If you are serious about practicing jiu jitsu, you may want to think about investing in a traditional gi, jut as the Brazilians do. Buying a gi is an exciting experience although you may find yourself becoming overwhelmed at exactly what outfit to buy. There is lots to choose from when it comes to buying a gi, so it is worth reading up on the best go to buy.
Don’t be confused by differing advice from various sources, we are here to help you read up on what outfit to buy depending on your needs.
Follow our guide to the Best Jiu Jitsu Gi to suit your needs and the needs of your wallet!
What to think about when purchasing a gi
If you want to be buy that most durable and effective BJJ GU Best BJJ Gi, you will need to take a few things into consideration, such as cost, style, color, fit, durability and material.
Although traditional BJJ gis are white, nowadays people can choose from many different outfit colors, with white, black and blue being the most popular. If you are lucky enough to practice with the IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation) ten blue, black and white are the officially approved colors when playing in competitions.
If you are looking to buy a gi to train in, you can be as creative as you like and choose whatever colors you fancy. Do check with your college or training club to see if they have any color regulations though as you do not want to fork out on expensive kit that will end up being banned from practice.
You will find that BJJ gis are more expensive than other martial arts outfits, for a number of reasons. For starters, as BJJ is a less popular sport than, say karate, manufactures do not produce outfits in bulk as they would do with more popular products. Also, you will pay for the extra quality of material used in gis as the outfits are sully tougher and more durable.
BJJ kits are very strong in all aspects of the design and are generally made from fabric that is doubly woven. Different brands use different technology and design features with improvements being made on every new product release.
We will talk more about different types of weave later.
Once you have decided on which brand you prefer, it is time to get to the nitty gritty of sizing. Gis can generally be bought in sizes that go from A0 to A5. The A stands for adult and the number indicates the different sizes with the number rising the bigger the gi.
Whilst most brands try to stick to the main size guidelines, you may find that some makes of go have slightly different sizes. You will need to refer to the size charts for each manufacturer you buy from and do not simply go for a size that you bought from a previous brand.
Children’s gis are usually marked with an M instead of an A and mostly come in 5 different sizes, from M0 to M4.
It is imperative that you choose the right size go for your body size as you will not want to hinder your performance. If your gi that is too tight, you will be restricted in your movements and of the go is too big you may get tangled and stumble. The aim of your gi is to be as comfortable as possible.
You will know your outfit is a good fit when it allows you to move and is reasonably loose in the crotch area. One tip to keep in mind is to buy a gi that is made from material that has already shrunk, so that you do not end up with a tight kit after one wash.
As we mentioned earlier, you will want to consider the type of weave that you choose, when buying your first gi. You may find that as your BJJ career progresses that you will want to change your weave, but here is a quick rundown if you are unsure on what to buy for your first venture into BJJ. We have tried to keep our information as straightforward as possible, so you should not be too overwhelmed.
For starters, a single weave gi is classed as the most basic BJJ gi and it is great for those starting out who do not want to spend too much money at first. The single weave kit is usually reasonably priced and will not break the bank. Generally, single weaves are lightweight and not too restrictive for when you are learning.
If you live in a hot country or are in a competition in a room with poor air conditioning, the single weave is perfect as you will not get too hot.
The disadvantages of owning a single weave gi are that they may not last long due to the quality and strength of the material and you may find that your opponent can grab hold of you more easily.
The main structure of the double weave is the same as the single weave only it is done for a second time. The extra thickness and weight adds to the strength of the gi, meaning it will last longer and will save you money in the long run. The double weave will make a it a little less difficult for your opponent to gran hold of you, as he or she will not be able to get a good grip.
One negative of the double weave is that you may not be as agile whilst moving about, particularly when reacting to your opponents moves. This is why it is so important to get the right fit of gi, so that you are not restricted in a heavy suit. You will want to think about the cost of a double weave as they are not as economic as the single weave, but the quality will make it is a lot easy to take as it dents your wallet.
Of course, cost does not mean everything and just because a gi is cheap does not mean it is good, in fact, your teacher may advise you to get a single weave when starting out and some feel that there is no significant difference in performance between single and double weaves.
