Are Groin Protectors Allowed In BJJ?

You may be wondering if you’re allowed to wear a groin protector during class or in competition in Jiu-Jitsu. Maybe you had a mishap happen or terrible nightmares from the past. Whether it might be I’m going to answer your questions about using a groin guard in Jiu-Jitsu!

According to IBJJF rule 8.3.7 using a cup (groin protection) is forbidden as it is made out of hard material that may cause harm to your opponent. Most classes will allow you to use a cup during training; however, be sure to ask your instructor as some places do not allow them.

Why Most People Don’t Wear A Groin Guard

Most people do not wear groin guards because the number of times that it is an issue is typically very low. Additionally, they are not allowed in competition, so training with them may cause you to get used to having one. More often you’ll notice people that train MMA wears a cup; this is because they wear them during training and competitions.

Generally, people will not be intentionally trying to crush your groin to gain an advantage, especially in training. The times that you’re more likely to get hit in the groin is when your opponent goes for a knee slice or combat base from your guard.

Below is a video showing a Berimbolo sweep when your opponent is in your guard – take note of where your opponent’s knee is and how easily it could put pressure on your groin.

Benefits Of Wearing A Groin Guard

The benefits of wearing a groin guard are that they protect your groin from getting crushed during rolling. Or prevent you from moving into the worst position because you are getting crushed.

If you’re not thinking about competing then there is no risk in getting used to wearing a cup during training. Wearing a cup during training can help ease the mind if you have taken a lot of blows or do not want to damage your male genitals.

Why You Shouldn’t Wear A Groin Guard In BJJ

Jiu-Jitsu does not incorporate striking so the risk of getting hit hard in the groin is much lower. As well as, you’re going to get into lots of strange positions in Jiu-Jitsu where a groin protector may cause more discomfort than what it is worth! Finally, by not using a groin guard it’ll help build your situational awareness of when you’re in danger of getting your groin squished.

Finding a cup that fits properly can be a hard task to do. If your cup doesn’t fit properly then you are at risk of having your skin or testicles getting punched.

One moment everything may be in place the next you may be put in a position where something may slip out and when your opponent comes in to pass your guard – PINCH!

Since the IBJJF does not allow you to use a groin guard in competitions (some No-Gi competitions do not allow the use of groin guards) it is a good idea not to get used to using them in training.

By not using a guard in training you are also building the situational awareness to know when you’re in a position that could impact your groin or cause discomfort.

Furthermore, using a groin guard can injure your partners back if you hip extend to tighten up your choke. The hard plastic can jab straight into their spinal cord and if you’re not aware of it and they can’t vocally tell you or tap quickly enough it can cause damage.

Alternatives To Using A Groin Guard

There are some alternatives to using the traditional groin guard. Compression underwear or jock-straps do not offer protection in terms of impact but they will assist in reducing the risk of being squished or having your goods in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Compression underwear is competition legal and something you can wear outside of the gym – hopefully with pants on. I generally use SAXX compression underwear; however, any compression underwear with a pouch will do the job.

SAXX compression underwear.

Jockstraps are similar to compression underwear, but they also offer the option to put a cup inside. This way you can use your jockstrap during BJJ training and insert your cup during MuayThai, MMA, or other sports that benefit from groin protection.

Do Females Wear Groin Protection?

Females generally do not wear groin protection, especially in Jiu-Jitsu. The likelihood of having an impact hard enough is lower than males; however, a foot or shin to the crotch will still hurt. Bone-on-bone does not feel pleasant!

Did you know that females are restricted from wearing groin protection according to UFC rules and regulations?

It is still recommended that females use some type of groin protection in MMA and other combat sports as a hit in the groin is still painful and can cause damage!


Groin protection is typically not used in BJJ because the risk of high impact in the crouch is low and the official IBJJF rules do not allow the use of groin guards in competition. Using compression underwear or a jockstrap (without the cup) will hold the male’s genitals securing in place reducing the risk of them being squished, pinched, or in an unwanted position.

Using a groin guard is allowed in some classes; however, it is best to check with your instructor if they allow it or not. When using a groin guard be aware that if you have your opponents back you can cause additional pain or injury to their spine when using your hips for pressure. Additionally, make sure it fits properly as BJJ can cause you to be in a position where your male parts can come out and then be pinch – hard.