Why buy a BJJ Gi?
If you do not have a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) Gi, you may be confused as to why you would ever even need one? There are two styles of BJJ – training in Gi (kimono) and training with no-Gi. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is an elite sports, known for its incredible takedowns, joint manipulations, and ground grappling technique, all of which require a highly durable Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gi if that’s the style you’re training. The BJJ kimono or Gi, is the form of dress worn in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which is an adaptation of the Keikogi (Ji Gu Zhao) used in contemporary Japanese martial arts. These uniforms may be worn in BJJ classes, during training, practicing moves, free sparing and in a tournament. A BJJ uniform has drawstring and usually ripstop pants, a Gi jacket with a long sleeve and a belt to show a practitioner’s rank. Anyone in the dojo knows how long each practitioner has been training approximately for based on their colour belt. It takes on average 10-12 years to get your BJJ blackbelt sometimes sooner. The belt ranks are white, blue, purple, brown and then black. Most belt ranks, a practitioner will be on it for approximately 2 years and but they’re usually on their brown belt for about a year.
Before diving into the specifics of BJJ Gi’s and differences amongst them, first let’s take a look at what is required to fit properly in Jiu Jitsu Gi’s. Whether you are completely a beginner to jiu-jitsu, have only dipped your toes in the world of Gi Jiu-Jitsu causally, or are an experienced practitioner looking for the best BJJ Gi for your needs, it is easy to get overwhelmed with the sheer number of Gi’s available on the market.
We will also discuss how to choose a quality Gi (kimono), how to easily keep your Gi clean and sterile.
But firstly, where do you buy your first Gi?
Your best bet if you’re in Perth, is to purchase a BJJ Gi from MMA Fight Store in Malaga as they provide a great collection of jiu-jitsu Gi’s that are great quality. BJJ is one of those martial arts where it is essential to own the best jiu-jitsu Gi that you can afford. Whether you are a casual BJJ practitioner, a beginner or a competitive one, you cannot go wrong with the best BJJ Gi choices.
Alternatively, you can purchase Gi’s online from reputable manufacturers.
It’s worth checking Facebook marketplace for Gi’s that have hardly been worn and some are in amazing condition are you can find them to be great condition and a good quality. Just make sure you sterilise them with a good disinfectant, which can be found in your local supermarket.
BJJ Gi’s boast of brands like Tatami Fightwear, GR1PS, Venum, Fuji Gi and Manto, and an expansive array of uniform designs and colours, with plenty of choices, you are bound to find the Brazilian Jiu jitsu Gi to suit you.
How do I size up my Gi?
With sizing a jiu-jitsu elite sports Gi, you are working on the dimensions using some combination of a person’s height and weight, which should get you the best fit for that individual’s body type. The sizing schedule is a general guide and we encourage practitioners to try their BJJ Gi’s on before deciding what size you’re going to choose. Especially if you have a body shape that isn’t consistent with your general size.
THE TYPICAL MEN’S “A” SIZES HAVE THE FOLLOWING SIZE RANGE:
|A0||5ft 4″ – 5ft 7″||60-65kg|
|A1||5ft 7″ – 5ft 9″||65-72kg|
|A1L||5ft 11″ – 6ft||65-72kg|
|A2||5ft 8″ – 6ft||72-82kg|
|A2L||5ft 11″ – 6ft 2″||72-82kg|
|A3||6ft 1″ – 6ft 3″||82-95kg|
|A3L||6ft 3″ – 6ft 4″||82-95kg|
|A4||6ft 1″ – 6ft 4″||95-120kg|
THE TYPICAL WOMEN’S “F” SIZES HAVE THE FOLLOWING SIZE RANGES:
|F1||4ft 9″ – 5ft||39kg – 45kg|
|F2||5ft – 5ft 4″||45kg – 55kg|
|F3||5ft 3″ – 5ft 6″||52kg – 65kg|
|F4||5ft 6″ – 5ft 8″||64kg – 77kg|
THE TYPICAL KID’S FOR MALES AND FEMALES HAVE “M” SIZE HAVE THE FOLLOWING RANGES:
What are the types of Gi’s available on the market
For your first Brazilian jiu-jitsu Gi, you should not be too concerned with what weave you have, especially if you are a beginner. You should check for a weave type that provides sufficient comfort while you train BJJ, being comfortable usually means using a lightweight Gi that allows easy mobility and a Gi that is the right size, or as close as possible. There is a bit of standardization with single weave, double weave, gold weave, pearl weave and cotton.
