How to find a high quality pair of grappling shorts for comfort, style and performance.
A quality pair of no gi BJJ shorts will allow you to drill and roll comfortably, look great and be durable enough to last a while. There are over 130 BJJ brands currently on the market, many of which sell grappling shorts. This guide will cut through the many choices out there, show you what features you should look for in a good pair of shorts as well as some shorts to consider.
Best BJJ shorts summary
- Best overall BJJ shorts: Gold BJJ Fight Shorts, Fuji Baseline Grappling Shorts, Hayabusa Hexagon Fight Shorts
- Best cheap BJJ shorts: Sanabul Essential Combat Shorts, Hawk Sports MMA shorts
- Fan favourites: 93 Brand Standard Issue, RVCA Grappler Short, Phalanx FC RIZR Ultralight Shorts
Why you can trust this list
We spent nine hours researching 43 brands to create our list of best BJJ no gi shorts. We analyzed a large list of products to create a criteria of what features the best grappling shorts have, and then researched user reviews on Amazon, BJJ Fight Gear and other sites. We also read user reviews on social media platforms like Reddit to see what brands the BJJ community were consistently commenting on. Amazon products were also filtered through Fakespot to exclude products with suspicious reviews.
The best BJJ shorts
Best overall BJJ shorts
Gold BJJ Fight Shorts
Gold BJJ’s Fight Shorts are a super soft and comfortable pair of shorts which tighten with an internal drawstring.
The fabric is a light 4-way stretch material and the shorts have a simple design with two Gold BJJ logos on each leg.
Customer reviews usually comment on how soft and comfortable these shorts are, and how they don’t restrict movement when rolling.
Fuji Baseline Grappling Shorts
Fuji’s BJJ gear consistently ranks well for quality, and its Baseline Grappling Shorts are no different. They have a simple black boardshort design which has an internal drawstring and a velcro enclosure.
These shorts also have stretch panels in the crotch and legs to give greater range of movement when rolling and drilling.
They also have a subtle Fuji logo on the hemline which is sublimated to avoid peeling and fading.
Hayabusa Hexagon Fight Shorts
The Hexagon Fight Shorts are a stylish pair of all purpose shorts which can be used for BJJ, MMA or even lifting in the gym.
They have side slits and stretchier material on the inside of the legs to give your legs full maneuverability when sparring or practicing technique.
The drawstring is internal and is enclosed by a well designed velcro tab, and there’s also an internal silicone waistband to stop the shorts from moving around during activity.
These shorts feature a tasteful pattern and also come in black, white, grey, blue, green and red.
Best cheap BJJ shorts
Sanabul Essential Combat Shorts
Sanabul is known for its quality but budget friendly training gear. It’s Essential Combat Shorts feature a subtle design of mostly black with a small Sanabul logo and accents in a range of colors, including belt rank colors.
They are also slightly stretchy and have open seams to allow for increased range of motion, so you can use these shorts for grappling, kicking and more.
They also have reinforced stitching for durability, and a simple internal drawstring with a velcro hook and loop enclosure system to stop your shorts from unwanted movement during your training session. These shorts also receive an antimicrobial treatment to help keep them cleaner.
Customer reviews commonly mention the durability, flexibility and comfort from the stretchy material.
Hawk Sports MMA shorts
Hawk Sports’ MMA shorts were slightly cheaper than the Sanabul Essential Combat Shorts at the time of writing, but still have many of the same features as some of the more expensive shorts on this list.
They’re made from a light 125 GSM material with embroidered logos, stretchy lycra crotch panels and side vents for enhanced range of motion. They also have reinforced stitching for added durability.
Like most of the shorts on this list, the Hawk Sports MMA shorts have an internal drawstring for tying up your pants, and a velcro hook and loop system for securely closing your shorts. These shorts also come with an internal mouthguard pocket.
These shorts also come with a 5 year replacement warranty for added peace of mind.
Customers who have bought these shorts regularly comment on the comfort of these shorts due to the lightweight fabric, and the low price.
93 Brand Standard Issue
93 Brand is a fan favourite among grapplers because of its good value for money products. It has a large range of no gi shorts in different styles and lengths, but its Standard Issue Shorts come in a 2-pack which is very popular.
The Standard Issue Shorts are made from polyester and the crotch has stretch panels, so these shorts are flexible and allow the wearer to move freely while grappling. They also have side seams to allow extra movement, and these side seams are reinforced, which is handy if someone accidentally steps on them during a roll. They also have an attractive style with a woven logo on the hem.
Best of all, at the time of writing the 2-pack includes two colors: black and grey, so you’ll have some variety.
RVCA Grappler Short
The RVCA Grappler Short has a simple but attractive design with tasteful RVCA logos on the waist, hem and seams. The fabric is a 4-way stretch blend of cotton, polyester and elastane (lycra) which means it’s stretchy, durable and fast-drying.
Customer reviews comment on the durability and fit of these shorts.
Phalanx FC RIZR Ultralight Shorts
Phalanx FC sells a popular range of rash guards and BJJ shorts made in the USA. It’s shorts are made-to-order from 4-way stretch fabric, are very light, and feature flatlock stitching for comfort and durability.