If you cannot quid decide on whether or not to buy a single or a double weave gi you may find that buying a gold weave is your answer. The gold weave’s goal is to take the best aspects of the single and double weave to make the ultimate gi. The outfit is thick, strong and reliable but still manages to have a low weight, so the competitor is not weighed down.
The gold weave is something that you will only want to think about buying once you have become accustomed to BJJ, as they are pricey and we would not want to see you waste your money if you find that you do not really want to practice BJJ long-term.
Premium BJJ gi producers have their own personal weave that is unique to them. Examples of such weaves are the ripstop weave, pearl weave, honeycomb weave and platinum weave.
Typically an average sized single weave has a weight of 1.8 up to 1.6 kg. Gold weaves tend to weigh more and the double weave is the heaviest of the three weaves. Of course, these weights will change from manufacture to manufacturer, so do look out for brand specifics. Remember, your performance will be impacted by the weight of your gi.
A new trend in modern gis is what is the ‘ultra light gi’. The ultra light’ comprises of thin, material that work out a lot cheaper than other weaves and are easy to wash and dry if you are going to be using frequently.
These outfits are very compact and easy to carry around in your sports bag without any problems, making them great for those who train a lot or who enter lots of competitions.
Who knew that there were so many things to consider when buying the best Bjj gi?
The thickness of a gi is something to be considered as the thicker the outfit t difficult it is for the opposition to grab on to the outfit. Opponents, of course, will always be able to grab onto your outfit but if your suit is thick and heavy, they will not be able to maintain their grip for too long. Think about it, if you are wearing a thick woolly sweater, it is much more difficult to grab for a long time as opposed to a lightweight cotton shirt.
Most BJJ gi collars are filled with cotton or rubber, with rubber being the most popular. Experienced sports men and women will say they like the cotton collar best as it is more comfortable and not as restrictive. Rubber collars can make you more susceptible to choking instances from your opponent, so the less risk you have the better.
That is not to say rubber collars are bad, they just have different qualities. One great advantage of rubber collars is that they do not harbor germs and any bacteria will not be able to be stored inside the collar, eek! In competitive BJJ, rubber does tend to be more popular and is generally a cheaper option.
Another aspect of your BJJ outfit to check out is the sleeves. How can sleeves be important you may ask? Well, essentially big sleeves are a disadvantage to a competitor and an advantage to their opponent. Again, this is down to the ease of grip your opponent will have if you sleeves are too big. That is not to say that you should have tight sleeves as this will make you feel restricted and your arms will not move as freely as you want them to.
Arms that are too narrow can actually lead to disqualification in some competition rules implemented by the IBJJF. The rules clearly sat that the gi sleeve opening should be seven centimeters when fully extended.
Trousers are perhaps the most important piece of clothing in your kit and there are many competition rules in terms of how your trousers are constructed. Judges will check for weaver stitching, size and weight of trousers to ensure that follow tournament guidelines.
Belt ties also need to be thought about and the higher quality belt ties tend to have knotted ends and are significantly thicker than cheaper gis found in stores today. The greater thickness of the belt will ensure that your tie does not easily come undone, as it can do if it is too thick.
Perhaps the most important thing you will want to consider when buying a gi is how long it is going to last. You will want your gi to be put through its paces if you are going to be wearing it a lot during practice and competition. The last thing you want is for it to fall apart after just a few months.
Like we mentioned, a double weave will be more robust and a single weave will perhaps need replacing sooner.
As you can see, deciding on the best gi for you is a lot more confusing that you may think, so you will want to spend time thinking about all of the issues we have brought up. In essence, all of the different suits that we have talked about each have their advantages and disadvantages.
What is most important is what is right for you?
Do consider browsing through reviews, asking fellow BJJ fans what works best for them and do get advice off your teacher. It may be worth writing down a list of the pros and cons of each gi to ensure you choose correctly, especially if you plan on spending a lot of money. In our opinion, you cannot go wrong with brands like Atama and Koral who both invest lots of time and effort upgrading their gis year after year, bit like we say, buying a gi is a very personal matter.