BJJ: 5 Reasons I Love Spats

I am a convert. I wear spats each and every time I do jiu jitsu now. At first it was to justify having bought four pairs of spats, but only doing nogi jiu jitsu one time per week. Now it’s because I love them dearly. Why, you ask? Great question.


While I usually don’t feel much pressure to maintain leg shaving, I remember going to class one time with hairy legs and feeling very uncomfortable about it. I don’t want to share my hairy legs with the world, so I have felt a pressure from myself to maintain leg shaving before class. Enter the spats. No pressure to shave whatsoever because these bad boys cover my entire legs down to my ankles. Excellent.


I hate highwater pants with a vengeance, and unfortunately, many gi companies seem to think that women have super short legs. I find that when I wear spats under my gis, I don’t care if they’re high waters. After all, now I can show off my spats better. Not just that, but I’m also physically less aware of high waters because I can only feel the spats on my legs.


My rooster spats are FIERCE!


It used to be I had gi gear and nogi gear. Now, my nogi gear simply is under my gi. If I forget that we were doing nogi, no problem – I’m already in my spats. If someone wants to roll nogi after class, no problem – I’ll just take off my gi, and I’m ready to roll.


I have sensitive skin, and between my spats and my rashguards, I don’t get any sort of gi burn on my legs or body. Sometimes I notice that my rashie or my spats look a bit worn and realize that they saved my body from getting that wear and tear. Not just that, but the spats and rashguard help keep a layer of protection between me and my partner. It’s much less skin-on-skin action, which reduces changes of picking up mat-bugs.


It’s true! I have an addiction. I really want more spats. I want peacock spats and dinosaur spats and ALL THE FREAKING SPATS! I might just have a problem. Just in case you’re wondering, I wear a medium.

Jiu Jiu’s Question: Have you drunk the spats-flavored Kool-Aid/Flavor-Aid? What do you think about them? Do you wear them under your gi pants? Do you go full spats? PLEASE LET’S TALK ABOUT THIS ADDICTION!

  1. I’ve recently become a spats convert…no small thanks to you Jiu Jiu, BJJHQ, & Meerkatsu. I love them. No more mat/ Gi burn. Plus everything stays cool in the old man parts region. My wife is getting a little annoyed, that I run around the house in my BJJ superhero outfits all the time, but she’ll get over

    • HELL YEAH!! I just wish there was a Wonder Woman set. I would rock those like no one’s business!

  2. I would like to wear spats. Unfortunately, I have enough of a problem with pants as it is. I am short so all pants are too long. I have a small waist and a large behind. You would think this would make it easier for me to keep my pants up, but its not. I spend a good 5 minutes working on tying them so they won’t fall off. Once, I wore some shorts that were made of the same material as spats – and they slipped right off. Fortunately in the locker room so I was able to do the wardrobe change before the fail in front of all the guys. Finally bought a gi from Fenom so THOSE pants don’t fall down. So perhaps I will retry spats.

    • DOPE! That’s actually a main reason to wear spats! If your pants fall down, your undies don’t show!! The cool thing is that some spats come with drawstrings – Meerkatsu’s and OK Kimonos. Then you can tie those puppies tight!

      I’m curious about your pants – specifically, how are you pulling it and tying it. I’ve literally never had an issue with this, but then again, this is how I deal with pants:


      It MAY change your life.

  3. You had me confused with the headline on this one. I’m used to “spats” being the term for a type of footwear accessory ( ), which didn’t seem appropriate for jiu-jitsu. I hadn’t come across the term being used for tights before.

    That said, they do look cool. Maybe I’ll pick some up for myself down the line.

    • Hahahaha that’s funny! I hope you do pick them up! Yeah – in the “real world” (read – outside of BJJ), they’re just called leggings or tights.

  4. Good morning. I’m not a convert but I’m willing to try. The closest I’ve gotten to spats is running tights and was never very comfortable in those …but they are a necessity here in the PNW. Spats are way cooler with their flashy designs. I do wear shorts under my gi – you know, tight shorts, bike shorts, we called them spankies in volleyball … in bjj are they spatizihnos? I also do not like my ankles to show and I’m between a regular length and a tall so depending on brand I usually just let them ride below my belly button (very much like my boy style jeans). Do spats have a drawstring?

    • There are a few spats that have drawstrings. The OK Kimonos! ones do, and the rooster spats I have from Meerkatsu do. The ones from Pony Club Grappling Gear do not. These tend to be fairly long, so you might find that they are fine! If I straighten mine, they go to my toes!

