The Best BJJ Gi 2019

When you’ve started to find your feet in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the next thing to think about is what is the best BJJ gi to buy? But have not fear, we have made this question a much simpler and less stressful experience for you! Check out our guide on what we think is the best BJJ Gi on the market today.

Top 5 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Gis

Editor's PickBrandRatingBuy it Now
Best OverallFuji Summerweight Gi4.5Check Price on Amazon
Runner UpVenum Contender Gi4.2Check Price on Amazon
Best Budget BuySanabul Essentials v24.5Check Price on Amazon
Best Premium GITatami Fightwear Estilo4.0Check Price on Amazon
Best Lightweight GiElite Sports Ultralight4.8Check Price on Amazon

Best BJJ Gi Reviewed

Below we have handpicked some of the best bjj competition gi’s that are popular with competitions are hobbyists alike.

Best Overall - Fuji Summerweight Gi

 
Fuji Summerweight BJJ Uniform, Black, A3
46 Reviews
Fuji Summerweight BJJ Uniform, Black, A3
  • Pearl weave
  • Thick rubber collar resistant to mildew
  • Preshrunk Gi
  • Durable pants
  • Includes two FREE sew on patches
 
While this is one of our lightest gi’s in the review it is also one of the most durable. The guys at Fuji have knocked it out of the park with their 3rd version of their athlete gi. The Gi features a modern slim-fit tailored style that is still competition legal. Their Rubber collared 550 GSM Pearl Weave jacket and 280 GSM cotton twill trousers weigh in around 1.75kg, which is slightly more than the Tatami Nova.

Details

  • Rubber collar
  • 550 GSM Pearl Weave Jacket
  • 280 GSM Ripstop Pants
  • Lightweight
  • Meets IBJJF guidelines

Comfort and Breathability

The Fuji Summerweight Gi truly focuses its superior fabric weave to achieve a level comfort and breathability not seen in other gis. This, in turn, applies to performance during rolling. The Athlete is perfect for any hot weather rolling and hot climates and keeps your body dry with its natural moisture-wicking features to prevent any bacterial infections from sweat. Overall, the quality fabric weave of this Gi is what makes it superior to all others, despite it being a bit pricier

High-Density Foam Collar

The collar is the part of the Gi that goes under-appreciated for its vital role. Having a quality collar prevents any unwanted gripping during training or competition. and the Air incorporates a foam collar to complete its guarantee of lightness and durability. The gi collar is another small piece that sets the Athlete above the competition.

Cost and Value

The Fuji Summerweight gi is pricier than a number of it’s competition, but the price is worth it for a quality training Gi that could potentially have a lifetime of training and competition. The features of a high-quality pearl weave fabric and a suitable and excellent collar truly makes the Fuji gi a secret weapon to beat the competition.

Pros

  • Excellent Quality Overall
  • Great Quality Collar

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Limited Colours

Best Runner Up - Venum Contender Gi

Venum Contender 2.0 BJJ Gi - Black - A4
75 Reviews
Venum Contender 2.0 BJJ Gi - Black - A4
  • Pearl weave cotton jacket
  • Jacket 350 gsm with rounded, reinforced slots
  • EVA foam soft collar
  • Pants 230 gsm 100% cotton with reinforced stitching inside leg and around ankle circumfrence
  • Does not include belt

The Fuji Summerweight opened the market for lightweight competition gi’s and Venum broke the market by designing a BJJ gi that is an absolute beater on the market. The Venum kimono offers the best weight to strength ratio that goes unmatched by other competitors on the market. Designed with a high-quality 350 GSM weave that’s super strong the Venum is also reinforced in all the right places.

Details

  • Extremely durable yet light material.
  • Jacket 350 gsm with rounded, reinforced slots.
  • Col EVA foam soft: better resistance to bottlenecks.
  • Optimal moisture management.
  • Pants 250 gsm Ripstop with reinforced stitching at the inside of the leg and ankle circumference.
  • Gi preshrunk.

Antimicrobial Fabric

Having a breathable, and antimicrobial Gi is always important as you’ll be able to move with a lot easier and you will never have to worry about sweat build up and causing problems. The Venum Gi is equipped with everything possible to ensure you have a comfortable and performing Kimono. Its anti-odour features mean that you can train harder without you gi starting to stink after prolonged sessions.

