The Best BJJ Gi for Beginners Guide
When you first start your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu journey and decide you need to purchase a Gi, you’re probably going to be overwhelmed by the amount of Gi’s available. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gi’s come in all shapes and sizes, a few colours and even different material. As a beginner you don’t need to buy the most expensive designer Gi available, however you should find a balance between quality and price. You will find all types of options from designer Gi’s to even the most affordable brands in our Best BJJ Gi for Beginners Guide
First Things First
Although you may be passionate about Jiu Jitsu right now, who knows if down the line that fire will stay lit. The last thing you want to do is invest hundreds of dollars into something that you aren’t 100% about yet. As a beginner, Jiu Jitsu seems so exciting, as it is exciting to always learn something new. Before you shell out hundreds of dollars on a Gi, please make sure your heart is 100% towards learning the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Wearing a Gi is much more traditional, and the great thing about learning with a Gi is that you’ll still be able to train No-Gi with the things you learn in Gi training, this doesn’t work vice versa.
The truth is you can get a number of cheaper Gi’s that will last a long time, however you want to find a brand that will give you the perfect fit. Not all Gi’s are made the same, some companies have a “big and tall” version of each Gi, which is helpful for practitioners who are either overweight or tall for their weight.
Another thing is you shouldn’t confuse a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gi with a Judo Gi. Judo Gi’s are made from a much thicker weave that is designed to be more withstanding, where as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gi’s are tailor-made to make it more difficult to grip. Also, having a super thick Gi is very uncomfortable to roll in. When you’re purchasing a Gi you need to find a comfortable balance between a high quality Gi that is long lasting, and a Gi that is super thick.
Getting the Perfect Fit
When you first look at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gi sizes, the “A” size system may seem a bit daunting at first. However, it’s not all that hard to figure out what size should fit you the best depending on your body’s height and weight. We included a basic size guide below, however it’s important to remember that different brands may have a different size chart, so it’s always good to double check before purchasing a Gi for Jiu Jitsu.
Remember, this size chart won’t work for everyone, every body is different and your Gi should reflect that. The absolute worst thing in the world is rolling in a Gi that isn’t the correct size, Bjj Gi’s shouldn’t be uncomfortable to roll in.
When you first look at BJJ GI sizes, the A size system can somewhat seem a little bit daunting. However, it’s a quick and easy way to determine what size should fit you best. Below, is quick and easy to understand guide to help you find your perfect Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gi size.
Keep in mind that if you’re on the heavier side of things and starting Jiu Jitsu for the first time be prepared to lose some weight while training Bjj. I can’t even count how many friends and training partners I’ve seen dramatically change their bodies over a short period of time. If you’re in a position that you’re training Jiu Jitsu to lose weight, make sure that you don’t spend hundreds of dollars on a Gi that might be too big in the near future.
The picture above illustrates exactly how a Gi should fit. It shouldn’t be too restricting; however, it also shouldn’t be so loose that you feel like you’re swimming in your BJJ Gi. The top part of your Gi should hang right below your butt. The length of the Gi should leave a little space on your wrists and ankles when fully spread out, this ensures that you aren’t stepping on your Gi and that it isn’t restricting the use of your hands and fingers.
Things to Know Before Purchasing a BJJ Gi
Although traditional Gi’s are white, Bjj has now branched out to other colours such as blue and black. If you plan on competing with IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation) one day, then blue, black and white are all officially approved colours when rolling in competitions. If you’re simply buying a Gi to train in then it really doesn’t matter on colour, however you should always ask your coach before making a wild choice such as a rainbow coloured Gi, some schools won’t allow non-traditional colours.
The typical cost of a Gi is anywhere from $100 and up. When purchasing your first BJJ Gi, we would recommend you stay around the $150 price range. There are a few reasons for this that I touched on earlier, however it’s not always wise to invest so much money in something that you aren’t 100% about. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a gruelling art form to practice, and not everyone becomes a black belt.
Finding a gi with an appropriate weave is fairly simple. If you’re a beginner looking for your first gi, going with a normal single weave is likely going to be your best option. Single weave gis are common, cheap and light. They won’t last forever, but they’re easy enough to replace (possibly with something nicer) after you’ve been in jiu jitsu for long enough to tear them. Additionally, their lighter weight helps both with the heat of training during the summer and the scales at a competition if you’re near the top of your weight class.
Double weave gis are exactly what you’d think based on their name. They’re literally twice as thick and heavy as the single weave gis, which makes them much more durable, warmer, and much more expensive. One thing to keep in mind when purchasing a double weave gi is also that they tend to take longer to dry because of their thickness. If you only have one gi and want to train everyday, a double weave gi may still be slightly damp by the time you get to training for the second consecutive day.
Other weaves, such as pearl, honeycomb, and gold weaves tend to provide the durability and strength of a double weave but with the lightness of a single weave. Considering that these gis tend to be significantly more expensive they’re typically used by very committed practitioners.
With many gis — particularly those marketed for competition — you may see them labelled as a certain GSM (usually somewhere around 450 or 550) and wonder what that means. Technically, it stands for “Grams per Square Meter” and measures the weight of the material itself, but because of a handful of other factors (discussed in the next section), it shouldn’t be viewed as a consistent way of measuring the weight of a gi. Yes, a lower GSM gi will pretty much always be lighter than a heavier GSM gi of the same model, but two gis with the same GSM won’t necessarily weigh the same amount.