If you have a grappler in your life that does Judo or BJJ it's important to keep them happy and healthy while training. Below you will find the ultimate gift ideas I've compiled over the last 20 years to make any grappler in your life a happy grappler!
A staple of any grappler with endless uses. I've tried many brands over the years and J&J Coach Tape is the best so far!
Note: If you plan on buying more than a stocking stuffer, buy in bulk! You will save a lot $.
Keeping your grapplers nails trimmed short, hair out of the way and body clean is a must for all that do Judo or BJJ.
Personalized Zipper/Jewelry Pouch
Wearing jewelry on the mat is never recommended as it can cause some pretty nasty injuries if tangled with our opponent or Gi. But, just throwing them inside your bag or pocket is not ideal either as they can get dinged up or lost. One of these nice zipper pouches is a great way for your grappler to keep their valuables safe, and for kids can even be personalized to match their belt color! Leaving more gift options down the road when they get promoted again!
The grappler in your life is a precision machine, and as such needs the right tools to be maintained. These items help with recovery and keep your grappler happy.
Pain relieving balms/gels (Tiger balm, Biofreeze)
Epsom salts (Amazing for a pain relieving bath)
A link to my article on finger health tips
These sneaker balls are the best I've used so far, just throw a new one in your gi bag ever month and it keeps everything you put in it smelling nice.
Keep your grapplers hair out of their face and safe from getting caught in a grip.
Training journal/Goal Journal
A training or goal journal is an invaluable way to progress at anything you are passionate about. With a good journal you can plan and track progress towards your goals on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Record your training sessions and create a plan for success. Every grappler should use one.
A cool t-shirt with Judo or BJJ artwork or mantra on it is the best grapple-wear short of a new gi.
There are tons of great options on Amazon or on RedBubble along with some great original artwork.
Nutrition is important when you train. Things like CBD (Hemp) Oil, Fish Oil, Tumeric, Glucosamine and Chondroitin and other supplements/vitamins have lots of research backing up their power to keep the body healthy, the mind sharp, and fight inflammation. However, supplements can be a very personal choice, so check with those you are buying gifts for to see what they might already take. If they don't take anything yet, a good fish oil supplement is a all around safe bet.
Sports water bottle
Gotta have one. Stay hydrated.
Hand made rank colored keychain
A pretty cool gift, especially for a junior grappler.
When your grappler is walking on/off the mat or showering after class a nice pair of water resistant sandals are key to keeping feet healthy and not dragging dirt and other stuff on the mat. If the grappler in your life doesn't have a nice pair dedicated to their grappling, this would make a great gift.
Rash guards/Compression shorts
Rash guards are both functional and ascetic. Plus, the artwork available on rash guards today is amazing and beautiful.
One of my favorite companies that makes rash guards is https://yudanshafightwear.com/
The average grappler will often find themselves walking around in their gi pants at home. It may sound ridiculous, but they are quite comfortable, and they breath really well so temperature control happens naturally. Your grappler may not even know these exist, making them a really surprising and awesome gift!
Sisu Mouth Guard
Wearing a mouth guard is a personal choice but often smart. I never wore one for 16 years and had no issues but as I got older and started to do BJJ in addition to Judo I decided to make it a priority.
One thing that always turned me off of mouth guards was how bulky they were and how hard to breath it was with one in. However, this mouth guard changed my life! It molds perfectly to your teeth with very simple steps, and is as easy to breath with it in as without. Even better, you can still drink water and even talk with it in. Amazing!
Books on Judo or BJJ come in all types and varieties from historical to philosophical to instructional. Really, you can find great books on grappling a lots of prices but they average out around $30.
The best book I have ever read related to grappling is Judo Heart and Soul by Hayward Nishioka.
Uchikomi bands / Grip strength trainer
These grip strength trainers are awesome and something any grappler would love to have!
Instructional DVD or Book
When your grappler is not grappling it's important that they are still working out the grappler portions of the mind. Instructional videos are the recommended way to ensure that sufficient mental stimulation is achieved when not on the mat.
Some of the best DVD's I have found are from Neil Adams, Jimmy Pedro, Ryan Hall and Bernardo Faria but there are many many great ones out there. Ask your grappler what style they like and who would be their favorite person to learn from.
Deep tissue Massage
Your grappler would love to have those knots worked out through a professional deep tissue massage. Make sure to remember that most masseuse's in the United States will expect a tip of around 15-25% and factor that into the gift.
Your grappler will quickly accumulate a lot of grappling related items they need to bring with them to practice along with their gi. A nice gi bag specifically designed with the grappler in mind makes an awesome gift.
If your grappler competes or wants their ranks certified by the national organizations they will need to belong to one of them. These organizations also cover things like competition insurance which is required by most tournaments. Having to deal with this every year is irritating for every grappler and knowing it's out of the way will make the year go by that much easier.
The most common organizations used are below with links to their signup pages:
United State Judo Association
USA Judo Inc
Internation Brazillian JiuJitsu Federation
A great and elegant gift for the competitive grappler
A personalized version great for Junior grapplers
Because of Judo photograph book
A truly original Judo gift especially for those in the United Kingdom. 229 pages and 190 photographs spanning from 2010 to 2014 including the Great Britain (GB) team prep for London 2012. If you are a fan of GB Judo or Judo photography this is a must have!