Some people call them tights or leggings, some call them sports tights and then again most people just call them spats. Not all spats fall under the category of compression sportswear, but in general most provide at least a moderate amount of compression and the hygiene benefits are paramount. Whatever you call them, they are a submission grappling phenomenon all on their own.
Amongst the many benefits, first of all, Spats will keep your muscles warm. It's not good to have cold muscles when training, because you can easily pull or sprain a muscle and then end up out of action for awhile. Compression shorts/leggings keeps those muscles ready to work, and keeps you safe and healthy. Also, spats take sweat off of your body. When you are less sweaty you will then have more friction to achieve submissions that sweat can make harder to attain during movement.
So not only are your muscles going to not feel as sore immediately after a workout, but they’re also going to recover faster and keep you chafe free. It’s also been speculated that “by reducing muscle oscillation, it’s thought that compression garments may reduce stress injuries.” and that “better proprioception could also theoretically reduce risk of injury by knowing when your body is at its limits – so you don’t over-extend joints”. Due to all these functional attributes spats can possibly prevent injuries and keep you on the mat with less down time, depending on how much of a compression factor they provide.
Spats also promote skin health and help prevent cuts and scrapes, much like the spat's close cousin, the rash guard, there are also some hygienic benefits to spats. By wearing spats you’re helping yourself to avoid potential ailments such as staph infections and ringworm, whether it be from your training partner or mats that could use a good cleaning. Sweaty skin to skin contact in grappling isn’t the best idea in regards to your skin health. Spats also help to avoid mat burn on your knees and other skin contact points.
Gi grapplers find spats improve the comfort of their Gi’s by protecting against any scratchy surfaces on the inside of their Gi pants. While on the other hand, No-Gi grapplers will note an increased amount of friction which leads to a greater ability to maintain grips with their legs, an essential aspect of No-Gi wear Gi grips are not available.
As you can see, this gear is a must for any grappler. They keep you healthy in a variety of ways, and serve you in other ways that will benefit you. Whether you are a no gi submission wrestler or a strict gi competitor, a pair of spats will do you good. Spats aren’t limited to the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Submission grappling either, they would be very well suited to most martial arts, they are quite popular in the NBA and NFL as well. Kobe Bryant, Lebron James and Dwayne Wade have all be seen wearing spats periodically. As time goes by, spats are becoming more and more popular as their benefits become very apparent.
Spats can be any colour or combination of those colours, with the usage of sublimated printing there are also some really great designs out there. Some may balk at the thought of wearing “tights” as just not manly, but you’d be hard pressed to find a No-Gi grappler or Gi grappler alike who doesn’t enjoy a nice pair of spats. Once you try them, it’s doubtful you would want to return to your unhygienic and uncomfortable ways.