Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is commonly referred to as the gentle martial art, and therefore many believe that they don’t need to tape their fingers.
However, when you’re practicing BJJ frequently, you’re going to get some damage to your fingers without tape – even if you do practice incredibly gently.
Our hands are used during almost every single move within the martial art, such as grips.
Gripping the opponent is a common practice in BJJ, and our hands are at the heart of it.
Not to mention when the opponent tries to rip your hand away from them – your fingers will take quite a beating.
Today we’re looking at how to tape your fingers correctly before you practise Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Why Do People Tape Their Fingers?
If you’re even a little bit interested in martial arts, you’ll have likely seen competitors tape their fingers together.
You might have seen them in combat with white tape securing their fingers, or them unraveling it after a match for what seems like forever.
There is little evidence to support the idea that taping your fingers together protects them, but almost every competitor that tapes their fingers agrees that they have more confidence during combat thanks to the support that the tape offers.
They also report that taping their fingers leaves them with less pain during and after a match.
Tape is not a magic healer for damaged fingers, which is why many people who practice martial arts wear it for every single training session.
Just like a bandaid won’t heal a bullet wound, tape will not heal a sprain or chronic swelling.
So, most people tape their fingers to prevent injury rather than heal it. Again, as there is little evidence to support its abilities, you’re going to have to determine how effective it is for you on your own.
How Do You Tape Your Fingers?
There are a few different ways to tape your fingers, and once you have got into the swing of doing so, you will find your own favorite way of doing it.
No matter how you decide to tape your fingers, the main principle is the same – the tape needs to support the digits.
This means that you need to primarily tape the areas of your fingers that you think are most vulnerable to injury.
The simplest way to do this is to tape two sections of your fingers – above the joint and below the joint that you’re wanting to protect.
You can either wrap the tape around these areas multiple times, or use three separate pieces of tape and layer them over one another.
This will make it easier to take the tape off of your fingers after training. If you’re taping your pinky finger, you may only need to use two pieces of tape rather than three.
Remember that the tape should not cover the entire space in between your knuckles, and you should be able to see a ring of skin between the tape and your knuckles.
There are different widths of tape that you can get, so you can trial a number of sizes to find the one that works best for your fingers.
Another way that you can tape your fingers is by using the X method. This is usually seen in classic competition and offers the most support for your joints.
To use this technique, all you need to do is create an X shape around the joint.
Layer the tape up a few times for more support. The X method covers a better amount of surface area on your finger to offer the most support possible.
Step By Step Method Of Taping Your Fingers
The two methods that we have looked at above can be slightly difficult to grasp if you are a beginner to martial arts. So, let’s take a look at both methods in a step by step guide to make it easier for you.
Classic Finger Taping
The classic finger taping technique is where you tape the finger above and below the knuckle that you’re trying to protect.
- Take three pieces of tape all of the same length.
- Wrap the first piece of tape below the knuckle that you want to protect. The tape should be in the middle of the finger’s section between that knuckle and the lower knuckle.
- Wrap the tape tightly around the finger.
- Now take the second piece of tape and slightly overlap the edge of that piece with the piece already on your finger. Wrap the rest around the existing tape.
- Do the same thing with the third piece of tape that you did for the second.
- Follow these instructions again, but this time wrapping three pieces of tape around the finger above the knuckle.
X Method Finger Taping
This method is to cover more surface area, providing more support while using less tape.
- Take the tape on the roll and stick the end to the bottom of your finger.
- Wrap the tape around your finger in a diagonal line until you reach the knuckle.
- This is the first line of your X pattern.
- Now wrap the tape in a horizontal ring above the knuckle, which will secure the fist diagonal line.
- Take the tape back down to create another diagonal line, forming an X over your knuckle.
- Wrap the tape around the first place that you stuck the tape at the base of your finger to secure the second diagonal line.
- Repeat this process to build up the tape to as many layers as you need.
We hope that this article has helped you learn how to tape your fingers like a pro! The two methods above are the most commonly used as they are the most effective at supporting your knuckles.
Again, there isn’t much evidence to support that taping your fingers works effectively, but try it for yourself and see if you agree with the thousands of people who think that it gives them more confidence!