Did you ever wonder which brand has the best BJJ Gi? Which Gi colors are allowed in competition? What should you wear under the Gi? How to make your Jiu Jitsu Gi last longer? …
This Complete Guide on the BJJ Gi has all the answers including statistical data on the BJJ community’s favorite Gi Brands.
BJJ Gi FAQ
Get the quick answer to your questions on the BJJ Gi in this section. For more detailed explanations check the rest of the article.
BJJ Gi Colors
Originally all BJJ Gi’s were white just like Judo Gi’s. At first, two additional colors were introduced to Jiu Jitsu: royal blue and black. Today, BJJ Gis are available in many different colors. Keep in mind, the IBJJF only allows the colors white, blue, and black.
BJJ Gi Material
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gis are usually made of cotton which can be differently weaved. The most common materials and weaves are:
- Single Weave Cotton: Light and inexpensive and ideal for training in hot weather but also less durable than other weaves.
- Double Weave Cotton: Thicker, heavier, stiffer, warmer, and more abrasive than single weave cotton but also more durable.
- Pearl Weave Cotton: Very common weaving pattern as it is very durable.
- Gold Weave Cotton: This weave bridges the gap between single and double weave cotton as its weight and durability are in-between the two.
- Ripstop Fabric: These fabrics use different material (often cotton, silk, polyester, and nylon) woven together resulting in a thin and lightweight but still durable Gi.
Generally, thicker Gis are more durable and harder to grip but also warmer, more abrasive, and more expensive. Therefore, the ideal Gi material varies from athlete to athlete.
BJJ Gi Sizing
Choosing the right size for your BJJ Gi can be tricky. Try to stick to the sizing chart that is handed out with the Gi you are interested in.
The main Gi sizes are labelled A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6 where A1 is the smallest size available and A6 the largest.
Additionally, some brands offer special sizes for different body types which are labelled by an additional letter:
- L (Long): Pants and jacket wingspan are longer
- XL (Extra Long): Pants and jacket wingspan are even longer
- F (Fitted): Pants and jacket are narrower
- S (Short): Pants and jacket wingspan is shorter
- H (Heavy): Pants and jacket are wider
The following Sizing Chart is an example that shows how BJJ Gi sizing works:
The upper table helps you choose the correct size through your measurements while the lower table lets you decide through your weight and height alone. Use both tables to get the best fit.
For example, let’s say you are 6’4’’ and 185 lbs. In this case you should choose the size A2XLyou’re your Gi.
Keep in mind, the Gi sizing instructions are always specific to a certain model of a certain brand! Make sure you are looking at the sizing instructions matching the product you are interested in.
If you are in between two sizes, we recommend picking the bigger one as you can always wash the Gi hot or put it in the dryer to shrink it. You won’t be able to wear a Gi that’s too small.
IBJJF Gi Sizing Rules
The IBJJF enforces the following Gi measurement rules for competition:
“The GI top should reach the athlete’s thigh and the sleeves should come to no more than 5 cm from the athlete’s wrist when the arm is extended straight parallel to the ground.”
“GI pants should reach no more than 5 cm above the tibial malleolus (ankle bone).”
BJJ Gi Patches
The IBJJF only allows patches in authorized regions of the Gi. Additionally, patches must be made of cotton and be properly seamed.
BJJ Gi Brands
There are a ton of BJJ Gi brands out there and the number keeps growing. They all have different strengths and weaknesses and position themselves differently from budget Gis to premium Gis.
We collected the data on BJJ Gi brand popularity from reddit to see what brand are popular among the BJJ community. According to the reddit BJJ community, the five best Gi brands are:
- 93 Brand
The bar chart below presents the data found on reddit.
This does not mean that the most popular Gi brand makes the best Gis. Brand popularity is not equal to product quality, reasonable pricing, or design.
For example, while Origin certainly sells high quality Gis, they are also expensive. Additionally, they are promoted by people like Jocko Willink, who has a big following, making the brand more popular. On top of that, newer brands are underrepresented in this study since old posts don’t consider them.
This is neither positive nor negative, just something to keep in mind when looking at the popularity of Gi bands and making a buying decision.
