BJJ Gi Buyer Guide

Author: Grappling Store  

BJJ Gi Buyer Guide This guide give you some ideas into what you should look out for when buying a BJJ Gi.

BJJ Gi Buyer Guide

Buying a BJJ Gi used to be easy when there was only a handful of Gi manufacturers. Nowadays with the 100 plus new Gi manufactures out there it's hard to decide what is the right or best Gi to buy.  The obvious choice is recommendations. Talk to your fellow BJJers at your club. Some may prefer a particular brand, other a particular style while other prefer a particular colour or design. Either way you can go past the Classics. History tells us the the oldest companies out there are still going strong because they are tried and tested. Companies such as Atama have been around since 1989 while other big name Koral started in 1997.  Another brand which out doubles the age of these is Fuji which began more than 20 year before the big name Brazilian companies which specialied in Judo uniforms and brand with it experience and build knowledge. It offers value for money as well as high end Japanese made BJJ Gi's which are prestigious as a Japanese silk kimono. So with all that being said how do you go about buying your first BJJ Gi.

1.) Go the Club Gi
Most schools have either there own club uniform or a recommend colour. We suggest going white as your first option so that you blend in rather than stand out on your first day on the mats. A white Gi in some schools is the only choice. This will show dedication to your school and will force you to wash your Gi on a more regular basis as it will show sign of dirt quicker. Club Gi's help rasie revenue for clubs which helps pay rent, electricity and the mats you roll on etc.
2.) How often are you training?
If your totally in love with BJJ you'll be hanging to roll. BJJ is infectious so be careful as you may end up hooked and in the gym 5 days a week so you'll most likely need more than one Gi in your wardrobe line up.
This is great if you can't keep up with the washing cycles. We recommend having a minimum of 2 Gi's so that you can wear one while washing and waiting for the other to dry.

It is advisable to purchase 2 Gi's not just for the washing / drying process but also if your looking to compete. Keep in mind that the IBJJF are looking got move to a White and Blue only Gi policy just as our Judo friends.
The advantage of having more than one Gi is that it allows you to wash and wear a clean Gi every session. But the biggest attraction would be that you would actually pro-long the life of you Gi. If you only have one Gi and train 2 times a week you will be washing and wearing your Gi over 104 times a year. IF you have 2 or 3 BJJ Gi's in your line up you would only wash and wear each Gi 52 (2 Gi's) or 35 (3 Gi's) times per year each rather than loading 104 wash wear cycles on just 1 Gi.

Traditionally Judoka only wore white Judo Gi. This change in 1964 after the Tokyo Olympics where Judo was introduced for the first time. The Tokyo Olympics was the first ever live TV telecast. Television in those days boys and girls was black and white. Now watching 2 Judoka in all white uniforms doing Newaza (that's ground work in Japanese) on a black and white TV with a hint of snowy reception (no HD TV back in 1964) made it very difficult to see where one Judoka started and the other ended. So it was decided that one would wear White while the other wear blue to help give TV audience a better view of what was happening.

3.) Go with a trusted name from an Authorized Dealer.
Nowadays, there are many Gi's to chose from. On top of that there are many sharks out there counterfit the big names such as Koral, Atama, Shoyorol and Fuji just to name a few.
If you buy from an Authorized Dealer you are getting the genuine article. Rest assure that you can have full factory warranty as well as great customer service from your Authorized Dealer.
Steer away from those who claim they manufacture for large companies. We get many emails claiming that they are the official manufacture of a certain brand and that they are capable of supplying us etc. But truth be told they are counterfeits looking to make a quick sale and abandoning you after they receive your money. Be warned my friend. A poor man pays twice! Go with a trust brand or walk into a store. This allows you to try on and compare before buying.
If you can't make it to a store or live in a remote area, then ask around, talk, network with other like minded folk. Maybe even try on a friend jacket and see if the cut and material feels nice.
Note to self... Try this prior to class starts, may be sweaty after class.

4.) Living in hot climates.
If you live in a hot climate, we suggest going for the lightest possible Gi. This will allow your body to stay cooler and allows your body to regulate is temperature. This means you will not fatigue as quick and can push on in your training session rather than hitting a wall early. Avoid heavy weighted uniforms. Back in the early days guys wanted the heaviest Gi as they think this would last the longest and was harder to grip. This was also the theory of many Judoka while the Japanese would always go for a more soft material. This gives they better cooling features as well as better reaction time. If a Gi is thick and stiff to wear and your opponent pulls it, you are one with the Gi. Now if the Gi is soft and payable, if your opponent pulls on it it has some slack which give you a slight advantage in reaction time. This valuable split second reaction time could just be the advantage your looking for and sometimes give you the winning edge that you need in a competition. But is general go for a lightweight Gi for warm weather climates.

5.) Budget.
This is one we like talking about. Dose the higher price Gi come with more bells and whistles? Generally yes. The higher the price tage the more bells and whistles.
For those looking to stick to a budget we suggest going with white Gi's as these generally are cheaper to produce. Remembering that a poor man pays twice, we always suggest if you have your heart set on a particular Gi and you
can afford it then go for it. But if your like many and need to stick to a budget Gi look for a the cheapest big name brand Gi such as Fuji Victory, Vulkan Ultra Light, Koral Classic. These are all great quality Gi's at an entry level price. Less fancy, but quality nether the less and guaranteed to please.  You can view our entire Gi range right here


We recommend you wash your Gi after every use for your own hygiene and for the respect of your fellow BJJers.
There is nothing more putrid than a stinky dirt Gi. Question to ask yourself would you want to roll with a guy or girl who wears a dirt old Gi, my answer would be hell no.
Story for another day.

Author: Grappling Store Team   Date Posted: 14 July 2015  

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