The Best Jiu Jitsu Gi Buying Guide
Just like a surgeon has to put on scrubs and a lawyer needs to don a good-looking suit, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner must have a quality Gi before stepping onto the mat. It can be exciting and fun to buy a Gi, but it can also get very confusing. There are countless brands of Jiu Jitsu Gis, featuring many options and variations. Whether you’re a BJJ newbie or a seasoned vet, it’s important to educate yourself before you make a decision.
We’ll help you sort it all out with The Best Jiu Jitsu Gi Buying Guide.
Consider Gym and Tournament Rules
The first step to buying any Gi is to find out what Gis are allowed in your gym. All schools follow different philosophies, and as a result certain Gis are prohibited. The same goes for tournaments. Competitions have strict Gi regulations, and most brands make competition and non-competition Gis. If you’re going to compete in a tournament, make sure you buy a competition-legal Gi. If you’re school has restrictions on Gis, tell your professor about the brand you want to buy. MMAWarehouse.com has the best and widest selection of Gis available, so finding the right Gi should be easy.
Explanation of Gi Size
BJJ Gis usually come in sizes A0 – A6. The ‘A’ stands for ‘Adult’ sizing and the number just represents different sizes for adults. The higher the number, the bigger the size. Some companies have created Gis specifically tailored for female competitors. These usually come in sizes marked ‘F’. Gis for kids don’t follow the same letter and number scheme across different brands, so each Gi sizing chart will vary.
Sizing for Jiu Jitsu gis can be tricky. Sizes will often vary significantly across different brands. Some Gis are pre-shrunk and some aren’t. An A5 with one brand might be an A4 with another brand. Check the size chart and product description. It’s also helpful to read through the customer reviews, as people often describe the fit of the Gi they bought.
Types of Gi Weaves
An important thing to consider when buying a Gi is the type of fabric weave. With so many weave options available, it can become rather difficult to navigate through an entire selection of Gis.
When searching for the right weave for your needs, make sure to remember some key concepts:
- The style of weave often determines the durability of your Gi.
- Thicker Gis tend to be more durable than thinner ones.
- Lighter Gis are great for reducing the weight you have to carry around. If you’re competing in a tournament that enforces weight limits, this is especially desirable, since most tournaments require you to weigh in with your Gi on.
- Thinner Gis are lighter, but much easier to grip. Your opponent will have an easier time grabbing your Gi and maintaining a good grip.
- Thicker Gis are harder to grab so maintaining a strong grip is harder as well.
- Thicker Gis weigh you down more. In addition, if you don’t get a proper size for your body it can actually hinder movement and fluidity.
There are 3 standard weaves and other weave styles that manufacturers have created. Another option known as “Ultra light” weave has recently emerged with the growing popularity of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitions.
The Single Weave is universally known as the most basic style of weave. Due to its light construction and cheaper price tag, it is very popular amongst beginners. The light/thin design also makes it a great choice for hot weather grappling or for anyone looking to shed some unnecessary weight in competition. A single weave could also be less durable than other styles, so keep that in mind.
Double weaves use twice the amount of material compared to single weave Gis. What you get is a more durable and thicker Gi. In fact, it is the thickest style available. The downside of having such a durable Gi is that they weigh a ton (something to remember before you make weight in tournaments) and are not as cheap as their single weave counterparts. Still, they are a great option in jiu jitsu competitions. Due to their thicker and stiffer composition, a double weave Gi will make it more difficult for your opponent to hold onto. Plus it won’t rip after one day at the gym when you decide roll with a bear-sized partner.
The Gold Weave is a “hybrid” of both the single and double weaves. It was invented to combine the best aspects of the previously mentioned styles – Durable and thick, but without the extra weight. As a result, this kind of Gi has become a popular choice for competitors and avid practitioners, but can be more expensive.
When a brand of Gi doesn’t specify single, double or gold weave, it usually falls under the “other” category. Some examples of these styles are the “Pearl Weave,” “Ripstop,” and “Platinum Weave”. Usually the style of weave will fall somewhere between a single weave and gold weave construction. These Gis are not standardized, but can be a great option for all kinds of needs.
The growing demand for lighter Gis led to the creation of the Ultra-light Gi. Jiu Jitsu practitioners love them because it means they have to cut less weight for tournaments. Others like this style because they feel it allows for better movement. Most of these have weave construction that is considered an “other” weave, but are still in a class of their own due to their super light design. While these versions were originally designed to meet the demands of competition, they can be used regularly for classes.
Gi collars are often neglected when it comes to purchasing a Gi. This is odd because the collar plays a major role in the techniques found in BJJ. Some things to look for in a collar:
- Some Gis have thicker collars, which are also more stiff. They can be a bit uncomfortable to wear compared to a thinner collar.
- Collars are usually filled with cotton, but there are Gis available with the new trend of rubber filling.
- Rubber collars have several benefits including faster drying and a reduction of bacteria growth.
- A thicker collar makes it harder for you opponent to use it against you or submit you.\
Don’t Forget the Belt
Because people buy Gis at all different levels of training, most Gis do not come with a belt. Gi belts are usually an additional purchase. In most cases you should be able to buy a belt from the same brand as your Gi. If not, just find one that is similar in style, and make sure the belt is the same size as your Gi or 1 size above.