Jiu-jitsu tournaments are a great opportunity for the growing number of female grapplers in the sport to test their competitive mettle. However, with jiu-jitsu competition having been even more traditionally male-dominated than its fellow combat sports, dressing comfortably – let alone fashionably – for competition is a uniquely challenging element of women’s BJJ tournament preparation.
Luckily, Gaidama has an entire line of competition-ready rashguards, spats, board shorts, and more – all specifically designed with female grapplers in mind. Whether you’re entering your first ever local tournament, or taking aim at IBJJF Worlds, we’re here to outfit you in BJJ spats for female bodies (hips, we have them!), and BJJ women’s rashguards that actually take your curves into account.
As a gear brand for BJJ women, by BJJ women, we heartily believe that you deserve to both look and feel your best on tournament day. Your clothes should help, not hinder, your performance. Check out our guide for how to dress your best for your matches.
Local Tournaments
Local tournaments tend to be pretty lax when it comes to an athlete dress code – especially in the no-gi divisions. Only a handful require color-ranked rashguards à la the IBJJF. However, that’s no reason to look sloppy when the ref calls you to the mat!
In fact, local tournaments with more casual athlete uniform requirements are a great opportunity for female grapplers to experiment with some more fashionable flair on the mats. Looking for inspiration? Check out these eye-catching prints in our gorgeous Art Wear line.
Prefer to keep it low key? Opt for the always-chic all-black ninja suit from our Avant Garde collection. If black’s not your thing, we also offer the same design in gorgeous shades of merlot red and siren blue.
Finish off your look with the hemline of your choice, from full-length competition spats – which provide a sleek full coverage look – to our cheeky Avant Garde compression shorties – which show a little more skin, while still keeping everything important comfortably covered. Mix and match across styles to see what works for you!
IBJJF Tournaments
Traditionally boasting the strictest uniform dress code of the lot, the IBJJF tournament circuit also offers arguably the most prestigious competition opportunities for jiu-jitsu athletes of all levels, from middle-aged white belts to elite teen black belts, and everything in between. Some of most famous female BJJ champions of the current era – as well as some of the sport’s first ever female BJJ black belts – earned their biggest titles on the blue and yellow mats of the IBJJF circuit.
Moreover, while a lot of local female jiu-jitsu competition divisions see weight classes getting merged to create bigger brackets, the IBJJF always keeps weight classes separate – which can be a boon for smaller women in the sport.
It’s worth noting that for no-gi competition, the IBJJF has very specific uniform requirements. Athletes must wear a rashguard that displays at least 10% or more of their rank color – and yes, IBJJF officials have been known to break out measuring tapes to check. The rest of the rashguard can only display black, white, or both.
As for bottoms, keep in mind that an IBJJF official is a lot likelier to crack down on your hemlines, schoolmarm-style, than a local tournament ref. In IBJJF competition, the only legal alternative to full-length competition spats are shorts that reach at least halfway down the thigh. They can’t have zippers or pockets, and they can’t be any longer than the knee.
While this might sound like a recipe for a boring comp day fit, the sartorial wizards here at Gaidama have worked their magic – in full compliance with IBJJF regulations, to boot. Both our board shorts and our competition length compression shorts should pass uniform check with flying colors.
In addition, you’ve got your choice when it comes to ranked rashguard options. Our safest – and most IBJJF-friendly – choice by far is our special IBJJF-ready Avant Garde ranked rashguard, which is designed specifically to meet even the most stringent of color ranking requirements.
However, we also offer the beautiful cherry blossom ranked rashguard as part of our Artwear line for BJJ women craving a bit more pizzazz. As an extra perk, this outfit even comes with matching spats! That said, please keep in mind that this set does not have the formal approval of the IBJJF. While several athletes have successfully passed uniform check in this outfit, we cannot guarantee – or take responsibility – for IBJJF approval at any specific tournament on the organization’s circuit.
Bonus fashion hack: got your heart set on waring a ranked cherry blossom rashguard to an IBJJF major, but don’t want to risk being out of uniform compliance? Wear your cherry blossoms to the uniform check – and pack an Avant Garde ranked rashguard in your gear bag as a backup, just in case you’re asked to change. We’ve got you covered either way!
ADCC Open Tournaments
When we say “ADCC,” most grapplers immediately think of the elite of the elite on jiu-jitsu’s no-gi scene. Until fairly recently, ADCC-style competition was synonymous with ADCC Worlds, its exclusive invitations available only to Trials winners and a select handful of the best jiu-jitsu athletes on the planet.
Happily for no-gi competition enthusiasts everywhere – especially those who have long enjoyed ADCC’s unique ruleset – the tournament has recently begun the process of establishing an open tournament circuit for hobbyists and professionals alike.
A relative newcomer to the world of jiu-jitsu competition, this growing open circuit has nonetheless exploded in popularity, attracting competitors from all walks of life – including plenty of female grapplers. It’s worth noting that ADCC’s open tournament circuit also has some of the most relaxed uniform policies in modern grappling competition. According to the official rules and regulations section of its website, everything from actual gi to wrestling shoes are technically permissible at an ADCC Open.
Want to test your submission skills at an ADCC Open? Make sure you’re dressed the part by letting Gaidama outfit you in our latest collections. The laissez-faire attire policies of the ADCC are almost the polar opposite of the IBJJF’s strictly rank-based uniform rules, so participating in an Open is a great opportunity to express your personal sense of style on the mats. Some women – such as ADCC veteran and multiple-time no-gi world champion Elisabeth Clay – has even been known to go sports bra only on top.
Inspired by Lis Clay’s bold look at Trials? Steal her vibe by shopping Gaidama’s line of stylish yet functional sports bras. Our Scrambler bra is a particularly popular option for the more, ahem, generously endowed jiujiteira – combining generous support for your girls with a beautiful strappy back detail. If you want to try out the sports bra-only look, but would like to preserve a little more modesty, our elegant, high-necked Kazushi bra is the perfect answer.
October 10, 2023 — Andrea Tang