Generally the pursuit of finding the perfect gi often ends in debate when discussed between people, therefore it is critical to realize there is no one size fit all, you can only find the perfect gi that works for you which might not necessarily be applicable to your colleagues and friends.
This short article will help you identify the different factors and support you in evaluating the different options you have when selecting the right Gi for you.
It is important to realize that Brailian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) is kind of different than other Martial Arts like Muay Thai where they require a set of gear to wear to train and compete, where in BJJ the only thing need is your Gi (or Kimono) and a belt which is thankfully much appreciated.
Size does matter mainly because BJJ tournament would have actual restrictions on it. If your Gi doesn’t fit the size description, they will not let you compete in the tournament.
For men, most Gis come in sizes A0 to A6. The A stands for Adult and the number after represents the size starting from the smallest size 0 to the largest size 6. Most men Gis are also unisex.
For ladies models, sizes would usually start with W or F, while kids have range of sizes.
Here is a general outline of the typical sizes you can expect
|A0||5'4" and under|
|A1||5'4" - 5'8"|
|A2||5'9" - 6'0"|
|A3||6'1" - 6'3"|
|A4||6'3" - 6'4"|
|A5||6'3" - 6'6"|
|A6||6'6" and above|
This is just a general chart. Make sure you check your brands specific outline because they may vary from one size to another.
If you plan on competing it is important that your Gi meets the officially requirement for tournament.
Cotton has become the standard material used for Gi, although higher end Gis are nowadays made of Hemp.
Cotton Gis are the most produced Gis by manufacturers and it has become the industry standard which is also recommended for its value for money. Cotton Gis are easier to wash and dry which is a good option for beginners.
It is extremely important to be aware that Gis shrink up to 10% in size when washing it. It could probably be too small after few washes so there is very critical to be aware of and keep in mind when selecting a Gi.
Each brand of Gi has their own size charts, so it is important for you to keep an eye on what are the best sizes.
Hemp would make a great advanced/premium Gi choice for advanced players (blue belt or higher), however we do recommend that beginners stick with cotton Gis.
The most important thing to look at are the weaves as some are designed to be light and some are designed to be thicker and more durable.
The lightest option would be the Single Weave; which is the most popular choice for beginners. Those Weave are more affordable and use less cotton in the weave that makes them lighter but on the flip side it will be easier for your opponent to get a grip on you.
Those Gis are usually priced under $100 while they are soft and comfortable for trainings/competitions. But beware they break faster than other types.
Next comes the Double Weave which are thick and heavy. Double Weaves doubles down on the weave which would make it naturally more thick. This added thickness would have positive effect on the durability of the Gi, and would it much more difficult for opponents to get a grip on you than a single weave Gis.
On the flip side, this extra fabric would noticeability weigh more than the single weave gis, therefore it has impact on your own mobility and speed during trainings.
These are typically more expensive however it's been noticed that some newer types of Gis are becoming more trendy than Double Weave Gis (discussed next).
There are Pearl Weave Gis which are the most popular weave on the market. They look more like ovals (or pearls) on the Gi and they are a hybrid of the single and double weave. The goal of the pearl weave is to maintain durability, while still being lightweight. However, pearl weaves can vary significantly between brands.
Generally Pear Weaves are probably the most popular Gis you see in tournaments as they are benefit from the lightness of the single weaves Gis and the durability from the double weave Gis.
There are also Gold Weave Gis that use a ladder cross arrangement that make them both soft and sturdy. The gold weave is not as heavy as the double weave, but still tends to be very durable.
It's been noticed that Gold Weaves Gis are not as popular as they were few years back as the Pearl Gis are becoming more and more popular.
For the Gi design, it is a matter of pure personal preference. Whether you are looking for high-contrast stitching that stands out, cool and unique patchwork, or built in rash-guard linings, there is so much to choose from that you can definitely find a design that fits your style.
For the colors; the range of colors available for BJJ gis runs the entire spectrum. Keep in mind that IBJJF only permits white, royal blue, or black gis in competition. If you are looking for a gi to use in competition, you may need to avoid other colors. If you are just looking for a gi to train in, you might consider other, non-traditional colors.
There are two main factors to decide on the quality of the Gis:
The most popular Gis brands are as follows:
In conclusion, finding the perfect fit Gi for you can be a hassle and a number of factors needs to be looked at when considering purchasing a Gi most importantly the sizing, style, and fabric.