Everything You Need to Know About BJJ Finger Tape
Boxers wrap their hands with tape primarily for protection, but practitioners of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu rely on them for another reason: gripping. To sweep or escape/attempt submissions, BJJ grapplers need to grab their opponent’s gi. When their opponent aggressively attempts to pry their fingers from said grip, their finger ligaments can end up damaged or sprained.
Often, BJJ fighters already have sore or injured fingers or toes, but it will not keep them off the mat. Instead, they will wrap them with finger tape, a rigid cotton or cotton-like strip of fabric with an adhesive, for extra support. Protection is often an afterthought for BJJ fanatics.
For those who do seek to protect themselves, BJJ will provide plenty of opportunity, in the form of cuts, scrapes, injured knuckles, and sore joints. Some think taping strengthens the grip. Others feel that using tape all the time, even when not injured, can weaken the grip.
Other strapping tape, particularly for boxing, wraps the hand in such a way that it creates more of a glove-like feel. BJJ finger tape is designed for grip, with sweaty fingers in mind. Grapplers need to keep specific characteristics in mind.
No matter what, remember that adhesive works best on tape than fingers, so use plenty of layers. However, do not wrap too tight or you will cut off circulation. Here are the most common taping patterns used by practitioners:
- Start on the side of a knuckle and circle around before crossing over the palm side of the joint.
- The Buddy System
- Tape two fingers together to support injured fingers, like a sling.
- Taping the Thumb
- This pattern is like the x-pattern but crosses over the base of the thumb to protect it from injury.
Popular brands of finger tape include:
- EVOLV Magic Finger Tape
- Johnson and Johnson Coach Sports Tape
- TapTape Fission BJJ Finger Tape
- Power Train Finger Tape
- Armadillo Skin Finger Tape
- Athletic Tape Elite Sports
- Power Splint Finger Tape
- Gold BJJ Finger Tape
- Deathgrip BJJ Finger Tape
Whichever brand of finger tape you choose to purchase, make sure it offers a money back guarantee of 60 days or longer. This way, you can get a refund if it does not do the trick. Effective combatants seek every edge they can get, even something as seemingly trivial as finger tape. Remember, BJJ is not so much about being tough, as it is about being smart.