IBJJF Tournament Approved

With the Venum, you never have to worry if the Gi can be used in competitions, as it is an IBJJF Tournament approved kimono. The Venum belt also comes with an approved striped bar, allowing you to show your earned stripes. The Venum Elite Light’s attention to detail and quality features makes it a dependable Gi for the competition season.

Cost and Value

The Venum Goorudo Gi is one of the best Gi’s you can buy at this reasonable price. The features that it offers, including it’s patented antimicrobial and anti-odour technology, along with its certified IBJJF approval sets this Gi far above its competition in terms of value for the price. You’ll never go wrong with a decision to go with the Venum Elite Light Gi.

Pros

  • IBJJF Approved
  • Venum has made quality equipment for decades

Cons

  • Some shrinkage after heavy washing

Best Budget Buy - Sanabul Essentials

Sale
Sanabul Essentials V.2 Ultra Light Pre Shrunk BJJ Jiu Jitsu Gi (A2, White) See Special Sizing Guide
1,466 Reviews
Sanabul Essentials V.2 Ultra Light Pre Shrunk BJJ Jiu Jitsu Gi (A2, White) See Special Sizing Guide
  • The Perfect Fit: We take the guesswork out of sizing. Our preshrunk gi can be thrown in a cold water wash and hang dried, without having to worry about shrinkage. Check the Sanabul sizing chart in the images to find yours. Still need to shrink it? No problem, you can wash this gi in hot water and machine dry it to bring it down a size
  • Just What You Need: A Jiu Jitsu gi created to go on the journey with you. We designed The Essential series to stand up to extended use, and we sell it at a fair price. Tested by Pros, Created for You: Some of the top competitors in the world rep Sanabul, like Bellator fighter and BJJ black belt Guilherme Bomba and legendary Jiu Jitsu coach, John Danaher. They put our designs through the ringer, so you can trust what you’re wearing has the same grit as you
  • Fit Right In: Sanabul Essentials sports a classic, uncluttered style that you can wear confidently on your first day or when upgrading to a cleaner look
  • Lightweight, Heavy Duty: Lightweight gi are ideal for hot summer months, or keeping you light and agile in competition. But we also make ours tough. Stiff, rubberized collars, tapered sleeves, and dense single weave design means you won’t sacrifice firmness for speed
  • Stays Dryer and Cleaner: This bjj gi is treated with antimicrobial and anti-odor agents, so it stays dryer and cleaner during those marathon gym sessions. For a limited time you can get a FREE SANABUL BJJ BELT (ANY COLOR BELT!!!) with your purchase. In order to get the free belt, you MUST SELECT THE BELT SIZE AND COLOR FROM THE BELT LISTING AND ADD IT TO YOUR CART.

The new Sanabul Essentials gi takes everything great about the original gi and makes it better. Worn by world champions, the Essentials Gi has become a firm favourite for competitors around the world. This gi is a fantastic mix of durability, comfort and performance, it features a preshrunk 450 GSM pearl weave jacket inlayed with a rubber collar and 250 GSM ripstop pants. This gi comes with minimal patches, so you can add your own club patches.

Details

  • 450 gsm ultra-quality preshrunk cotton for a lighter, softer Gi
  • Pearl Weave
  • Rubber collar with ripstop material
  • Ripstop pants
  • Seamless back

Durable Pearl Weave

One of the most impressive things about the Sanabul Essentials is that it’s a surprisingly lightweight kimono despite its strong and durable jacket. The reinforced knees on the trousers and foam rubber inner collar on the jacket make this one of the most durable, yet easily wearable Gi out there right now. The pearl weave of the jacket also shows off Sanabul’s attention to detail in their most popular gi. Sanabul uses terrific material, which is both lightweight and strong.

Reinforced Ripstop Pants

The high-drying and super-lightweight material Ripstop fabric used in the Gi is what makes it unique in the list. The polyblend fabric mixed with ripstop design makes this Gi one of the lightest and toughest on the market.

Cost and Value

With the Sanabul Essentials, you’re always guaranteed to get the best bang for your buck. The moderate-to-cheap price is a good selling point for those who want to shell out a bit more for a G, which meets all criteria.

