With the increasing popularity of Judo-based fighters in the UFC/MMA, such as former champion Ronda Rousey and welterweight standout Dong Hyun Kim, many trainees are adding Judo to their training regimen.
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The explosive grappling/throw based martial art is a good fit for both MMA and BJJ.
The most common takedowns these days are shoot takedowns, like single legs and double legs. But these takedowns can be just as dangerous to the person using the move, as they are to the person being taken down.
There’s a risk of catching a knee to the face as you shoot, or more commonly, finding yourself deep in your opponents guillotine choke as the fight hits the mat.
Judo throws generally negate these problems and can be a safer alternative to getting the fight to the mat. If you become proficient enough at the techniques of course.
It’s extremely rare to find a gym that holds no-gi Judo classes, so you’ll have to train in a gi. Regardless of if you focus on MMA and no-gi specifically.
Now, you’ve most likely already got a separate closet for all your BJJ gi’s. You probably already have more BJJ gi’s then you do normal clothing. But a BJJ gi won’t cut it when training pure judo.
Judo gi’s are a lot bigger and looser than BJJ gi’s. BJJ gi’s are cut to be form-fitting to your physique, with short arm length and leg length so that there’s less material for you to grab on to.
If you entered a judo competition in one of your BJJ gi’s, you could very well be turned away and disallowed to compete.
The extra material on the judo kimonos will take your grip fighting to the next level; it’s so much easier for your opponent to grab your gi and latch on to you, so you’ll have to be that much sharper on the defence.
So if you want to take your judo training seriously, you’ll need to invest in a solid judo gi.
Luckily for you, we’ve found the best five gi’s out there for you to choose from.
The Best Judo Gis Reviewed
Mizuno craft some of the finest judo gi’s on the market, as well as some stellar BJJ gi’s too.
The Shiai comes pre-shrunk, so you can forgo all the hassle of having to wash it, dry and shrink it to get it to the fit you want. It can be a massive pain shopping for a larger size gi and hoping that it will shrink just enough, but not too much. But not with the Shiai.
It comes in the competition approved colours of blue or white and is also cut to competition approved length. You won’t be turned away from competition if you stroll up in this gi.
You might already own a Fuji gi for BJJ. They’re the go to for great teachers/competitors such as Royler Gracie.
Fuji started out making judo gi’s long before they got into the BJJ gi market. Even thought their BJJ gi’s are great, they’ve really perfected their craft when making judo kimonos.
The gi has a double weave construction for increased sturdiness and durability. Your kimono will take a worse beating in a judo class than you might in a BJJ class so that added toughness will definitely come in handy.
It’s also made with soft 100% cotton, so you’ll stay cool and comfortable when training gets tough.
Adidas are one of the biggest names in sports. Whether you’re buying a pair of Adidas trainers or a tracksuit, you can expect the absolute best in quality. And their gi’s are no different.
This heavy duty, double weave gi is manufactured with both comfort and durability in mind. You can use the gi in your everyday training without it breaking down or tearing apart.
The collars are especially thick which makes it even better for competition; it’ll make your opponents have to work that much harder to hold on to your collars in competition.
This gi is a good option for the smaller trainees like kids/teenagers, female judokas and even the big monsters out there too. It is available in half sizes from size 00 all the way up to the huge size 7.
So far, we’ve listed almost exclusively heavy duty, double weave gi’s.
Now, these gi’s are great for their strength and toughness and can make it uncomfortable and unpleasant for your opponents in competition.
However, these double weave gi’s can get very hot in the summer months.
If you live and train in a hot climate, then you won’t want to be bogged down in a double weave gi.
That’s why it’s always a good idea to have a solid single weave on hand to keep cool in the humid summer months.
You can expect even more comfort than usual with this Yamato Sakura gi, due to their thinner material and the soft 450 gsm cotton.
To make sure the gi holds up to rigorous use, the chest, shoulders and knees are reinforced with quilted patches to prevent any tears.
If you haven’t trained Judo at all before and you just want to dip your toes in the water before going all in, this might be the gi for you.
This cheaper uniform features a single weave construction but with solid materials to keep it in good stead with repeated use.
This is a gi you can buy and try with little to no risk to give judo a go.
If you find that you do like judo and it’s something that you want to pursue further, you can still use this exact gi in both training and in competition without it ripping and failing you when you need it.
Unlike some other judo gi’s, you can actually purchase this in four different colours; black, blue, bleached white and a natural off-white/cream colour.
Judo competition normally only allow you to use blue or white gi’s, but the black one is there for training if it takes your fancy.
The stand-up/takedown game is really lacking in a lot of BJJ gyms. Many BJJ matches start out as a stalemate until one of the competitors choose to sit down in their guard.
A big reason for this is their inability to impose their will when standing and forcing their opponent to the mat.
There’s nothing wrong with choosing to play guard, but make sure it’s your choice. Not because you lack the judo techniques to throw and take your adversary down.