Today’s post comes from my training partner Gabe Calvento. Gabe also blogs about 10th Planet Van Nuys over at gcaljiujitsu.com. I wish I had an article like this when I first started. Gabe offers a ton of great tips and suggestions for first time grapplers. Make sure to check out Gabe’s blog for other great articles!
10 Things Every Beginning Grappler Needs at
10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Van Nuys
A question often asked by beginning grapplers looking to sign up at 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Van Nuys is, “What do I need once I sign up?” I’ve compiled a list of ten absolute essentials once you decide to start training with us.
First things first, everyone needs a team uniform. Wearing the Van Nuys MMA or 10th Planet Van Nuys T Shirt or Hoody during class creates an even tighter knit team atmosphere and feeling of unity amongst all students. All of us need to be sure we arrive to class with the team shirt or hoody already on and wear it through the warm up and drilling portion of class.
Underneath your uniform, feel free to wear a Rashguard. A rashguard is meant to protect your skin while grappling on the mat. Plenty of our grapplers wear these under their team uniforms so they can represent in the first portion of class but if they don’t want to roll and possibly mess up their shirts, they take them off and just wear their rashguard to spar.
Next up is the topic of bottoms, Fight Shorts or Gi Pants. Fight Shorts are basically board shorts that are specifically designed for combat. These shorts are made to be more durable and functional than regular board shorts. They usually have a slit side for more hip mobility or a stretch- crotch so that they don’t rip or tear. Also, the majority of them have sublimated graphics so nothing can stick you to the mat when you’re trying to shrimp. Some grapplers prefer Gi pants as opposed to shorts for a few reasons. One reason a few grapplers like using Gi pants is because they prefer to have more of their skin covered up while on the mat. Another reason for the Gi pants is for friction. It reduces skin on skin contact meaning that there is less sweat involved so that people can’t just “slip” out of submission attempts. A 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Van Nuys Patch can be put on your fight shorts or Gi Pants to represent your gym. Many of us put these on our shorts so we can wear it into battle and rep our gym if we go into competition.
Next up on the list, is an absolute essential for me….a cup. Some grapplers don’t like to wear it because it can be uncomfortable, but I’ve found that the cup and compression short combo from Shock Doctor or Dirty Boxer is very comfortable and functional. Accidents happen and it’s better to be protected in my opinion.
The benefits of a good quality mouthpiece go without saying. Preventing concusssions and protecting your teeth are just two of the many reasons a good mouthpiece is essential for you to bring to training. Although you aren’t taking any direct punches or kicks in grappling, like I said before, accidents happen and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
The only other piece of head equipment you’ll need for grappling, if you feel you need it, is an earguard. Earguards are meant to prevent your ears from cauliflower ear or to reduce the pain you get from it. These are totally optional and the majority of people I know don’t wear them but it is something that some wear so they deserve a spot on our list.
Nail Clippers & a Nail File may seem like a weird thing to put on our list but these two items that go hand in hand make sure your personal hygiene is in check before you go on the mats. If you notice on the way to class that your nails are certified Wolverine claws, fix that please before you get on the mat. Snip em real quick outside and file them down so they’re soft. We all prefer students do this in their own home but keep a spare for such an occasion.
A form of disinfectant soap is necessary for all jiu jitsu practitioners, especially in the beginning. Your immune system is not used to some of the different types of germs you may come into contact with on even the cleanest mats like we have. Showering after every practice is essential and using the right soap is just as essential. To prevent all infections, use a disinfectant soap specifically designed for our sport. There are several companies (Defense Soap, Super Body Care, Athletic Body Care, etc.) that offer tons of different products to fend off the germs we come into contact with on the mats. My personal favorite is Defense Soap.
So…where’s all this stuff going to go? A quality Gear Bag is a great investment. Look for one that’s made with strong, breathable material that can fit everything you’ll be needing for class.
So, come down to 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Van Nuys and try a class! If you see that we’re the right spot for you, get your gear as soon as you can so you can push forth with your training! Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, or just come on down!
10th Planet Van Nuys
16832 Saticoy St., Van Nuys, CA 91406
Give us a call at (818) 469-1568