They also have reinforced stitching on stress points to help them last through your weekly training sessions. The designs are sublimated, so they won’t fade or peel as you use and wash these shorts.
User reviews for these shorts frequently comment on how comfortable and tough these shorts are.
Table of contents
- What are BJJ shorts?
- What features do the best shorts have?
- Which BJJ shorts are IBJJF legal?
- How we picked these shorts
- Can you wear regular board shorts for BJJ?
What are BJJ or grappling shorts?
No gi grappling shorts, or BJJ shorts, are purpose-built shorts for jiu jitsu. They typically have no pockets, are made from stretchy quick drying materials, have reinforced stitching and have a hemline that finishes at or above the knee. They will typically have an internal drawstring and a velcro waistband enclosure to keep them on and secure throughout class.
BJJ shorts can also have other features like artworks, internal mouthguard pockets, rank color accents, silicone or rubber waistbands, side slits and more.
As you can see from the above features, BJJ shorts differ from regular basketball or boardshorts in their materials, lack of pockets, hemline length and drawstring/waistband enclosures. This also makes them legal for BJJ competitions and to help them stay on and stay comfortable during rolls.
What features do the best BJJ shorts have?
The best BJJ shorts typically have a number of features that raise them above the rest. These include:
4-way stretch fabrics
The highest-rated BJJ shorts are generally made from a blend of mostly polyester with some spandex (also known as lycra). This allows the fabric to stretch both length and width wise, giving you full range of motion. It also gives your shorts greater durability as the fabric is more elastic, which is great if someone accidentally grabs or steps on your shorts during a roll.
Internal drawstring with ‘hook and loop’ velcro enclosure
Quality grappling shorts will have an internal drawstring which is tied on the inside of the shorts. This stops the drawstring from being unraveled during class or competition, and from snagging on you or your partner’s fingers.
Good no gi shorts will also have a two or three fold velcro waistband enclosure which securely closes over the drawstring and keeps your shorts closed during your rolls. Well designed velcro enclosures, especially 3-fold enclosures, also help to stop the velcro tabs from coming apart during your rolls and rubbing on your skin or rashguard.
Some high quality BJJ shorts will also even have plastic dipped drawstrings to help you tie or untie them when your fingers are sweaty or you’re just tired from class.
Flatlock stitching and reinforced seams
Flatlock stitching refers to a method of joining fabric which results in a flat join on the inside and outside of your shorts, which means less rubbing and more comfort as you drill and roll.
Because of the accidental pulling and grabbing that your shorts might be subject to, some manufacturers will use various techniques to strengthen the seams.
Many brands like Fuji and Venum will sew a gusset into their BJJ shorts. A gusset is an extra triangle of fabric added to the crotch, allowing for extra range of movement. It also helps to reduce the amount of wear the crotch receives. Sometimes this gusset might be completely made from spandex/lycra for extra stretch.
Quality BJJ shorts are usually sublimated, which refers to a heat and pressure printing process. This literally embeds the artwork into the fabric, making it last much longer and reducing the chance of the artwork fading or peeling.
Interesting artworks and designs
While optional, many no gi shorts feature attractive artworks and designs. Brands like Raven Fightwear, Tatami or Meerkatsu for example will add depictions of warriors, gods and other mythical figures to their shorts to give them more personality.
Some quality grappling shorts will include an internal pocket to hold your mouthguard.
Most purpose-built BJJ shorts will have side slits in the fabric on each of the outside legs. This allows more freedom of movement when rolling or drilling.
Many of the best pairs of no gi shorts will be IBJJF legal, which means you can wear them when competing in an IBJJF competition. This generally means they use the correct colours, don’t have any external drawstrings, zippers, metal or plastic that could hurt an opponent, and are the correct length (long enough to cover at least halfway down the thigh, and no longer than the knee). Read more about IBJJF requirements for shorts.
Which BJJ shorts are IBJJF legal?
According to IBJJF rules, shorts must fit the following criteria:
- Must be colored black, white, black and white, and/or your rank color
- Must not have pockets, or have pockets stitched shut
- Must not have buttons, exposed drawstrings, zippers, metal or plastic that could hurt an opponent
- Must be long enough to cover at least half way down your thigh but no more than 15cm from your knee
- Must not be longer than your knee
How we picked these rash guards: our methodology explained
- We compared shorts from 43 brands.
- We read and analyzed a large number of customer reviews on Amazon, popular online BJJ stores, Reddit and the brands’ own websites to create a list of popular no gi BJJ shorts.
- We evaluated the shorts based not only on user reviews but also features
- We weighed up the advantages and disadvantages for each pair of shorts using user reviews. Information was collected in May and June 2021. Fakespot was used to analyze and exclude products on Amazon with suspicious reviews.
Can you use regular board shorts for BJJ?
Surf boardshorts are very similar to BJJ boardshorts, although they may not have the same features. You may be able to wear your regular board shorts for BJJ provided they have no pockets, zippers, plastic or other metal pieces that may injure your opponent or snag their fingers or toes during your rolls.
Also make sure your boardshorts are of a similar fit to BJJ shorts. If they’re too baggy they may also catch your opponent’s fingers during your rolls. If your board shorts have pockets, you can stitch them shut.
What’s your favourite pair of BJJ shorts? Let us know below!