what is a rash guard?
why should you bother?
aren't they all the same anyway? 

The short answer:

A rash guard,  is a sport specific designed athletic shirt made of spandex and nylon or polyester. The term rash guard reflects the fact that the shirt protects the wearer against rashes caused by abrasion.

You should have one for your benefit and your partners benefit.

No, they are not the same.


Long answer

The rash guard is a mandatory element in your BJJ kit, particularly in no-gi grappling but it’s benefits of use with the gi is often one which remains open for debate. Some people feel less restricted without a rash guard, and absolutely refuse to wear one while rolling in the gi. while some feel they over heat when using a rash guard underneath a Gi; others would say they move more free wearing a rash guard in the Gi and feel it benefits both them and thier partner. For me, the benefits outway the negatives. For example, I would rather my rash guard absord most of my sweat than my gi, I always want something covering my chest (to be nice to my partners). I want my gear to help me and a rash guard wicks away sweat.

There are several reasons why I advocate the use of a rash guard under the gi.

  • Muscle Compression may prevent injury. At Grappling Science we went with the best supplier, not the cheapest. There is no other rash guard material that is more sport specific than ours. We spent one year testing over 15 different types of material from the ratio's of material, thickness and composition specific with exceptional industry stitching. There have been several studies on how wearing a rash guard after rolling can speed up injury recovery due to the compression of the muscles. Just as there are compression braces that reduce injuries of the knees and ankles, rash guards may also reduce the occurrence of minor acute injuries.
  • Reduce bacteria. In the gi, it is common to have over 40% of your skin exposed during rolling. This is how we contract skin disease like ring worm. Well, at least at the prevention level, a rash guard can be washed easier than your gi and will result in less contamination if worn under your gi.
  • Wick away moisture for better grips. Wearing a rash guard, will help to alleviate some of that sweat transfer.
  • Prevents mat burn. This is one ofpurposes of wearing a rash guard. When rolling no-gi, skin contact on your typical BJJ mat can cause friction scars. The chances of mat burn is high. Though the gi provides a barrier between the mat and your skin, it can create greater friction from rolling. The weave patterns on gi’s are designed to be durable and allow for griping, but it also creates a lot of friction. Wearing a rash guard can divert some of that friction to the rash guard, or even displace it all together, as it’s surface is a lot smoother than your skin.

Difference between a rashguard and a Compression shirt?

The main difference is one is sport specific and the other is not. With a compression shirt you may benefit from the physiological feedback offered by compression however you do not have the added benefit of

1. Wick away sweat

2. Thicker material that will last longer.

3. The rash guard is made with a much stronger type of stitching, normally.

4. Rash guard, almost exclusively, has sublimation as the artwork, which means, it's a lifetime guarantee that the art work peel, crack or fade.


With most rash guards you do not receive the benefits from compression tops. With Grappling Science gear you get both, with our jiu jitsu rash gaurds



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