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Tips in Buying the Best Judo or BJJ Gi

Updated on May 5, 2013
The best judo or BJJ gi can withstand the rigors of training and competition.
The best judo or BJJ gi can withstand the rigors of training and competition. | Source

What is the best gi for Judo or BJJ? Allow me to enumerate some of the qualities that make judo and jiujitsu gi work for you. But first thing’s first, what’s a gi? Simply put, this is what you wear when you practice or compete in judo and BJJ. The history of the gi is quite amazing. But you might be surprised to know that this is practically a modern martial arts training uniform.

Obviously there are many type of judo and BJJ gis available in the market. Choosing the right one will save you a lot of money and give you lots of fun training and competing.

So don't make the same mistakes I did. Read on and who knows, starting out in judo or BJJ may be the best thing you've ever done in your life.

Double weave BJJ gi
Double weave BJJ gi | Source
Gold weave BJJ gi
Gold weave BJJ gi | Source

The material matters

Before I got hooked on judo and BJJ, I practiced Aikido. I still do. So I got used to the light material of the aikido gi. When I started practicing judo, I thought that I will save more money by using the same uniform. Sure, the first few lessons were not a problem. However, as I got to train more often, the reality slapped me on the face. My aikido gi will not suffice – and survive.

I get easily chocked because grabbing my lapel was so easy. Unlike double weave gis that are quite thick. The relatively thin material made the choke even worse. It’s like having a wire wrapped around your neck. Also, the tugging and pulling ripped my gi to shreds. Suffice to say, the material of your judo and BJJ gi matters a lot.

You probably heard of the single weave and double weave judo uniforms. In a nutshell, single weave are lighter but less durable. But they are comparatively better than the ones usually worn for karate and aikido. Of course that’s just my opinion. Single weave are cooler and can be used for light training. The double weave on the other hand are thicker and more durable. They can withstand the rigors of judo and BJJ training – and competition. But they can be hot. Many opt for this type especially in competitions since it is stronger.

Today, you can get gis that are in between these basic types. So you can find many brands with varying levels of comfort and strength. You need to find one that suits your needs.

What martial arts do you practice?

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The cut and fit

Different competitions have different rules. As such, you need to know them. Yes, even the size and measurement of the judo and BJJ gi is controlled. The sleeve length, lapel size and even the fit of the sleeve is important. So if you intend to compete, you might as well learn the regulations when it comes to the judo or BJJ uniform. It would be a waste to buy something that you can't use.

Another important consideration is how the fabric responds to laundering. Unless it is specifically stated that it is pre-shrunk, expect your gi to shrink. Different fabrics react differently to different laundering techniques. Make some allowances when buying. This is especially true when buying online. The sizes may not be standard so it would be best to give your measurements to the supplier before ordering and paying.

The color

Before, there was only one color – white. But nowadays, you often see blue or even black. I know some have red or some other colors. But many competitions only allow white, blue or black. So check out the rules before you buy your competition judo gi or BJJ gi. Likewise, the dye used in the judo gi may leach out after several washes. So expect it to fade. This is the benefit of having a white gi. No fading will happen.

Moreover, gis have become a billboard for different schools and sponsors. So it’s not surprising to see gis that are embellished with school’s insignia. In addition, some put on brands and logos of sponsors on their gi. Without question, judo and BJJ competitions are great for promotions – especially if the person wins. So you can go all neat and plain or jazz up your gi with patches and embellishments.

Just curious

How much are you willing to spend for a judo or BJJ gi?

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The Price

What is the right price for a judo gi or BJJ gi? This is quite hard to answer since it boils down to value for your money. Just remember that cost is different from value. You may think that a $50 judo uniform is too cheap, you might be surprised at the quality. It is a toss-up between branded and those that are not. Of course, in the end, buy what you require. I know some products that can shoot beyond $100. But will you really use it. It may sound cool that you have this brand or this type of material. In the end, are you going to use it?

During my high school days, there’s a place in Manila where I get my gi. It’s no designer gi or highly coveted brand. For less than $45 you can get a decent set. Best of all, you can actually haggle the price. If you’re like me who needs to work for anything that I needed; then value for your money is really important. You need to know where to find the best deals for judo gi and BJJ gi.

Nowadays, there’s talk about gi and no-gi training. My take on this is simple, if you’re only attire is a rash guard or spandex shorts then you may rethink investing on judo and BJJ gi. However, if you’re like most people who actually wears clothes other than grappling attire, then buying a gi will help you develop your skills.

To answer my first question, I believe that the best judo gi or BJJ gi out there is one that you can actually use and learn in. It does not really matter what brand it is or what type of material it has. in the end, are you you learning? The best judo and BJJ gi will definitely make training and competing a lot more fun.


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    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 3 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hello there Bobkido,

      Wow only $20 that's a good deal. I favor Mizuno but it is really expensive. When i was starting out almost 2 decades ago, I bought a second hand gi because i can't afford a new one.

    • Bobkido profile image

      Bob E. 3 years ago from Omaha, Ne

      I bought a new Sun single weave. Nice. Got it for $20 on Ebay. I like Elephant too, I have a double weave competition favorite. Addias is ok if you are skinny.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hello Laika,

      Just make sure you buy the right one. If he competes, you'd better get the regulation gi. Plus, Judo gi and Judo gi have different specifications especially in competitions.

    • profile image

      Laika 4 years ago

      This is awesome. I'm thinking of getting my boyfriend a new uniform. This is helpful.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi there kidscrafts,

      White is usually the first choice. it's important to scrutinize the values of the teacher as well as the whole class. The philosophy and values will greatly affect the way the school teaches and the culture in the school.

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Interesting article! Thank you for sharing!

      When my kids were taking judo, there was not really a choice for either the colour and the kind of fabric. It was just white.

      As for the class, I remember that the was a bully in the class of my son and the teacher didn't teach about bullying.... I was not happy about that!