Single weaves dry fast, and you can wash these BJJ Gi’s often. Single weaves are used on basic entry level BJJ practitioners. It shrinks easily but it’s made from a good material. They are soft and a little looser than a pearl weave, which is a much tighter weave structure. Just because they are thinner, doesn’t mean they won’t last. Some single Gi weaves can last for several years.
Double weaves are double the thickness of a single weave, but they can be heavy. The firmness of the weave may cause the double weave to be abrasive on both opponent’s skin and wearers during training. Because this type of Gi top is thinner-woven than cotton, an opponent may grab it and manipulate it easier. They are popular for IBJJF tournaments as they can be difficult to grip due to the thickness and stiffness of the material. More recently, double weave gis, are light weight, with most weighing around 1.2-1.4 kilograms. In competition, athleates use a double weave Gi, and cut weight as much as possible to be in a lower weight bracket. It’s the most expensive weave, even more expensive than a gold weave.
The gold weave was the standard originally required by the Federation of International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation for competitions, (according to the IBJJF rules, IBJJF competition and any IBJJF tournament) though it has since been relaxed so as to allow different weaves of jackets. Gold weaves are the most sort out Gi’s as they are made from a strong material, they are a heavier Gi. They can be expensive which is why some people opt for pearl weave. The gold weave is durable and comfortable to train in. The thick material is harder to grip than a single or pearl weave. Gold weaves shrink quite a bit which is why most companies avoid stocking and selling gold weaves.
Pearl weaves are the most popular Gi’s because it’s cheaper to buy, it comes in different weights, hardly shrinks and is durable. Not all pearl weaves are the same. Some are soft others are stiff and rough due to the weave tightness. If a pearl Gi doesn’t fit you well, shrinking it is super difficult, so choosing another weave would be better.
Ripstop weave is mainly used for trousers, and some grappling shorts. They are incredibly lightweight but they have been banned by major tournaments (IBJJF). These types of Gi’s would only be used in training. Most companies don’t produce ripstop weaves.
If you want to remove all moisture quickly, then opt for 100% Cotton or Ripstop pants, with a lightweight material for your upper. Cotton weaves are flat, strong and heavy. The ribs are diagonal and are usually only used for pants. Cotton pants rip easily. Ripstop pants will be a better option.
Custom BJJ weaves usually fall into one of the weaves written above but they claim to be a custom weave. They perform identically but come with names like honeycomb, platinum, hyper, crystal and other various names.
Grams per square metre
This doesn’t refer to the actual weight of the material but rather the grams per square meter which determines the thickness. 350GSM is thinner and weighs less for a Pearl weave than 550 GSM which may also be a Peral weave. 350GSM is the lightest Gi a competitor can use in competition. 450 GSM is used on premium Gi’s and 55GM is used on heavyweight Premium gis.
We recommend all our students wear a rash guard (like a thin Lycra) underneath their BJJ uniform for protection from skin infections when grappling other students and when they’re training. Rashguards are not allowed to be worn in competitions for men if the competition is wearing your gi. Men can however wear a rashguard if it is a no-gi training style. Women and children are allowed to wear rashguards for all competition, whether the competition style is gi or no-gi.
No Pockets allowed
Pockets of any type are not permitted on a BJJ Gi. Most Gi’s are made without pockets anyway.
What colour Gi should you choose?
Gi’s with tops and pants in different Gi colours are not permitted; neither are Gis with a collar in a colour other than that of the rest of the top. The entire Gi must be the same colour (pants and top). We recommend blue or black Gi’s as they hold the colour, we often find white BJJ Gi’s get staining around the neckline from sweat over long periods of time. Wearing other colours except for blue, black and white is not allowed in tournaments. You can check with your coach if you want to wear a coloured Gi different to the ones mentioned above, it’s up to them, if they will allow different coloured Gi’s.
How do you wash your Gi for longevity?
It is best to wash your kimono with cold water, preferably with a colour safe detergent (if your Gi isn’t white). Using cold water and lower temperatures will prevent the Gi from shrinking, which allows you to maintain the ideal fit for years.
