Jiu-Jitsu is as intensive and as exhausting as it looks. Apart from the fatigue, you’re definitely going to experience aches in your body here and there.
If you want to lessen the chances of injuries or if you want to make sure that your weak spots are safe, it would be best to invest in the right gear.
If you have weak knees or have a past injury that you don’t want to happen again, you should get a knee brace. Not only does this reinforce your knee, but it can also help make you feel more comfortable on the mats whether you’re competing or training.
A Jiu-Jitsu knee brace is a lot more important than you think. Before diving into the best knee brace for Jiu-Jitsu, let’s first talk about some facts.
Table of Contents
What Is A Knee Brace For Jiu-Jitsu?
A knee brace is basically a wrap that’s for your knees. It’s made out of soft and elastic materials. Its primary purpose is to take the pressure off parts of your knee that are affected by old injuries and even chronic pain such as osteoarthritis.
Additionally, a knee brace can help reinforce your knee in case you feel it buckle when you stand.
Now, there are various types of knee braces. Some are specifically made for knee rehabilitation. On the other hand, there are knee braces that are made for sports like Jiu-Jitsu. The main difference is that sports knee braces are more compact and allow you to move more freely.
The knees are a commonly used part of the body in Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling. It’s used for lifting and securing specific submissions. A knee brace can help alleviate most of your pain after years of training in the sport.
The right knee brace for BJJ will give you the perfect support and mobility to try your favorite positions again.
A common thing that happens to every berimbolo lover after a knee injury is a fear of trying their favorite positions that also put a lot of pressure on the knee.
Get the appropriate knee brace for BJJ and give that De La Riva guard a try every once in a while. You’ll be surprised by the results.
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Is Wearing A Knee Brace Allowed In Competition?
The IBJJF doesn’t have any specific rules regarding wearing knee pads or knee braces in competition. However, the referee and officials will inspect your body before you engage in a fight.
Generally, knee braces with metal aren’t allowed, and you’ll have to take them off. These types of knee braces are dangerous and could cause injury.
An official might also ask you to take off your knee brace if it proves to be a disadvantage or advantage to you or your opponent during a fight.
When Is It Time To Wear A Knee Brace?
A knee brace is most often used if you have chronic knee pain or a previous injury from which you are still recovering. The compression can help alleviate the pain from the knee brace, thus allowing you to train or compete without worries.
Aside from that, you can use a knee brace as a support to avoid getting injured in the first place. You don’t need a medical professional to give you a prescription for a knee brace.
If you want to keep your knees safe for a long time, it would be wise to invest in a knee brace as soon as you can. Every professional Jiu-Jitsu athlete will tell you likewise.
A knee brace isn’t magic
Of course, a knee brace doesn’t guarantee that you will be free from injuries. Those can still occur if you aren’t careful. At least with a knee brace, you can significantly reduce the risk of getting injured in training or a fight.
But, be careful. If you’re not injured, only get knee braces that offer limited support. You don’t want to restrain your mobility and cause atrophy to healthy muscles.
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Best Knee Brace For Jiu-Jitsu
There are lots of knee braces out there. When buying one, you should always consider your comfort with the knee brace.
Additionally, it would help if you also looked into how well it fits under your gi so that you can wear it during the competition.
Here are some of the best knee braces we’ve found so far.
1) Shock Doctor Ultra Knit Knee Support
The Shock Doctor brand is one of the most famous names regarding protective gear for fighters. The best knee brace for jiu-jitsu they have right now is the Shock Doctor Ultra Knit Knee Support.
It’s made from the highest quality material, and the design is also intended for maximum knee protection.
While pricey, this knee brace is an excellent investment. It offers Level 3 protection, which can help you deal with serious injuries such as ACL/PCL, meniscal trauma, and more.
Design-wise, this knee brace comes with dual wraps and hinges that provide extra comfort. Additionally, it’s easy to wear under your gi.
- Highest level of protection
- Can be worn under gi
- Tight and comfortable fit
- Can be a bit pricey
- Rather bulky when folded
- Spiral metal band at sides are prone to rust
2) McDavid Knee Compression Sleeve
If you’ve had minor injuries on your knees before, then the McDavid Knee Compression Sleeve is the best investment you can make.
It’s an affordable neoprene compression sleeve that offers excellent support for muscle and tendon injuries. It’s a big plus that this is a very comfortable knee brace too.
The design of these knee braces features an open patella that provides maximum compression for your knee joint. This is actually designed to make knee injuries heal faster during training.
The sleeve design makes it a viable knee brace both in competition and in training as well.
- Very affordable
- Great for muscle and tendon injuries
- Perfect fit thanks to sleeve design
- Strong chemical smell out of the box
- Stitches at the top and bottom are flimsy
3) NEENCA Professional Knee Brace
From the looks alone, it’s easy to see that the NEENCA Professional Knee Brace is obviously built for heavy-duty needs.
