BadBoy Sphere Compression Shirt Review: BJJ / Grappling Gear

Rash guards are a huge part of both jiujitsu and nogi grappling attire, but also subculture. We have all seen countless interviews and articles linking Brazilian jiujitsu and surf cultures and, indeed, practitioners so it is no stranger to see rash guards and boardshorts in a grappler's gym bag than to see a gi and a belt*. 

£34.99 well invested!
Personally, I like rash guards and compression clothing for the following reasons:
  1. Added layer of fabric between me and my training partner. Let's face it: grappling with sweaty partners / opponents is disgusting business. The more layers of clothing you put between us, the happier I will be. Reduce the spread of bacteria: wear a rash or a compression shirt (and spats too!)
  2. Better grips during NoGi training. This is another reason why I've always preferred long sleeve rashies to short sleeve ones.  Friction is good. I realise that it slows me down as much as it slows down my opponent, but being primarily a gi practitioner, I don't mind working against my own friction, at the benefit of making my attacks tighter.
  3. Living and training in the UK, the academy can get pretty cold during the winter so another layer of fabric helps keep me warm.
  4. They are cool. I feel cool wearing them. There's no point denying the vanity factor!

This picture is totally unrelated, but c'mon!
Look how cool the fella looks!!!

I have a range of rash guards. Some loose, some snug, but none comes close to the snugness of the BadBoy Sphere Compression Shirt, especially around the arms. The Sphere is a very well-tailored piece of gear. I've worn it under the gi and with shorts during NoGi Submission Grappling sessions and my personal opinion is that the pressure and snugness does indeed deliver on their promise: To help flush the lactic acid out of the muscles faster than without. For a part time grappler like me, recovery isn't of the same importance as for someone who trains multiple times during the day, as I can simply rest until my muscles have recovered, so if you train often, I'd definitely recommend you to investigate compression shirts, starting with the BadBoy Sphere.

I say it again. This is not just a rash guard. This is a sturdy compression shirt.

The Technical bit: The Sphere is made of 10% spandex / 90% polyester and all the seems are stitched in flatlock style. This is not too different from most rashies (20% 80%). The difference is in the tightness of the fit which not only but also wraps and protects your joints. My left shoulder and elbow have been sore recently but strangely enough after regular use of this top I must say they are not as sore. It's possible that this is all placebo, but it worked!

The Sphere has many fantastic performance enhancing details: 
  • The already tight sleeves taper at the wrists 
  • The upper back, near the base of the neck, is made of breathing cotton mesh
  • The elasticated, rubberised (silicon) waist totally prevents it riding up. Sweat or no sweat, that thing wasn't going anywhere.

The lettering and branding is, unfortunately, not sublimated. After a number of uses, the outside has NOT cracked at all. 

The inside, however, has but disappeared which is unfortunate as that's where all the care info was. 

Further, the only colours in this top are black, blue and grey* so unless you're blue belt you can't quite use it for any of the bigger IBJJF / NAGA NoGi competitions. This is a great top for training, it keeps you warm and reduces training soreness but potentially not the best for the bigger competitions.

*The major difference is at competitions as the IBJJF and NAGA (amongst others) do not allow competitors to wear them under the gi. Further, the major IBJJF comps have rules on which colours can be worn by NoGi athletes, in accordance to their BJJ belt level.

*for further colours, sleeve lengths, ladies models and spats please visit the BadBoy UK website or the BadBoy Main website.


Liam "The Part Time Grappler" Wandi

Proudly sponsored by Predator Fightwear: Built for the kill and Brutal TShirt: Made By Grapplers For Fighters

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