BJJ Gi Pricing
Jiu Jitsu Gis are available for around 50 to 300 dollars, which is a wide range. But do you also get what you pay for?
We tested and compared the different available Gis thoroughly and can conclude that a good and robust Gi does not have to be overly expensive!
Most of the time a premium Gi only makes sense if you are looking for special designs, colors, materials, weight, and the brand name.
If you are looking to buy a BJJ Gi soon, check out our in-depth reviews. We compared most popular Gis and have therefore chosen our winners for each category:
How to wash a BJJ Gi
Washing instructions for any piece of clothing usually depend on the materials it is made of. The same goes for the Jiu Jitsu Gi. As BJJ Gis are usually made from cotton you need to be careful with high temperature washing. We recommend washing the Gi at a maximum temperature of 86°F (30°C).
Drying a BJJ Gi
Whatever you do, do not put your Gi in the Dryer. Dryers use heat to dry clothing. Therefore, temperatures range from 125°F (52°C) to 150°F (66°C). It goes without saying that you should not expose your Jiu Jitsu Gi to these temperatures unless you want to shrink it.
BJJ Gi for Competition
A Gi has to fulfill certain requirement to get clearance for competition. Different Promotions have different rules and vary in strictness. Referees will generally make sure the Gi of each competitor fulfills the following requirements:
- Correct sizing: Gi sizing is especially important since incorrect sizing leads to unfair advantages for a competitor. Therefore, the length of the Gi’s sleeves and pants is critical. For example, if one competitor wears a Gi with short sleeves his opponent will be at a disadvantage as the sleeves are less accessible for grabbing and controlling the opponent. Therefore, promotions like the IBJJF have the sizing rules explained above.
- Color: Color restrictions for the Jiu Jitsu Gi depend on the promotion that hosts the competition. For example, the IBJJF is much stricter on Gi colors then most others promotions only allowing white, royal blue and black Most of the other promotions don’t impose color restrictions.
- Cleanness: The Gi must be washed, clean and odorless! Most referees will check for this before a competition match. We can’t emphasize this enough. In our opinion referees should be more strict when it comes to cleanliness of competitors as dirty and smelling Gi are not only disgusting but also carry a lot of bacteria and promote infections.
What to wear under a BJJ Gi
There are two camps when it comes to this question. Some practitioners prefer to wear nothing but underwear under the Gi and some wear rash guards and even spats under the Gi. In the end it comes don’t to personal preference. The following pros and cons might help you decide what to wear:
Only underwear under the Gi
Wearing underwear is the minimum requirement. Don’t train or compete naked underneath the Gi!
Reasons for only wearing underwear under the GI:
- Cooler: Depending on your location and the season of the year it might get hot in training. Saving one layer helps reduce heat.
- Mobility: Certain pieces of clothing can restrict movement although this is generally not the case with rash guards.
Rash Guard under the Gi
This is the route most practitioners go as rash guards are comfortable, thin and don’t restrict movement.
- Warmer: Warmth can not only be a disadvantage. We have trained in cold gym many times and we were grateful for the additional layer.
- Rash protection: Jiu Jitsu Gis are tough and can be quite abrasive for the skin.
- Absorbs moisture: People usually sweat a lot in training. A rash guard can absorb the sweat and let it steadily evaporate from there.
How to tie a BJJ Belt
There are a few different ways to tie a Jiu Jitsu belt. The variant we usually use is called “Superlock Style“. It is easy to remember and looks clean:
Should you train Gi Jiu Jitsu
It is completely up to you if you train in the Gi or not. We know plenty of competitors personally that do well in high level competition and have never touched the Gi. Some No Gi athletes even shine in Gi competition without training in the Gi although this is not the norm.
Nevertheless, we would suggest you at least give the Gi a fair change as training Gi Jiu Jitsu can be a lot of fun, teach you about many techniques that can be utilized in real world self-defense situations or will at least provide some variety to your training.
Hopefully, you had your questions answered through reading this article.
Love it or hate it, the Gi is a part of Jiu Jitsu’s culture and it’s here to stay. If you are currently in camp NoGi, maybe you should consider giving the Gi a chance. We have seen many people change their minds.