Choosing a BJJ Gi that will actually improve your game


The three things you need to consider when purchasing BJJ Gis are durability, fit, and vulnerability

Choosing a BJJ Gi that will actually improve your game   The three things you need to consider when purchasing BJJ Gis are durability, fit, and vulnerability to an opponent. I’ll explain each of these points in more detail. Durability is crucial… The point, of course, is self obvious. A BJJ gi sees a lot of action – just about every portion of it is going to be pulled or wrenched at some point, but the sleeves, skirt and collar are especially vulnerable. It is quite likely that an Aikido gi, for example, would come to pieces in the course of a single Brazilian Jiu Jitsu session on the mats.   This makes the weave of Bjj Gis all-important. There are quite a few variations of weave seen in BJJ gear today, and what you choose depends on the conditions you are training under. Single weaves are light, comfortable, and a good choice for summer gear, but not quite as durable as a double weave. On the other hand, a double weave rules where durability is concerned, but it can be a trifle too heavy for hot weather.   As I said, what you choose depends on the conditions under which you train. There are other weaves on the market, such as the pearl weave and the gold weave, that try to strike a closer balance between comfort and durability. A good Gi is put together with BJJ tactics in mind… Never forget that in gi-based BJJ, a good many maneuvers will be focused on the collar, so a good BJJ gi always has a collar that is especially durable. A well designed BJJ gi has a collar that is actually designed to be difficult to grip, thereby reducing the gi’s (and your) vulnerability to your opponent. Yes, your gi is part of your overall strategy on the mat, albeit a small one.   The collar of a well designed gi will also be of a material that wicks off the sweat of an encounter, and will be padded with soft, pliable rubber. It will preferably also be treated with antimicrobial washes to keep it clean. I’ve found a Ronin Gi to be reasonably good here, as also a Kingz Gi – I preferred these to a comparable Blitz Gi.   A good BJJ gi will also be tight-fitting enough to prevent your opponent getting a grip on it easily, yet loose enough in all the right places to allow you maneuverability . The skirts of a BJJ gi are usually shorter. There needs to be enough skirt length for you to be able to execute some chokes that depend on it, but not so much that you are yourself vulnerable. Sizing Charts Gi manufacturers put a lot of effort into sizing charts, so you should pay careful attention to these when making your purchase. An ill-fitting gi is going to give you a lot of trouble as you maneuver on the mats – it will make your techniques more difficult to execute, and it might make you more vulnerable to your opponents. It’s well worth your while to take your time when making your choice of what size gi to buy.   Finally, there’s the difference between the training and the competition gi. If you’re buying a training gi, go for durability above all else. At the very least, ensure that you choose a gi made of a weave that will last through months of gripping, pulling and grappling. Competition gis are more focused on comfort, low vulnerability, and ease of movement – with this focus, it goes without saying that they are less durable that most training gis. If you need gis for both training and competition, my advice is to buy two, one for each, because it’s hard for a single gi to fill both roles simultaneously. Patches Finally, there are patches. Some prefer them and others do not. If you like patches, while you choose those that define your personality, don’t forget to consult your school’s rules concerning these, and you can’t go wrong. And that’s how you choose the perfect BJJ gi.