Today I’m answering the question: Should you wear a cup in BJJ? There’s a big debate out there, and I have heard all kinds of arguments for and against wearing a cup in BJJ.
I have a cup myself, but I must confess I don’t wear it often. Sometimes I wished I would have worn it, though…
Accidental strikes to the groin could happen – so one would think you should wear a cup. It should be as important as wearing a mouthguard in BJJ.
But I have seen more people not wearing one than people wearing a groin cup.
Let’s get into the debate in discovering whether you should wear a cup in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
The Risks of Not Wearing a Cup in BJJ
Some people decide not to wear a cup when rolling. Most of the time, I don’t wear one either.
But everybody knows how vulnerable the groin area is. In Jitsu-Jitsu, a lot of guard passing happens. You have fast movements, and the goal often is to pass the kneeline to get to an advantageous decision.
Therefore many times when I roll, the knees or elbows of my opponent are very close to my groin area.
So accidents do happen. A cup will protect you from accidental blows. If you train BJJ regularly, you don’t want to get too many of those to your groin.
It can have severe consequences.
Why Do People Decide Not To Wear A Groin Cup?
- Uncomfortable: It’s inconvenient and uncomfortable to wear a groin cup. I don’t lie wearing them, and I’m always happy when I can take them out again.
- Not allowed in competition: You are not allowed to wear a cup under the IBJJF rules. Therefore, if you want to compete in a tournament, you should learn how to roll without the cup.
- Hurting The Other Person: In BJJ, you are close to your opponent. A lot of scrambles happen. BJJ fights can get wild, and therefore a groin cup is hard for protection. It could potentially hurt the other person when you fall with your cup into somebody.
- Techniques: Some techniques work better with a groin cup on. For example, I find it easier to hit an armbar with one on. The breaking point of the opponent’s arm comes faster because of the elevation and the hardness of the cup. So you have an advantage with the cup on.
- Risk Not As High: Even though you are so close to your opponent, I didn’t experience many accidental groin strikes in the years of my training in Jiu-Jitsu. And others usually have a similar experience.
Benefits of Wearing a Cup
Well, the obvious reason is the protection of your vulnerable parts. Even though you are not allowed in competition you could wear them in practice to protect yourself.
Whenever I roll with a cup I feel more free and protected. It gives me more freedom, and I find myself worrying less about getting hit in my groin.
Some people come from MMA to BJJ, and they are used to training with a cup. Protection should be emphasized in all martial arts, and therefore this is a big argument why you should wear one.
Should You Wear A Cup In BJJ? – Final Words
So the debate whether you should wear a cup in BJJ still remains debated. You will hear different answers from different Gyms.
I have been to Gyms that told me to put out my groin cup because it’s illegal in BJJ. Then I went to another gym (in the same city!), and they asked me why I was not wearing a cup.
Personally, I rarely use cups in BJJ. But you should decide for yourself and don’t let somebody tell you otherwise, even if you’re the only one wearing one.
If you want to have this extra protection, please go for it. It’s natural, and nobody should tell you not to wear one.