Pros

  • Durable and Lightweight
  • Incredibly re-inforced

Cons

  • Sizing can be off
  • Don’t offer sizes for heavier weights

Best Premium Gi - Tatami Estilo v6

Tatami Fightwear Estilo 6.0 Premium BJJ Gi - A2 - Navy/Gold
8 Reviews
Tatami Fightwear Estilo 6.0 Premium BJJ Gi - A2 - Navy/Gold
  • Printed Jaquard Drawstring.
  • 550GSM Pearl Weave Jacket. 12oz Canvas Pants.
  • Embroidered Tatami Logos. Embroidered Estilo Logos.
  • Inside Sublimated Neck Lining. Woven Tape Lining Cuffs and Base Of Jacket.
  • New Unique Y-Jacket Vents. Includes Tatami's S, L and XL sizes.

From one of the most popular BJJ gi designers comes one of the original competition gi’s on the market. The Estilochanged the shape of the market forever and got BJJ Gi designers hankering for a slice of the lightweight competition pie. The Estilo was designed after months of long testing and the Version 6 edition of this kimono is one of the best in the world. An A2 sized Estilo jacket and pants comes in at 2kg, weights will vary dependant on sizes.

Details

  • Estilo brand patches are placed in areas compiling to IBJJF GI standards and adding a fantastic look to this NEW range of superlight competition BJJ’s GI’s
  • Jacket made from 475gsm Pearl Weave reinforced GI material
  • Rubberised collar to stop moisture absorption during training and competition.
  • Collar covered in ripstop material for added durability
  • Single piece jacket for reinforced strength and comfort
  • 10oz heavy cotton stitching on ALL areas of the jacket and pants

The Original Gi

Tatami Fightwear were the originators of the premium Brazilian Jiu-jitsu gi. Before the Estilo BJJ gi’s were heavyweight, redesigned Judo Gis. Tatami focused heavily on Estilo G’s construction, so it can take the day-to-day beating of regular training and competition.

Super Light Weight

An A2 size of Tatami’s Estilo weights a mere 2kgs. So there’s less weight for you to cut, meaning you can be in the best athletic capabilities ahead of your competition.

Preshrunk Fabric

The amazing fabric and weave of the Estilo is what makes this an amazing Gi. The tried and tested pearl weave fabric has a new and improved preshrunk treatment which can withstand the toughest of rolls and hot training sessions. The athletic cut is also precise in detail and features exact contrast cobalt blue stitching will keep you nicely protected from wear and tear as you practice the gentle art.

Pros

  • Original Premium Gi
  • Reputable Company
  • Reasonable Price

Cons

  • Drawstring difficult to tie
  • The jacket can shrink if washed too hot

Best Lightweight Gi - Elite Sports Ultralight

Elite Sports IBJJF Ultra Light Brazilian Jiu Jitsu BJJ Gi W/Preshrunk Fabric & Free Belt (White, A1)
1,382 Reviews
Elite Sports IBJJF Ultra Light Brazilian Jiu Jitsu BJJ Gi W/Preshrunk Fabric & Free Belt (White, A1)
  • NO SHRINKING- Made from pre-shrunk fabric you’ll never have to worry about your BJJ GI shrinking after the first wash again. Just wash your ELITE SPORTS ULTRA LIGHT JIU JITSU GI in cold water and hang to dry.
  • IBJJF APPROVED - This is an IBJJF APPROVED KIMONO. Available sizes are for both males and females from ages 18 to up 55 years old. This Brazilian Jiu Jitsu uniform has a very stylish design and is also available in all traditional colors: black, royal blue, navy blue, white, and gray.
  • FREE WHITE BELT w/ STRIPE BAR - We’ve included a matching white belt if you’re just starting out. With this preshrunk gi we’ve paved close attention to the smallest details like the stitching and the tapered fit on the kimono itself leaving no excess material. You’ll be in amazed when your lightweight GI stands up to the test of time and hard work. The free while belt comes with a stripe bar that will allow you to earn your stripes and show them with pride as you earn them.
  • REDUCE THE RISK OF BAD SMELL - Lightweight material disperses sweat faster The anti-odor treatment on our GIs means no lingering bad smells ruining your GI. Your GI will stay fresh, you won’t have to experience rancid odors distracting you from training or competing.
  • TRAIN HARDER FOR LONGER - With it’s lightweight material you won’t experience the discomfort of overheating and you’ll be able to train longer and push harder in competitions. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT SIZING, PLEASE WRITE YOUR QUESTION ALONG WITH YOUR HEIGHT AND WEIGHT IN THE CUSTOMER QUESTIONS & ANSWERS SECTION BELOW.

