Taping your fingers is somewhat common among Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) practitioners, but should you tape your fingers when practicing BJJ?
You don’t necessarily have to tape your fingers as you first start to train BJJ. If after a while you notice that taping your fingers could help, then you could give it a shot. Not everybody has to tape their fingers, due to different reasons.
In this post, we will go through different reasons why people do tape their fingers for BJJ classes, and whether you should try that too.
Should you tape your fingers for BJJ?
If you are just getting started with BJJ, you don’t necessarily have to tape your fingers.
The tape can help, if you get issues with your fingers, such as joint pain or having difficulties of grabbing your opponent’s gi or so.
Not all people tape their fingers. Partly, because some of them have not been doing so since starting BJJ, they have not seen a reason to do so. Their fingers have gotten stronger and adapting to the stress BJJ is putting on them.
Therefore, if you can get used to doing BJJ without taping your fingers, you might just be better off.
I have never taped my fingers, but maybe 10 to 20% of people in my gym do so.
Here is a video (not created by me) going through why one should use finger tape and how to use it.
What finger tape to use for BJJ?
You can use any athletic or sports tape that is meant for skin contact. The color does not matter, but going with classic white or black is always a safer option.
the width of the tape can vary, and you can narrow it down simply by tearing the tape. Athletic tapes usually are fairly easy to tear with just your hands, so you will not need anything sharp to do so.
Why do BJJ fighters tape their fingers?
There are two main reasons people tape their fingers in BJJ:
- To prevent injuries and pain
- To relieve pain from already existing injuries
Taping your fingers can also help to prevent abrasions if that is the right word for that.
Finger tapes are not always the best solution. If your joints are in great pain, changing the way you train can have a bigger impact on your finger pain.
For starters, not using too much force to hold onto things while doing BJJ. Just let go, if you feel like there is too much pressure on your fingers.
Second, different guards require different amounts of gripping strength. If you have a decision, go for ones that do not require you to use as much of your fingers.
How do you protect your fingers in BJJ?
Taping your fingers is one way to protect your fingers. You can either tape two of them together, to make them “stronger” as one, or to protect the joints in your fingers.
Another way to protect your fingers in BJJ is to NOT GRAB WITH JUST ONE FINGER.
If you want to break a finger, grabbing your opponent’s belt for example with just one finger is a really easy way to do so.
There is only so much taping your fingers can do. Always grab with your whole hand, or at least with more than just one finger, to minimize the risk of injury.
Read also: Can you grab fingers in BJJ?
The third and equally as important is that do not put your fingers through too much.
If you have to use all your strength to keep your grip, just don’t. Your fingers will wear off a lot faster if you put them through too much pressure.
Wearing your fingers off can put them into a state, where everyday chores might become difficult, and even taping them together will not help.
In conclusion, taping your fingers can help, but it is not always the best option to relieve finger pain.
Changing your training style and simply letting go earlier, rather than using all you got to hold onto things can go a long way.
Also, your fingers get stronger and you can get used to the pressure as you practice.
If you don’t feel a need to tape your fingers, you are probably better off without. I have never taped my fingers, and I have been good so far.
I hope this was helpful, have a wonderful day!