It might look like it’s hard to move wearing this knee brace, but surprisingly, the entire fit is very comfortable and easy to work with. There are lots of things that this knee brace does right.
Another upside to this knee brace is that it’s made out of high-quality neoprene. It doesn’t look as such, but wearing this knee brace doesn’t feel hot or stuffy at all.
The seams at the brace allow air to flow in smoothly thus making sure that your knee brace doesn’t get too wet with sweat.
- Built to last
- Made from breathable materials
- Great fit
- Not viable under gi
- Cuffs at the back of the knee can be too tight
4) Bauerfeind GenuTrain Knee Support
The Bauerfeind GenuTrain Knee Support is a knee brace that’s beloved by martial artists worldwide.
It provides the best support for your injured knee joint. It can help you recover from all kinds of knee pain and strains. It can also help heal instability, collateral ligament damage, and swelling.
The knee brace features medical-level support. It provides excellent compression while considering circulation for your knees as well.
Thanks to high-quality materials, the Bauerfiend GenuTrain Knee Support is very soft and comfortable to wear.
Many athletes believe that this is the best knee brace out there right now.
- Offers medical-level protection
- Made from high-quality materials
- Great for all kinds of strains
- Springs at side can snap
- Expensive compared to other brands
- Fit can be awkward for some
5) Ultra Flex Knee Braces
The Ultra Flex Knee Braces are perfect for people that are coming from light injuries on their knees. Some of the injuries include grade 1 or 2 ligament tears.
It’s also suitable for people who have gone through rehab already. Its slim and simple design makes it a great fit under most gis.
The Ultra Flex Knee Braces are designed like a compression sleeve that has built-in brace-like properties. If you’re suffering from muscle stiffness, tendonitis, or even osteoporosis, this is one of the best knee braces for Jiu-Jitsu that you can buy.
It also comes in a few selections of colors, which is excellent if you want it to look stylish, or at least as stylish as it gets for a knee brace.
- Slim and compact fit
- Great for relieving pain
- Simple compression sleeve design
- Sizing is awkward for some
- Material is rough and might cause burns against the opponent in no-gi
How To Take Care Of A Knee Brace?
There’s not much you need to do to care for your knee brace. However, you will need to wash it regularly. Training and competing will let the materials the knee brace is made of absorb sweat and even blood.
If you let that be, it can result in bacteria and germs forming inside the knee brace.
Ideally, it would help if you hand-washed your knee brace. Dropping it inside a washing machine can be bad for the knee brace, especially if there are solid parts such as springs. After training, dry out the knee brace first so the sweat can dry out naturally.
If you want to use the washing machine, just make sure to use a cycle for delicate clothes. Most modern washing machines will have some sort of program for delicates.
Getting A Knee Brace For Jiu-Jitsu FAQs
What is the best knee brace for Jiu-Jitsu?
The Shock Doctor Ultra Knit Knee Support is one of the best knee braces for Jiu-Jitsu. Although it’s currently the priciest option you can find right now, the knee brace delivers protection that’s unlike any other for your knee. It’s best for severe injuries of all types.
For its price, you’re getting the best protection that will allow you to prevent even more severe injuries. It’s an investment worth making as a Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, whether you’re a casual or a hardcore competitor.
How do you protect your knees in BJJ?
Aside from wearing a knee brace, it would help to let your body warm up before doing drills or even competing. Warm-up exercises are crucial for any rigorous physical activity as they keep your body limber and stronger against potential injuries.
Those exercises might seem a bit bothersome every time you train or compete, but trust us when we say that they prevent injuries.
It’s also essential that you know when to rest. If your knees feel weak or stiff, don’t push too hard. Call it a day and let your knees recover. It’s your body’s way of telling you something is wrong, and you need to be more careful.
If this does happen, don’t forget to do the RICE method:
This method is effective for light injuries and pain such as cramps and sprains. For heavier injuries, it’s best to head to a doctor.
Do knee braces help strengthen knees?
Yes, they do. But not in the way that you think.
It strengthens your knees so that they don’t get further injuries during drills or competition. It does not give you any significant advantage when it comes to strength.
Why do my knees hurt BJJ?
The most common reason is overfatigue. Like the rest of your body, your joints and ligaments on your knees will feel more pressure the more it is used.
In Jiu-Jitsu, the knees are used for submissions, takedowns, sweeps, and much more. This puts a lot of pressure on your knees. With extensive use, your knees will eventually feel stiffer and sorer.
Best Knee Brace For Jiu-Jitsu – Final Word
A Knee brace for Jiu-Jitsu is one of the best investments you can make as an athlete. Aside from helping you train more efficiently even with an injury, a knee brace can also help you avoid injuries as well.
If you have the budget for it, we highly suggest getting the Bauerfeind GenuTrain Knee Support, as it’s one of the best that your money can buy.