  5. I’ve drunk the spats kool aid — wear ’em all the time now under my gi and in no-gi. Now if BJJHQ would be kind enough to please put those unicorn ones back on sale…

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  7. Urban spats on BJJHQ today. I must have it. Ok here’s my one question for the guys. What do you wear under your spats for support?

    • I don’t know that in here is the best place to find that answer. I would suggest asking on reddit in the BJJ section!

  8. My booty is too big to wear something that form fitting on the bottom.

    • LIES!! You can totally do it!! ^_^ Or you can wear it and put fight shorts over them.

  9. You know, I wear vale tudo shorts all the time, because nothing is more practical for grappling than spandex IMO. but for some reason haven’t gotten around to grappling in spats (although that might save me a lot on knee pads.) Granted,in China where I live, they don’t sell those totally awesome rooster tights you’re rocking in the picture.

    • It’s called the Internet, and it’s glorious!! ^_^ I live in Korea and they’re not common here, either. I’d be curious as to your thoughts on spats. You should try them out.

      • Just a quick question- do the red rooster spats have a drawstring? I can’t find that information on any product descriptions on the web. Thanks in advance!

  10. So I’ve bought of pair of grappling spats (Scramble USA red white and blue spats, cuz ‘Merica), and I’ve been trying them out for a couple of months- comparing and contrasting them with my other athletic tights. Pro’s: they look cool. I like the colors, design, etc. High quality flatlock stitching. The waistband with the drawstring work really well to keep the spats in place (the worst thing is when pants/shorts come off in the middle of a fight) Here they are in action:

    Cons: The fabric itself is not as durable as I hoped. After wearing them once, there were already minor scuffs and pilling (I haven’t had this problem with most of my other athletic tights I wear when grappling) After wearing them a dozen times, they’ve taken more superficial damage from normal rolling, but not nearly as bad as day 1, so I’m not sure what happened then. Compared with these blue ski tights I grapple in sometimes, the fabric of the Scramble spats doesn’t even compare in durability. These things are practically indestructible:
    On the other hand, the Nike dri-fit athletic tights I’m wearing in this next video have lasted me for over 15 years without any noticeable wear and tear whatsoever. I’ve used them for everything from grappling to ballet without any sign of giving up the ghost.

    Friction: There’s a lot less friction on my legs with the Scramble spats- great for guard passing, hip escapes, spinning out of a leg grab, and any other technique where sliding through is an advantage. Lousy for leg riding, grapevines, leg scissors, and anything else where friction is your friend. For comparison, the blue ski tights are even slicker, and the black nike tights actually increase friction quite a bit. On the plus side, the Scramble spats take a lot of friction off the knees- I almost always wear knee pads while training- with the spats, it’s not necessary.

    Overall, I’m happy with my purchase. Compared to most locally made athletic tights, any imported grappling spats are expensive, so I don’t see myself getting a lot of spats in a short time frame- but I’m definitely a fan. I’m thinking of getting some of the red rooster spats pictured above because I like the design. How are they holding up?

    • Thanks for the comprehensive review! I have found that of the four spats I have, the red rooster is the one I wear least because it is the tightest, and it gives me a bigger camel toe than the
      others. I think the fabric is great – it feels very thick, and I have not had any pilling at all. The ones I wear most often are my Pony Club, and it’s because I wear them under my gi. Overall they are the loosest, and they don’t have any drawstring, so I generally wouldn’t wear them for nogi. They are also on the thinner side.

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  12. Question: For no gi, what do you wear with your spats if anything? Underwear and spats? Spats and shorts? I hate the idea of wearing shorts on top since it obscures the beautiful artwork. And in the summer I hate wearing layers when it’s hot!

    Glad to have found this website. I’ve only found guys discussing spats and their discussion isn’t quite the same. 🙂

    • Hi Karina! Welcome to the site! Sorry about how long this took to get out of the approval queue. I was off getting married, but I’m back now! From now, your replies will be auto-approved.

      For nogi, what I usually wear are: underwear and spats. However, I try to only wear spats that have a drawstring when it is my top layer. I know some folks wear compression shorts underneath, and my husband has some compression boxer-briefs that cover a lot of area – that would also work.

      I think that the biggest fears I’ve seen of going Full Spats is one of two: 1. “Omg I can’t wear full spandex – EVERYTHING will show!” 2. Oh god – there’s simply nothing between us! Must add more layers! For me – 1. Meh – it’s not a beauty contest 2. Meh – easier to slide out.