How to Choose a BJJ Gi: The Definitive Guide
Finding a good fitting, comfortable BJJ gi that’s able to endure the endless hours on the mat is incredibly important for any BJJ practitioner.
Feeling comfortable while you roll will allow you to perform at your best with out any distractions, allowing your focus to remain fully on the task at hand.
Similarly, due to the nature of BJJ, finding a gi that is able to with stand the constant yanking, pulling and stretching should be a top priority. There’s nothing worse than noticing a rip on your new gi after just a few weeks of wearing it at the gym.
With this in mind, we’ve deciding to write an article on how to choose a BJJ gi, hopefully providing you with some advice to take with you on your pursuit of a new gi.
Table of Contents
Do Your Research
First things first, don’t buy a gi just because you think it looks good. While finding a gi you like the look of is important, what’s more important is that you make sure others are happy with it first.
There’s a few ways you can go about this, with the first being reading reviews and lists of the top gi’s. For example, not too long ago we compiled a list of the best BJJ gis for women, which we frequently update as new gi’s are released.
Another way you could go about finding other peoples experience with a specific gi is watching YouTube videos and browsing various martial arts related forums.
By following a few of these steps, you’ll understand the in’s and out’s of your desired gi, and be fully aware of what you’re about to purchase.
How Much Should You Spend?
This is a question that comes up fairly often, and to be honest, there is no definitive answer.
The amount you want to spend is really down to you, however there are a few things here that you should bear in mind.
Firstly, price often translates to quality. If a gi looks too good to be true, the chances are it probably is. While it is a bit of an inconvenience, more expensive gi’s tend to be made to a higher standard and therefore last longer.
Secondly, how long have you been doing BJJ and how likely are you to continue? If this is your first gi, and you’ve only just started in BJJ, maybe don’t spend a fortune on a new gi, as you may not stick with it too long.
Alternatively, if you’ve been studying BJJ for a while now and want a gi that’s going to last, spending a bit more on a good quality model is probably your best bet.
What ever price gi you go for, just make sure you do your research first, which if you’re reading this, you probably are.
How to Choose a BJJ Gi: What to Look for?
Ok, lets take a look at some of the different aspects of a gi that you should pay attention to when deciding which one to buy.
One of the first things you should consider when looking for a new BJJ gi is its’ size. While each brand will often have its’ own sizing chart, they usually follow a sizing system of A1, A2, A3 etc.
If this is your first gi, it can be a good idea to ask someone at your club who is a similar build to you to try on their jacket. That way, you’ll have a visual understanding of what size does or doesn’t fit you.
Another thing you should take into consideration is whether or not the gi comes pre-shrunk. Although pre-shrunk gis’ still shrink a bit, it’s far less than non pre-shrunk gis.
If you’re somewhat on the cusp of two sizes, go for the larger size as it will likely shrink when you first wash it.
While every brand has its’ good and bad products, well known, reputable brands are often your best bet at getting the highest quality gi. Brands like TATAMI, who’ve been around for years have perfected the craft of creating gis and offer some brilliant products (such as the TATAMI Estilo 6).
If you’ve been doing BJJ a while, you’ll come to recognize some of the more popular brands when you’re training and competing. I’ll list a few different brands below to keep an eye out for:
- Venum – Check out our Venum Elite BJJ Gi review
- Tatami – Check out our Tatami Nova MK 4 Gi Review
- Atama – Check out our Atama Mundial 9 Gi Review
- Gameness - Check out our Gameness BJJ Gi Review
- Sanabul – Check out our Sanabul BJJ Gi Review
- War Tribe - Check out our War Tribe BJJ Gi Review
What I love most about BJJ gis is the amount of different designs out there. You can get some incredibly flashy gis and others on the complete opposite side of the design spectrum.
This provides us with a ton of different options that allow us to feel comfortable and look good whilst wearing a BJJ Gi.
BJJ gis tend to come in a wide variety of different materials such as single weave, double weave, gold weave, pearl weave, rip stop and more. We’ll soon be publishing a complete guide on the different weaves that are used to construct a gi, so check back here soon for an update.
Here’s a brief break down of the different types of weaves you’ll come across when looking for a new BJJ gi:
- Single weave: Lightweight, comfortable but not very durable
- Double weave: Twice as thick as single weave, meaning the gi is thicker, yet more durable
- Gold weave: A combination of single and double weave, merging the lightweight design of the single weave, with the durability of the double.
- Pearl weave: One of the last types of weaves to be introduced into gis. This is the lightest weave that it allowed in BJJ competitions, therefore is often the most popular choice for competitors. Check out our list of the best lightweight BJJ gis for competitions for more info.
In order to be performing at your best possible level, you’ve got to feel good. If your gi pants are too tight, you may not be able to pass the guard, or even keep someone in your guard.
Unfortunately, unless you can try a gi on, its’ going to be hard to know how comfortable it is. Again, this is why I recommend reading plenty of reviews first, so you’ve got some kind of understanding on how others have found the gi.
Lastly, we’ve got the price of the gi. As I mentioned earlier, more expensive gis from reputable brands tend to cost more, however they also tend to be higher quality.
It’s a good idea to have a budget in your mind when shopping for a new gi, as you’ll narrow down your options and know what you can afford.
Video: How to Pick a BJJ Gi
I would also recommend watching this video by Viva MMA & BJJ, who walks you through the process of choosing a BJJ gi.
Finding a new BJJ gi is an important process and shouldn’t be rushed. Taking your time, doing your research and knowing your budget will set you on the best possible path of picking the right BJJ gi.
Thanks for taking the time to read our article on how to choose a BJJ gi, if you’ve got any questions, please feel free to ask away in the comment section below.