The Elite Sports Ultralight gi is the perfect first-time competition gi. Light enough so you don’t need to spend your last hours in a sauna, strong enough to withstand the toughest fights and difficult to grip so you can control the pace of the fight. This gi features Elite Sports’ strong pearl weave fabric, which is a 450 GSM weaved fabric that is comfortable enough to wear on the inside but rough to stop gripping on the outside. Featuring an athletic fit, this is also the perfect summer training partner.

Details

  • Perfect competition gi
  • Strong Peal Weave Fabric
  • Athletic Cut and Fit
  • Perfect for summer training
  • IBJJF competition approved

Twill Cotton with Reinforced Stress Area

The fabric for the Lightweight Gi is composed of a pearl weave jacket and Twill Cotton Trousers. A fine choice which works well to improve the softness of the Gi while reducing weight and optimizing performance. The reinforced areas of the jacket and trousers offer extra toughness to stress points that may be targeted during a competitive match.

IBJJF Certified

The Elite Sports Ultralight Gi is not only a premium gi but it is also 100% tournament certified, making it an exceptional choice over other non-certified gis. This gi delivers incredible performance for athletes who need a kimono that can last throughout the most intense training and competition.

Cost and Value

The Elite Sports Ultralight Gi does run expensive, which is normal for a premium Gi or this quality. The value of having a premium tournament Gi, however, is well worth the cost which makes the Elite Sports Ultralight a safe and exceptional buy.

Pros

  • Elite Sports is one of the best MMA companies around
  • Superior comfort and performance

Cons

  • Not Preshrunk
  • Some loose threads found on the jacket

Other BJJ Gi’s We’ve Reviewed

Hayabusa Pearl Weave BJJ Gi

Hayabusa Pearl Weave Light Jiu Jitsu Gi (Grey, A3)
230 Reviews
Hayabusa Pearl Weave Light Jiu Jitsu Gi (Grey, A3)
  • The Light weight gi feels cooler and light. Ideal for all types of training and competition.
  • Gi Jacket is constructed with 420 gsm PEARL weave cotton with reinforced lapel and stress areas.
  • Gi pants are made with 8oz ripstop cotton-polyester blend with reinforced knees and stress areas.
  • Whether you have a brazilian jiu jitsu white belt, or a jiu jitsu black belt - this Gi will help you achieve optimal performance.
  • Patches and embroidery on lapel, chest, shoulders and back and legs. IBJJF CERTIFIED - 100% compliant with the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) and competition regulations. (Excluding the Grey color).

The Hayabusa Pearl Weave is perfect for anyone looking for a BJJ gi from one of the best martial arts brands around. Sponsors of the great George St Pierre, this gi is the staple of his UFC walkouts.

The jacket is built with a 230gsm pearl weave jacket while the trousers are made from 8oz ripstop material, meaning it’s the perfect combination of lightweight material and structure.

The gi comes in numerous colours including the IBJJF legal colours of white, blue and black, and all the embroided labels on the gi have legal placements.

Kingz The One

KINGZ IBJJF Mens - The One | Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gi | Black A2
  • IBJJF APPROVED: Our gi's are fully IBJJF legal and will keep you looking good and allow you to withstand all the rigors of the mat.
  • PREMIUM QUALITY: Kingz The One Gi is constructed with a 400 GSM High Tech Pearl Weave and 10oz cotton pants.
  • DURABLE MATERIALS: Featuring triple reinforced stitching across all stress points and double reinforced knee padding, our gi's are made of one-piece fabric for superior strength and durability.
  • THE PERFECT FIT: Coming in a variety of sizes and colors, we have right gi that accomodates to your body. Refer to size guide for exact measurements.
  • ABOUT KINGZ: Since 2011, Kingz Kimonos has aimed to develop the highest quality Jiu-Jitsu gis and apparel, with superior attention to detail and design.

Sponsors of some of the best grapplers in the world, Kingz are one of the staple BJJ brands in any wardrobe.

The One Gi is Kingz’s basic brand but it’s far from it. Featuring a tailored fit perfect for any body type, Kingz is known for their quality.

The One is IBJJF approved and is designed to withstand all of the rough and tumble Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu throws at it. All the seams are triple reinforced and all the weak points on the gi are fully reinforced.

