Tips on Picking the Right Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gi
Buying your first Gi can be a very exciting experience. But with so many martial arts disciplines nowadays, and the wide availability of Gis online, picking the right one can be confusing. Take Brazilian Jui Jitsu for instance. Even though the Gis for BJJ are identical in appearance when compared to other martial arts Gis, they’re fundamentally different. They’re made to be much more durable because they’re constantly being pulled and grabbed. On the other hand, Gis for other martial arts are made from thinner materials, meaning they would probably tear the first time you sparred against someone.
One of the most common mistakes a lot of people make is buying a Judo Gi for BJJ. While a Judo Gi can be as durable as a BJJ Gi, it also features wider sleeves, which provides more grip for your opponent, and it can trap your hand inside it, which can be detrimental. You probably know that in BJJ, you want to minimise your opponent’s grip, which is why BJJ Gis are more fitting than Judo Gis. So how do you differentiate a BJJ Gi from other types?
The most important factor to consider is the Gi’s weave, as it determines how much material is used in making it, and how it’s sewed together. The weave impacts the Gi’s thickness, durability, and weight. Generally, you want a lightweight Gi that’s thick at the same time, so that you limit your opponents grab. Additionally, you want a durable Gi that can withstand a lot of abuse.
Generally, you can pick between single, double and gold weave BJJ Gis, but there are many manufacturers nowadays who create their own Gi weaves, which is good because they’re innovating to create improved weaves. However, this also means that comparing Gis from multiple manufacturers has become more difficult, making the entire shopping experience more challenging.
Besides the weave, one important thing you have to consider is the size. Usually, Gi sizes range from A0 to A6. The A stands for adult sizing and the number represents the actual size. A higher number means bigger size. Kids Gis, on the other hand, follow a different sizing chart, usually M0 to M4 or 0, 1, 00, 000, etc. Different manufacturers use these sizes differently, so you should always check the sizing chart from the specific manufacturer you’re buying the Gi from.
Lastly, you’ll have to consider the colour. BJJ Gis come in a wide array of tones – white, black, blue, red, pink, yellow, camo, etc. The most important thing to know is which colours are appropriate for competition and training. The International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation only approves white, black and blue for competition. For training, the standards are more relaxed, but it ultimately comes down to how relaxed your specific gym is.