When you buy a BJJ gi, you want to be confident that it will be suitable for how you want to use it. With that in mind here are six things you need to know before buying a BJJ gi.
You need to know your height at the shoulders, the length of your arms and legs, and your weight. This will determine what size of BJJ gi you need. You’ll need to work out your BJJ gi size on a brand-by-brand basis. This is because each brand has its own ideas about how, specifically, to tailor its BJJ gis.
The golden rule of sizing BJJ gis is to pick a BJJ gi that fits your body. If that means it’s a bit too short or too long in the arms and/or legs, then so be it. If it really bothers you, you can always have it altered. Shortening sleeves and legs is easy and lengthening them is not too hard.
Your competition plans
If you’re buying a BJJ gi with competitions in mind, then you need to make sure that you stick to the rules for competition gis. These are enforced very strictly both for fairness and for safety. If you just want a BJJ gi for training, then, in principle, you can wear whatever you like. In practice, your training club may have its own rules or at least guidelines.
How often you plan to wear it
All jiu-jitsu gis have to be more durable than most other forms of martial arts clothing (with the possible exception of judo gis. Some BJJ gis, however, need to be more durable than others. Basically, the more you plan to wear your gi, the more you should be prepared to invest in a premium option.
What thickness is right for you
In principle, you want your BJJ gi to be as thick as possible. The official reason for this is that it makes it harder for your opponent to get a grip on you. The unofficial reason for this is that it reduces the likelihood that your BJJ gi is going to tear.
Thick BGG gis do, however, have a couple of downsides. Firstly, they’re heavier to wear. This may not seem like a big issue when you’re walking around in them. It can, however, make a real difference in a proper match. In fact, if you’re at the upper limit of your weight class, you may want to go for a lighter BGG gi to make sure that you stay on the right side of it.
Secondly, thick BJJ gis are hotter to wear than their thinner counterparts. What difference, if any, this makes in practice will generally depend on where you train. In an air-conditioned gym, you may be fine. Outdoors in summer, perhaps not so much.
What kind of collar you want
If you’re a traditionalist, you’ll want a BJJ gi with a cotton-filled collar. Increasingly, however, BJJ participants are switching to rubber-filled collars. These are lighter, stiffer, and easier to dry.
What weave you want
These days, just about every mainstream BJJ gi is pearl-weave. For the most part, modern BJJ participants just want a BJJ gi that fits them as soon as they put it on. If, however, you really want to shrink your BJJ gi yourself, then you need single-weave or gold-weave.