Since 2011 Kingz have been on a mission to provide quality grappling goods for the consumer market.

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The ultrastrong Gi from Gold BJJ is a premium heavyweight Gi, perfect for those gruelling hours.

Made from a gold weave cotton fabric the Ultrastrong is perfect for BJJ and Judo. This premium gi features a rashguard lining on the neck to protect the user from unsightly gi burn, it also has the ability to wick moisture away, keeping you cool.

This Gi is backed by Gold BJJ’s guarantee of excellence. As a small family-ran jiu-jitsu company Gold offer you a money-back guarantee if you’re not completely satisfied with your product.

Your Jiu-Jitsu Gi

Your Jiu Jitsu Gear Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Premium 450 Uniform A1 White with Contrast
815 Reviews
Your Jiu Jitsu Gear Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Premium 450 Uniform A1 White with Contrast
  • FREE WHITE ALL BJJ GI! 450 is our Premium fabric but still light.350 is lighter but with NO BRANDS ADVERTISING ON IT!
  • WE PROFIT LITTLE SO YOU BENEFIT MORE! Best Price and quality guaranteed
  • Completely Blank:You add the patches you want. You won't be a Free billboard advertising brands.
  • Fully customization: You add the patches you want to support your school.
  • Made by a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu specialist with more than a half century on the mat!

The Your Jiu-Jitsu Gi brand is a relatively new kid on the block but it’s customer feedback already shows it could be tipped for the top spot.

Featuring a free BJJ belt when you buy their gi, this is perfect for beginners looking to start their journey. This gi comes in four colours, white, blue, black and grey.

This Gi is completely blank meaning you can customise this to your heart’s content, so go crazy with the patches! It also comes in two different weight, from a premium 450gsm jacket to a lightweight 350gsm summer training gi.

Flow Kimonos Air BJJ Gi

Flow Kimonos Air BJJ Jiu Jitsu Gi (Black, A2)
349 Reviews
Flow Kimonos Air BJJ Jiu Jitsu Gi (Black, A2)
  • 9 sizes to fit any body type
  • 100% preshrunk fabric (<2% shrinkage)
  • 350gsm pearl weave (100% combed cotton)
  • 8oz ripstop cotton pants - lightweight and breathable
  • High density foam drawstring - no more interrupting class to tie your drawstring

The Flow Kimonos BJJ Gi is an excellent lightweight option for anyone looking to shed those extra grams when they compete. 

The preshrank gi look excellent on the mats and the fact it won’t shrink means you can wash it on a higher heat without fear. High heat means better hygiene.

The jacket is made from a modern pearl weave and it’s designed for superior fit, comfort and breathability.

About Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Gi’s

BJJ gi’s are designed with weight in mind, they are designed to be lightweight, durable and make sure that when you stand on those scales, all those weeks of skipping seconds will make it all worth it. Competitions gi’s don’t just help you shave the pounds at a competition, they are also great for keeping cool in the summer months when temperatures in the gym are hot enough to boil an egg.

Modern gi’s are normally made from single weave or the more modern pearl weave and will have a GSM of around 400, to help shave off those extra grams. The Gi’s are tapered and slim cut to help to break your opponent’s grip, however, the lightweight structure of the gi does tend to it stretching a bit.

How To Choose The Best BJJ Gi

As you can see choosing the best BJJ gi for your needs can be a difficult procedure. Modern BJJ gi’s come with some many different weaves, cuts, sizes, materials and weights.

When it comes to choosing the best BJJ Gi for yourself there are a few factors that need to be taken into consideration. Let’s go through some of the criteria you should be thinking about when choosing the right BJJ gi.

BJJ Gi Weave

A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gi has been described by many as the flashier cousin of the original Judo gi. With the evolution of the gi, also came the evolution of the gi weave. How the fibres are weaved together can also determine how heavy a jiu-jitsu gi can be, so it’s also important to consider this into your decision. We will go through the most popular Jiu-Jitsu weaves available on the market.

Pearl Weave

While this is the newest weave on the market, it quickly became one of the most popular. Most modern Jiu-Jitsu gi’s will all be created using the peal weave. Pearl weave combines the lightweight properties of a single weave with the strength of the gold weave. The weave’s properties allow quick and easy airflow to keep the fighter’s cooler during the hot training months and helps wick sweat off the fighter quickly and efficiently.

