I started training for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu aka BJJ around 7 years ago. For the first few years, I never really thought about BJJ’s effect on my fingers.
From 21-24 years of my age, I thought I was invincible, but I wasn’t (lol.) Slowly injuries started to add up, especially finger injuries. After training 5 days a week for years, plus a once a week judo class, I started suffering a lot of damage to my fingers.
I broke a few fingers and being the naïve young man I was, I brushed it off as not a big deal and kept training shortly after each finger injury. As the years passed I started developing fingers with huge nobs and early signs of arthritis.
Right now, at almost 29 I have limited mobility on two fingers and a lot of damage that I am sure I will feel later in life. I sometimes wish someone told me to use BJJ finger tape early on, but as the ancient proverb goes, “the best time to plant a tree was yesterday, the second-best time is today.”
But now, I’m older and a wiser BJJ practitioner.
Why You Must Use BJJ Finger Tape
During my training, I have noticed that sports tape for fingers or specifically BJJ finger tape is essential if you want to prevent further damage to fingers.
I also noticed a big grip improvement when using Jiu-Jitsu finger tape. I also feel I get less fatigued because I just don’t grip as hard as I used to. And Jiu-Jitsu finger tape lets me be more dynamic in my guard game allowing me to switch guard types easily, which is great for guard retention and quick transitions.
Lastly, arthritis is a real thing and the more you damage your fingers the worse you will feel it in your later years.
Overuse causes bones and joints to become damaged, irregular, and you can develop a bunch of symptoms like redness, swelling, decreased range of motion, and warm or cold sensations. Additionally, it can impair your ability to do simple things like writing or using the computer.
I am not here to scare you to not train Jiu-Jitsu because something like this shouldn’t stop you from training this beautiful art. However, don’t be like me and make this stupid mistake. Just be smart and use sports tape for fingers now, so that you have good working fingers for the rest of your life.
Why BJJ Finger Tape Works
The biggest reason that BJJ finger tape works so well is that it restricts the movement of the fingers which allows the fingers to use less pressure when gripping.
It also gives mild support that reduces the chances of harsh finger injuries such as breaks and sprains. Moreover, BJJ finger tape plays an important role if you have injured your fingers already and are “buddy taping” to prevent further injuries.
How To Use BJJ Finger Tape
There is a lot of debate on how to best use Jiu-Jitsu finger tape to get the maximum support and protection for your fingers. I have tried a bunch of different methods and founds two that work the best for me, but feel free to experiment and see what works best for you.
My two favorite methods to use Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Finger Tape are:
1. X-Taping – Best Used for Injury Prevention and Grip
This method is probably the most popular used style of finger tapping and the one you probably see at your gym. This method basically means you create an “X” over the finger joint in a unique pattern in order to create support.
You create an “x” on the front finger and wrap tape around the bottom and top of the finger to restrict the range of motion of the fingers which thereby reduces how hard you clench your fingers.
For details, watch this simple to follow X-Taping tutorial by TapTape.
2. Buddy Taping – Useful for Injuries
Buddy Taping is great if you want to completely restrict the movement on a specific finger that has been sprained or injured. It limits the lateral movement of a finger. Here’s how to Buddy Tape.
I have used it with lots of success to cure an injured finger and it can also be combined with the “X-Taping” method.
Top 3 Best BJJ Finger Tape To Buy in 2019
Okay, I made such a huge speech about why using BJJ Finger Tape is important. BJJGiReviews.com is a BJJ Gi and Gear review site so here are my top three recommendations for Best Jiu-Jitsu Finger Tape.
This is an excellent Finger tape that I use every time I train and absolutely love it. It’s 100% cotton, meaning it’s breathable, flexible, and it has no Latex which doesn’t make me itchy.
PowerTrain Finger Tape is water resistant so sweating will not make the adhesive come off. Lastly, it has great support and perfect thickness that keeps the fingers in faultless tension. It is definitely my go-to BJJ finger tape and it’s very cheap.
Another great option for best BJJ Finger tape is Mueller Athletic Tape. It is cheap and great for buddy finger taping, taping the top of fingers, wrists, and ankles. The product is easy to tear and unwinds to the core providing great support. It is made of hospital-grade, 100% cotton backcloth which feels comfortable after wearing.
I would save the Powertrain BJJ finger tape for the main fingers and use this athletic tape for the thumb and pinkie. Being versatile, you can also wear it on wrists or ankles for extra support.
If you’re looking to get a premium tape for all type of athletic sports, Monkey Tape is one of the best. It’s 0.3-inches in width so can be easily used as a BJJ finger tape. It has Latex-free adhesive and comes with Wicking properties that allow the tape to stay on through all types of conditions.
I get it. Practitioning BJJ is addicting and once you start, you’ll not be the same person. You’ll want to go harder and become better as the day passes. And to achieve a better self, we sometimes tend to overlook smaller elements like finger injuries and what they can lead to in the future.
Also, BJJ is not only for adults. Many parents are enrolling their kids to practice BJJ but because of their body delicacy, fingers can get injured easily.
I have been there and done that. You don’t need to be the same over-enthusiastic guy and avoid using BJJ finger tape. For less than $20, you can get a few rolls of BJJ tapes which will last for weeks. And they will save you from finger injuries which can make your life difficult in the coming days.
Let me know what do you think of BJJ finger tape and if you use it to protect your fingers. If not, what’s stopping you?
Also, I put a lot of time writing these articles, so I’d appreciate if you could share it on social media and/or with your BJJ training group.
In addition to finger tapes, you should also consider buying a BJJ mouth guard to protect your teeth.