have Gi grips for control. This keen concentration on leverage, weight distribution, and balance assists the practitioners in developing a profound comprehension of grappling techniques. Cultivating these fundamental ski grapplers will be more adaptable and practical in Gi and No-Gi grappling circumstances.

Increased Cardiovascular Conditioning

No-Gi training is more physically demanding than Gi training as it is faster and more explosive motions are used. In addition, the wrestlers get more efficient in cardiovascular workouts and endurance as they get used to BJJ Nogi wrestling. Aerobic and anaerobic exercises and movements of No-Gi grappling cause an increase in stamina and endurance needed during training and competition.

Challenges with Control and Submission Opportunities

Although No-Gi training offers many benefits, it also brings some unique difficulties, especially from the point of view of the control and submission opportunities. Lacking the friction of Gi grips, controlling the opponent’s movements and obtaining submissions become more complex. Practitioners must resort to under hooks, over hooks, and body weight distribution to stay dominant and create submission possibilities. Furthermore, Gi’s lack of sleeves and lapels can make it challenging to make some submissions, forcing grapplers to modify their techniques.


For a practitioner to compete in No-Gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, knowing the basic rules that guide the sport is vital. By observing the attire guidelines of recognized organizations such as the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF), athletes can maintain the essence of fair play, safety, and the honor of competition. Whether selecting the appropriate rash guard, shorts, or compression pants, every aspect of attire is essential in enhancing performance and preventing potential disqualification. Therefore, by familiarizing themselves with the uniform requirements and diligently following them, athletes can confidently step onto the mat and showcase their skills in the thrilling realm of No-Gi BJJ.

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