Single Weave

Before the pearl weave, came the single weave. Before the pearl weave was invented this was the most popular weave for Jiu-Jitsu gis. A single weaves major benefit was it’s weight, many competition gi’s were made from single weave materials to help a fighter stay under the weight limit when they were close. However, the benefit of a lightweight gi also meant it was more prevalent to tearing and stretching. Over time a single gi weave would become baggy and difficult to wear. It would also be a lot easier to grip onto and keep a hold of. This is why the pearl weave was invented since it had the same lightweight properties of the single weave but was more durable.

Double Weave

The double weave was the answer to the fragile nature of the single weave. Simply put this material was two single weaves weaved together. This doubled fabric added more weight to the gi, while creating a far more durable and difficult to grip jiu-jitsu kimono. Double Weave is used a lot in heavyweight gis, especially in Judo, where it’s perfect to withstand the gripping and aggressive pulling nature of the sport. A double weave rarely shrinks, so it’s important to get a gi that fights right otherwise it will inhibit movement since you don’t get the flexibility of a single or pearl weave kimono.

Gold Weave

The gold weave was designed when there was a need for something strong like a double weave but lighter and manoeuvrable like a single weave kimono. The gold weave was designed to take the best of both worlds from each weave and can be seen used is numerous competition gis. Many Olympic judo gi’s are made with gold weave as they are lighter and tougher than single weaves. However with these properties, comes a price tag, gold weave is probably one of the most expensive jiu-jitsu gi weaves and there’s a reason for that.

Other Weaves

With the evolution of the sport has also come the evolution of weaves. Companies have innovated to weaves to come up with their own unique twist of the standard kimono. New weaves coming onto the market include Do or Die’s Star Weave, which is a super durable and lightweight weave that doesn’t have the stretching properties. Other gi’s that come onto the market include a honeycomb weave and Platinum Weave

BJJ Gi Pants Material

A BJJ gi is more than the jacket however, there are also pants to consider. Normally Jiu-Jitsu Gi Pants won’t be made of a weave, this would be too uncomfortable but are made of more lightweight cotton material. this is because they take far less punishment. Let’s take a look at the two most popular pants materials

Cotton Drill

The cotton drill material is a flat, strong, durable weave, which is most popular for jiu-jitsu pants and not used for jackets. This material can take lots of punishment that jiu-jitsu can throw at it. The cotton drill can be verified by its trademark diagonal material lines, however, the cotton drill is known for stretching during training, which is why a number of companies have moved away from it.

Ripstop

Invented in the early 2000’s Ripstop quickly because a staple in Jiu-Jitsu training wear. Ripstop is very lightweight and while it can be 100% cotton, many manufacturers offer a polyester blend. This gives ripstop is signature waxy feel, which is equally loved and hated by the community. Ripstop gets it’s name from the 0.5mm intervals of reinforcement threads, which give it it’s the characteristic 3d square pattern. Ripstop doesn’t stretch during training and has very little shrinkage, so make sure you get a gi that is the right size, otherwise, it may be too baggy for training. Ripstop has also been used for gi jacket material due to it’s lightweight and strength. It’s the perfect travel companion for travelling jiu-jitsu practitioners. However Ripstop jacket gis is not IBJJF legal.

BJJ Collar Material

Many modern BJJ Gi collars have a cotton, foam or rubber core, with rubber recently becoming the most popular

Over the years, there has been a recent shift in how BJJ collars are made, normally the outside will be drill cotton or a ripstop material filled with cotton or foam to pad it out. However more and more gi’s are moving to rubber-filled collars due to hygiene and costing options.

However, each collar has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Cotton filled collars are comfortable but easy to grip, rubber collars are more difficult to grip but are more uncomfortable in the choke. So also think about the collar when you’re choosing the best BJJ Gi.

BJJ Gi Weight

For the competition, you can choose to get a lightweight gi, but there are also gi’s which are a more normal weight and also heavyweight gi’s designed for judo. All have their own advantages.

