Should You Wear a Cup for BJJ Training?

Should You Wear a Cup for BJJ Training?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a self-defense-oriented martial art that relies on submission, ground combat, and grappling. BJJ involves using force and leverage to take your opponent down, and control his/her movements to try and make him/him submit by using chokeholds, sweeps, guards, mounts, and joint locks. But even expert BJJ practitioners may hit sensitive areas on the body that could result in injury. Wearing protective gear is essential when training or participating in a BJJ competition, or even when sparring.

While they can provide extra protection, some martial artists are divided on whether wearing a groin cup is necessary for BJJ. This article will discuss why you should wear a groin cup when you practice BJJ and what protective gear to wear when competing in BJJ competitions that do not permit groin cups.

1. Why You Shouldn't Use a Cup for BJJ Training

Athletic cups are used to protect the groin from injuries, which are prevalent in sports such as football and martial arts. However, BJJ has a much lower chance of traumatic injuries from high impacts to the groin during training, which reduces the need for an athletic cup.

Because the cup is a hard surface, it might be hazardous for your trainers’ or opponents’ limbs when executing techniques along the lower body. This makes using techniques that focus on leverage such as armbars more dangerous.

However, if the cup slips off, you could potentially harm your groin more than if you weren't wearing a cup altogether.

Another reason why you shouldn’t wear a cup for BJJ is that you may become too accustomed to fighting while wearing one. If you are used to being careful and applying less pressure when performing techniques while wearing a cup, it may hinder your performance when you are forced to fight without one.

2. Why Should I Wear a Cup When Rolling In a BJJ?

Though it is not required to wear a cup in BJJ, there are benefits to wearing one. In recent years, new designs and top-grade materials have made groin cups more comfortable to use. Specific groin cups have cushioning so that they rest comfortably around the groin.

A groin cup can shield you from accidental strikes to your private parts. Sometimes, a knee or elbow could hit the groin and cause injuries or your privates may be crushed between thighs. Thus, wearing a groin cup will protect you from injury.

Groin cups are also highly beneficial to those suffering from legitimate medical issues. If you've suffered a previous injury to the groin region, you must be cautious of accidental hits.

3. Using a Cup in BJJ

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu involves moving multiple limbs at once while in constant contact with your opponent.

There are many possible points of contact available when you are in a back, half, mounted or closed shield position. When sparring, the cup can also come into contact with the practitioner when using any of these positions.

This may increase the likelihood that the cup will become dislodged, which might result in injury to the groin.

4. Other Protective Gear for BJJ

Other pieces of protective BJJ gear are a mouthguard and grappling headgear.

A mouthguard is a plastic shield that can be fitted around your teeth to protect your mouth from injury.

Grappling headgear is made of hard plastic, encompassing your entire head with an elongated layer on the outside.

Reliable grappling headgear can prevent cauliflower ears which can have detrimental effects on your hearing.

The only issue with protective headgear is that wearing such equipment may not be permitted at certain professional events.

5. Why Are Cups Banned in BJJ Tournaments?

Cups are not allowed in BJJ competitions because they can potentially injure your opponents. For example, if you try to mount from the back, you could possibly injure your opponent's spine.

A cup can make it difficult to determine how much force to apply during certain moves like armbars. It’s harder to perceive the stress you're exerting on your opponent which could lead to inadvertently hurting your opponent.

6. It's Not Completely Bad

If you are suffering from any medical condition or have suffered a traumatic injury to the groin, then wearing a cup can help prevent further injuries.

Another thing to keep in mind is that a cup may not be snug around the groin, which can lead to the cup crushing your privates even when you have not been hit.

Another option is to exercise without the cup and only wear it during sparring.

7. Last Words

Using a cup can make it difficult for you to escape challenging situations and could increase the likelihood of hurting your opponent when in certain positions or executing submissions.

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