When washing your Gi, it’s always a good idea to turn your Gi inside out to maintain the vibrancy of your Gi colour and the patches attached. Your Gi will look fresher for longer as it helps to lessen the colour washing out of it. It is really important to wash your Gi after every training session. Using a fabric softener will be beneficial too, as Gi’s can become quite stiff, especially in summer when the temperature is hotter. Wearing a used Gi without washing it after training, is unhygienic. The sooner you wash your Gi after training, the better. This includes washing your BJJ belt if it has got stains, blood or dirt. There is a superstition that it washes away your knowledge and skill, but wearing a dirty belt harbours bacteria, so if your belt is unclean, wash it too.
Sometimes an old used kimono, has a bad odour and no matter how often you wash it, even if you use the best smelling detergent, deodoriser or sanitiser it doesn’t go away. To eliminate the smell, use one part vinegar and four parts water, soak your Gi in the mixture for about half an hour before washing your Gi in cold water. You can do this mix for your Gi if you’re wearing it for the first time, as it will keep the colour of your Gi vibrant as it locks in the colour.
Should I Sterilise my Gi?
Skin infections such as ringworm, staph, and all sorts of other health hazards can spread via BJJ as it is a close contact sport. With our sweat, and that of all of our teammates, being absorbed in our uniform, it is essential that our Gi’s and rashguards, are sterile before we use them again when training. If you head to your local supermarket, you will find laundry sterilisers in the same place as your detergent and fabric softeners.
Where do you hang your Gi out to dry?
If you want to shrink your kimono purposely – put it in your machine dryer. However, if you love how your Gi fits now, then just hang it out, away from direct sunlight, because sunlight will make your Gi fade, and it will make it even more susceptible to damage. Hanging your Gi inside is what we recommend for optimal conditions to avoid damage to your BJJ kimono.
Your Gi is an investment, and it should be washed regularly. The truth is though, how you treat your Gi will determine how long it will last for. Avoiding fading, damage and shrinkage will be in how you care for your Gi. They are not cheap, so caring for it correctly will make the difference in how long it lasts.
What do I do if my Gi doesn’t fit perfectly?
Get it tailored
If your jiu-jitsu Gi does not fit perfectly right out of the box, you should really think about getting all your Gi tailored if it’s very big. The only reason why you would pick one size higher these days is if you wanted to cut down the Gi for a tighter fit, which would be hard to do most of the time, seeing that some Gi’s are made from pearl weaves these days which barely shrink. You would choose to get it tailored if your body shape isn’t the same size all over. i.e., long torso, short legs.
Shrink your Gi
To shrink your BJJ Gi is easy. One thing to remember is more heat, more shrinkage. But you have to remember, shrinking your Gi is like getting a haircut. You are better off shrinking it slowly, in small increments, then shrinking it quickly as it will never go back to its original size.
If you need to shrink your Gi fabric significantly – do a hot machine wash and put it in a mechanical dryer. Only use this method if you need to shrink your Gi significantly and if it’s much larger than it should be. This will work particularly well with single weave or cotton Gi’s.
If you are that close to having the Gi fit just right but it is only slightly too big – use a hot machine wash, then air dry indoors. This will allow the Gi to shrink the fabric a little bit but not too much!
If you only want to make a small cut to a Gi fabric, then let the washing machine do the job. If your Gi is almost the perfect size, but you need it slightly smaller Wash the Gi in warm water, and then allow it to air-dry in the house like normal. Without the heat of the machine dryer, the Gi will still shrink, just not nearly as much. Warm water will allow for only a small amount of shrinkage, which allows for you to achieve that perfect fit, should your Gi just a bit too large.
Once your Gi is the perfect size – wash your Gi in cold water only and let it air dry inside. Applying heat using the washing machine or mechanical dryer will shrink it more. Once you’ve done your cold wash, hang it on the line, out of direct sunlight. Continuing to wash your Gi in warm or hot water, or drying it in a hot, dry machine, will result in even more shrinkage.
Another thing to consider, is not all Gi’s shrink the same, even if the Gi comes from the same manufacture. So, shrink your Gi gradually so that it doesn’t end up too small.
At C2 Marital Arts, we stock our own Gi. We are 7 minutes from Joondalup in Ocean Reef. Call Crimson if you want to order yours!