Ultra Lightweight Competition Gi

  • Perfect for meeting competition weight limits
  • Lightweight means it’s perfect for summer and hot training
  • Washes easily
  • Normally made from Pearl Weave and Single Weave

Hybrid Lightweight Gi

  • Combines the benefits of the ultra lightweight gi with the benefits of the middleweight gi.
  • More durable than the ultra lightweight
  • Very popular with competition
  • Normally made with Pearl Weave

Middleweight BJJ Gi

  • An excellent all-rounder
  • Perfect for regular training
  • Comes in a variety of colours
  • Normally luxury-end gi’s

Heavyweight Jiu-jitsu Gi

  • Great if you’re underweight
  • Difficult for an opponent to grip
  • Doesn’t stretch like lightweight gis
  • Normally expensive
  • Made from Double Weave or Gold Weave

All Jiu-jitsu gi’s can enhance our abilities or hinder them so make sure you pick the right gi for your needs.

BJJ Gi Sizes

When you first look at how to size you BJJ gi, it can often be confusing. BJJ gi’s are often sizes using an alphanumeric system, with letters including A, F and M. These stand the following, A, adults, normally male. F, represent female jiu-jitsu cuts and M stands for a child’s size. Numbers can range from 000 to 6. You can also have variations including S, H, L XL, which stand for Short, Husky, Long, Extra Long. These intermediate sizes cater for fighters who may have long limbs but have a thin torso, or have a wide torso but short limbs. Many jiu-Jitsu companies have catered for intermediate sizes to help the practitioner choose their perfect fit.

But how to do know if your gi is the right size? The easiest way is by checking the sleeves and the cuffs. When you buy a BJJ gi, you want to be looking for cuffs that are just slightly longer than your wrist. This is so you can take the washing machine shrinkage into consideration. Over time the weaves will shrink and tighten with warm and hot washes, leaving you with a perfectly fitting gi.

How to Shrink a BJJ Gi

If you do buy a gi that is too big for you, there are a few things you can do to get it to the right size quickly and safely. Firstly, you should wash it on as hot as you can stand, normally gi’s can withstand hot washes of 90 degrees, however, keep an eye on any fixed nylon patches, which may not shrink and will spoil the effect of the gi. Once you have washed the gi, check the sleeve and skirt lengths on your body, if they are still too long you can then tumble dry your gi. Be careful as gi collars normally have a foam or rubber collar, which can be affected. Tumble dry the gi for 10 minutes at a time, taking it out and checking the size. Once you are happy with the sizing to take it out of the machine and leave it to hang dry. In the future, you will need to wash the gi on a cool wash to minimise shrinkage.

BJJ Gi Colours and the IBJJF

These days Jiu-Jitsu Gi’s can come in a huge variety of colours, However, not all colours are competition. These days on the mats you’ll see plain white gi’s rolling with pink tie-dyed gi’s and camo colour kimonos. However most gi’s are sold in the competition regulated White, Blue and Black, these three are the only legal competition colours for the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF).

Competition Legal BJJ Gi

In order to stop people gaming the system, the IBJJF set up a number of rules in order to make sure that all gi’s in competitions are deemed legal. Like Judo competition, the sleeve must reach the wrist of the fighter and the trousers must reach the ankles, tell that to the Miyao Brothers.

Gi jackets must be made of cotton or a cotton hybrid weave and should not be too thick that it might stop your opponent from gripping it. For Juvenile adult and masters categories, gi jackets must be made from a woven fabric, where as trousers can be made from cotton twill or ripstop fabric. Collars must be made with EVA or a similar rubber fabric.

The best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gi’s should have a sleeve width that is wide enough to slip in 4 fingers easily without any resistance and the sleeve length should be no longer than 5cm away from the wrist when the arms are stretched out wide.

Competition Gi’s should come in white, black or royal blue. Different colour trousers and jackets are not permitted, as well as Gis with contrasting coloured collars.

BJJ Gi Patches

Many BJJ gi’s are sold with very little decoration, as competitions like to add patches from their clubs and sponsors for when they compete. The IBJJF is very specific on patch placement of the gi’s to ensure that no patches interfere with competitions gripping the jacket or pants. Patches can be placed in the following areas.

For the people who do not understand Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu may automatically picture men rolling around half naked punching each other in the face and trying to rip their throats out. The phrase a lot of people respond with when you say Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is “isn’t that like UFC.” Furthermore, you proceed to explain to them exactly what you do until 25 times of explaining later you say yes and walk away to save your breath.

For others that are involved in wrestling and mixed martial arts it seems to take on another meaning. “It is that you are wearing a big bath robe and trying to grab each other in weird ways.” As someone that is a fair fan of all combat sports and a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, I would like to share five reasons as to why it would benefit you by training in a Gi. Believe me when I say, “I have heard them all” and have not encountered one reason or excuse that makes enough sense to not train in the Gi.

