How to pick your Jiu Jitsu Gi.
If you are a BJJ practitioner, Im pretty sure you are going to need a GI (Kimono). Even If you love No-Gi or are an MMA fighter it would be a pretty good idea to invest in a GI because grappling with the GI has tremendous benefits in terms of helping you understand the technical aspects of Brazilian Jiu jitsu. It helps you understand grips, submission defense, and can seriously help with understanding how to pass the guard. SO LETS GET TO IT!
What Makes a Good Gi?
BJJ GI’s are usually divided into classes of fabrics or “weaves”. When referencing the “weave” of the Gi the company is usually talking about the durability of the Gi jacket (top), rather than the pants. But, more often then not, when you buy a durable Gi jacket it will come with durable Gi pants. It would be very strange to have 2 different types of durability for the entire Gi, they are usually the same durability.
TYPE OF WEAVES:
This is probably the best quality Gi. They are a hybrid of both single and double weave Gis. They are made to be very durable as well as being very light (got to love the light Gis!) This type of gi was made to be used for competitors of the IBJJF tournaments because the not only are they legal length for both jacket and pants the are also very popular Gi in competition because of its thickness and the ability to make it hard for your opponent to grip and choke you.
The Double Weave:
Next up are double weaves! These gis are on the heavier side, definitely heavier than single weave gis, and are more expensive. In the past couple of years this gi has fallen in popularity with BJJ practitioners because of the heaviness, stiffness, and uncomfortability if you don’t get the right sized gi… so If you dig any of those things go ahead and order yourself a double weave gi now! Haha, in my opinion they were not the most comfortable gi I have worn. Another drawback for this gi in terms of competition is that usually the competitors have to weigh in with their gi on so wearing this gi would, of course, make you heavier… which, if thats how you like to do things is cool, but I would think competitors would like to be lighter rather than heavier. Right? Personally I would not recommend this weave if you are a competitor, but some would say the opposite. ITS ALL ABOUT PREFERENCE!
Ultra Light Gi’s:
This is a newer type of weave (and a beautiful once at that!). These gis are even lighter than the single weave gi (how awesome is that?)! These type of gis started to be produced because of the growing rate at which people are cutting weight for BJJ tournaments these days. Also, the fact that these babies are great to train in when its HOT! I have a Ultra Light Gi for the summer and let me tell you… this is by far the best gi I have ever worn, it is comfortable, flexible, and light. I highly recommend this gi to anyone! What about durability? DONT WORRY, most of the time these gis come with a rip stop covering the collar and the pants, they help reduce weight as well as making these his strong and durable.
If you are interested in getting a Ultra weigh Gi, I would recommend Vulkan Ultra Light BJJ Gi, the Koral Light Gi, Hakai Ripstop Gi, and a Light Kimono from Kauai Kimonos (one of my favorite training summer Gis yet isnt always tournament friendly 🙁 ).
The “Other” Weave
Unless your gi says it is a single, gold, double, or light weave, then it is probably a gi that is in the “other” category. Some Gi manufactures like to get fancy and call their weaves things like, “Platinum wave”, “honey comb weave”, “Diamond weave”… you get the gist( the weave name is mostly a marketing strategy on the manufactures part… not the quality of the gi). These gis are not standardized, and are mostly in a mid weight range in terms of heaviness, and are a tad more heavy duty than a single weave gi, and lighter than a gold weave.
How do I know what size to get?
GOOD QUESTION HERE!
Gis are very hard to size, especially if you don’t understand the sizing of them. When you order a gi you don’t look for measurements in inches or centimeters, Gis manufactures just supply a “size”. These sizes can vary a lot between different manufactures.
– Most men Gi sizes are prefixed with “A” for “ADULT”. and they range between A0 to A6 ( A2 is the most common size worn. Its what I wear as well.)
-Some manufactures have a different scale for women’s gis and are prefixed with “F” (that is if they have different sizes for women.)
– As for Kid sized Gis they are all over the place and probably the hardest to gauge.
Does the Gi Collar make a difference?
YES! There are a whole range of different collars just like different type of Gis. There are thin and thick ones. Thick collars although sometimes “uncomfortable” make it tougher for your opponent to choke you. But if its not just being chokes you are worried about, there are also some new collars being made that include rubber inside them, which gives them a different feel as well as allowing them to dry quicker and reduce the growth of bacteria and mildew (awesome right!) So check out the 2 different types and see which one would be best for you!
What Color Should I Get?
Another good question, the traditional Gi colors are white and blue. In High level tournaments these two colors are the only ones that are acceptable to wear so definitely make sure you have have at least one of those colors in your gi wardrobe. But if you want to get fancy, some bjj gi manufacturers produce all different color gis, and ver cool ones at that! Colors such as black, yellow, red (my personal favorite even thought I don’t fit it anymore), pink, camp you name it, I’m sure its out there! But before you buy one of these awesome colorful gis, be sure to check with your BJJ school to see if it is ok for you to wear it, because some schools do not allow them.
How to Take Care of Your Gi:
Only read this if you don’t want your Gi to smell (ALL PLEASE READ THIS!).
1) be sure to hang your gi after practice so that mold and bacteria don’t start to grow rapidly. The worst thing you could do is throw it in the laundry basket to funk up all the other clothes as well as have the damp gi unopened to ventilation.
2) wash all your training gear along with your Gi SEPARATELY from your every day clothes. Like I said before… you don’t want to walk around smelling like mats and sweat all day… (unless your me of course).
3)CHECK IF YOUR GI IS PRE SHRUNK! Most gis are not preshrunk, and Im sure several of us (me multiple times) have thrown our gis into the dryer and when they come out they are either super tight or become illegal because the pant legs and arm lengths shrink. SO be sure if they are no preshrunk to hang dry your gi!
4) Strong detergents can damage you gi in the long run and lessen the life span of your gi! Detergents like Woolite would be a better option to use on your gi OR make your own detergent!
5) Also for a cleaner less funky smelling gi, i would recommend washing it in vinegar. Not only does this help to kill bacteria, it also helps set the color of your gi, making it harder for the color of your gi to fade. BUT your gi WILL smell like vinegar but hey… it beats the funk of bacteria and the fading of your Gi’s color.
THATS IT! I hope you now have a good idea on what kind of Gi you are interested in getting! Don’t forget to take care of it!
If you have any other tips or tricks on gis, and their up keeping feel free to comment below and let us know your thoughts!
Until next time guys!
Going back to train some more!
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