5 Reasons Why You Must Train In A Gi

1.     Having something to hold onto while training makes everything slow down. Your progression into a position and the ability to strike and submit your opponent diminishes. Following the traditional guidelines of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as a self-defense will mean fighting opponents with clothes on most the time. That means you have multiplied your ability and knowledge of attacking ten times by training in a Gi.

Some people have made the argument that a t-shirt does not hold up to choke someone. Have you tried it? Have you drilled ways of grabbing a t-shirt to provide extra grip? It works, so your excuse is void.  Also take into consideration where you live. In the mean streets of Brazil, you may find a lot of the population at the beach enjoying the water. Do you really think that is all they do? Job environments provide a great opportunity for disagreement and sometimes altercations. Grab a hold of someone’s sport jacket and choke him with it if you have too. But how are you supposed to know what to do with the technique if you do not train it?

2.     When you train in a Gi your defense has to start long before you are actually in trouble. If you do not think through your technique and make sure it is sound you cannot just “yank” out of something to get a better position. Is this not a valid reason to train in a Gi?

Your technique will improve so that you do not get beat plus it allows your training prevention at a greater percentage than getting smashed up without a Gi. Do not sit around and waste another day without training in the Gi for this reason alone. Technique truly does overpower strength when drilled and applied the way it is supposed to be done. I am not the best No Gi grappler on the planet but I do hold my own against guys my level just from mainly training in the Gi.

3.     Everything you do in Nogi can be done in a Gi – YES!! All your favorite submissions can still be applied when you are wearing a Gi! So why would you not want to challenge yourself with something that will keep you gaining knowledge and help you to keep yourself at the top of your game? I understand 99% of it is not wanting to lose and feel like you have to relearn or start over at the bottom but think of it this way, you can only go up from here. There is no pressure to walk out there and be the best right away.

I have rolled with some great MMA fighters and convinced them to put on a Gi. Gi’s change everything just like punching in MMA can change your effectiveness with your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Get out and do it in a Gi.

4.     Gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a lot less ego and a lot more chilled – I have always appreciated the fine art of “fighting without fighting” – Bruce Lee. I think Gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is just that with my experience rolling with all types of people including Judo, Wrestling, MMA, Sambo and even Japanese Jiu-Jitsu. I can promise you will not feel as beat up rolling with a great Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. Someone who has all their techniques fine tuned and understands that it is not about how bad you make the other person feel after you roll with him but simply letting you defeat yourself.

No Gi jiu-jitsu can sometimes take away from the technique because you do not have to try as hard to escape. Take a chance and put yourself out there to learn how to beat someone without throwing a punch and utilizing all the tools you have available which means the Gi.

5.     You will have something to show for it – It is not all about rank when you speak about training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu; it is simply about the knowledge that comes along with the rank. I was once the guy that did not care about getting rank in anything but just learning to fight and defend myself. Then I met a guy that really put things into perspective for me by informing me  that Gi Jiu-Jitsu no matter what academy you train has a ranking system that dates back many years ago. You start at a white belt and end at a black belt and for some even a higher belt.

Many people put the time in for their belt and they display it around their waist as a symbol of accomplishment that can never be taken away from them. It is a sense of pride and years upon years of bleeding and sweating in the gym. No Gi training in some academies have levels to award for progression but to my knowledge growing up in martial arts, is a fairly newer concept. Respect your lineage and what it is to have a “ belt” It does not make sense for someone to say, “I am a black belt in No Gi jiu-jitsu.”

In summary, do not misunderstand that I train Gi, Nogi, MMA, Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido, Karate, Judo and even work wrestling. All these combat styles have something to offer you and I love all arts of self-expression and will not say anything bad about the benefits to doing one or the other.

In this post, I am stating that you must open your own mind to things that will make you a better martial artist and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. Show your love and respect for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by training in the one thing that really utilizes the whole art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the Gi.

Resources

Fenom KimonosGi Weaves 101 & Gi Weaves 102

IBJJFUniform Requirements

Gi ReviewsHow to Wash and Shrink Your Gi

About the author

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Richard Presley

A purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Richard is the owner and primary writer of Attack The back. Check out my About Me Page to learn more!