Jiu-Jitsu Gi

History

If you’ve spent anytime training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu then you’re familiar with what a gi is. The heavily stitched, cotton uniform that we wear when we train and compete.

In theory, Jiu-Jitsu is the ultimate equalizer. It’s a sport where people of different sizes, age, race, religion and political views all meet as equals.

The Brazilian jiu-jitsu gi was adapted from the uniform commonly used in Japanese martial arts. Since Jiu-Jitsu focuses more on grappling and submissions the kimono underwent several modifications to allow for ease of movement and grappling. Jigoro Kano, is to thank for prototyping the gi. He realized he needed to show uniformity among those training Judo. The gi was designed to be durable enough to take a beating from throwing, pinning and choking techniques.

Kano took inspiration from the kimono, and other traditional Japanese garments of the time to make the gi. It was the first ever martial arts uniform and was universally adopted by other Japanese martial arts.

The Brazilian jiu jitsu gi we are familiar with today comes from Mitsuyo Maeda. He traveled to Brazil from Japan and began teaching the now famous Gracie family. Overtime the Gracie family worked with Maeda to slightly alter the gi.

Fast forward to the 1940s and jiu-jitsu was first viewed as a martial art for the upper classes for many decades. However, to instill the ground zero concept all gis were white during this time and students would wear them and leave them after class to be washed.

In the 1960s, we begin to see the first splashes of colour on the jiu jitsu gi. This was pioneered by Reylson Gracie, son of Carlos Gracie.

Components of the Jiu Jitsu Gi

    The jiu jitsu gi is split into three main components:

  • The Jacket
  • The Pants
  • The Belt

Jiu-Jitsu gis are made out of a variety of weaves and different fabric blends. The typical jacket is loose and ranges from heavy to lighter weights for training in hotter climates. The pants tend to be a bit loose and short only coming down to the ankles. And the belts help differentiate skill level among practicioners.

Common Fabric and Weaves

    Pants

  • Ripstop
  • Cotton Blens
    Jacket

  • Single Weave
  • Pearl Weave
  • Double Weave
  • Hemp Weave
  • Bamboo Weave

How Much Do Gis Costs

BJJ gis can be classified in two classes either Value Gis or Premium Gis. Value gis costs less due to the lesser amount of material and simplicity of the weave. Typically these will be single weave gis or even some pearl weave bjj gis. This is ideal for beginners because you can get straight to training without making a huge investment. Also, you can learn more about what you like and dislike in a bjj gi.

The next category would be premium bjj gis. These sometimes use more material and focus on either lightness or creating a thick weave. Premium bjj gis tend to be more durable and have additional quality features. These features improve the gis performance, functionality or looks. This could include softer cotton, rash guard lining within the jacket, stretch inseams and much more.

BJJ Gi Colors

When Jiu-Jitsu was first introduced the traditional gi color of choice was white. In Japanese culture, white symbolizes purity, the lack of ego and further feeds the equalizer theory of jiu jiu-jitsu. In the 1980’s the blue gi was introduced to visually differentiate a competitor to reduce the possibility of errors by referees in awarding points. Eventually black gis found their way into BJJ. While other martial arts like Ninjutsu, Kenpo, Karate, Silat etc whose practicioners tend to wear black kimonos. The color black is associated with a darker, more aggressive intimidating character with undertones of stealth and deadliness. A black gi also hies blood and sweat from training making it easier to maintain.

General Regulations

The only colors allowed for international championships are white, black or blue. Also, in many BJJ gyms, it is customary that white belts only wear a white gi until they obtain a blue belt. Then they are free to wear any color.

Also, in competition, the gi must be in good condition. No torn jackets or frayed pants and the material must not be excessively thick or hard where it will obstruct your opponent. All jacket and pants must be of sufficient length and any patches must follow regulations. A special gi check tool is often used to determine acceptable measurements and overall gi fit.

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BJJ Gi Reviews

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Adidas Gi Review
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Inverted Gear Bamboo Gi Review
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Inverted Gear Bamboo Gi is a nice choice if you are looking for a simple and classic Gi. This Gi is great for everyday training, competition, open mats, and just drilling. Also, this BJJ Gi is perfect to wear even in summer, in hot temperature when usually other Gi’s make you feel uncomfortable.

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Kingz Gi Review
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Owned and ran by high-level Jiu Jitsu competitors who leverage their intimate knowledge of the sport to produce quality and stylish BJJ gear.

Kingz BJJ Gi’s are high quality and they have released a number of various models from the incredibly stylish limited edition Sovereign 2.0 Jiu Jitsu Gi. To their old classic white jiu-jitsu gi that has premium quality with a sharp streamlined look.

A lot of Kingz BJJ gi’s rock a 450 GSM to 480 GSM cotton Pearl Weave jacket with ample reinforcements in major stress points.

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Sanabul Essential Gi Review
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If you are a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu professional or even a beginner you need a bjj gi with a mix of comfort and utility. The Sanabul Essentials BJJ gi is perfect for both competitions and regular training.

The perfect Gi is usually the one, that is practical, long-lasting, solid but at the same time comfortable. The Sanabul Essentials BJJ gi is the perfect combination of durability and comfort with a price that won’t break the bank.

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Tatami Estilo 5.0 Gi Review
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This is a great quality Gi at an affordable price. The Tatami Estilo 5 Gi has the ability to last up to the toughest roll sessions over a long period of time.

This Gi is very comfortable and well fitting that performs well during training or competition uses.

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FUJI Gi Review
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FUJI Sports makes a line of high-quality BJJ gi’s with a clean, minimal design. The FUJI BJJ Gi review will look inside the brand behind some of these kimonos and see how they stack up.

FUJI Sports in collaboration with Hatashita Sports was founded by Frank Hatashita. Frank Hatashita, has an uncanny sense of knowing what is most important in martial arts gear. He draws on his rich Judo experiences to produce high-quality products at an affordable price point.

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Hayabusa Gi Review
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The name “Hayabusa”, translated from Japanese, refers to the Peregrine Falcon. A predatory falcon that possess speed, power, strength and precision. Hayabusa embodies the true spirit of a fighter. Started by Luke Harris, (a Judo and BJJ black belt who is also a professional fighter), Hayabusa is the gold standard among the martial arts community in high performance BJJ gear.

Hayabusa describes themselves as a brand rooted in Japanese tradition who has a singular commitment to produce high caliber fightwear. Hayabusa designs and produces gear to maximize fighters performance and safety.

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Hayabusa Shinju Pearl Weave Gi Review
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The Hayabusa Shinju Pearl Weave gi is a mid-weight BJJ gi with standard reinforced stress areas. This is a stylish and sturdy BJJ gi that is endorsed by GSP. That alone should tell you something.

Hayabusa has built a reputation for having high-quality training and competition gear and the Shinju 3.0 upholds that reputation.

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Manto Clasico V2 Gi Review
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Manto is a martial arts brand that is focused on the grappling arts specifically jiu jitsu. Manto focuses on the jiu jitsu lifestyle while pulling inspiration from surfing. The Manto Clasico v2 is a great entry level bjj gi that doesn’t skimp on quality. It makes an excellent addition to your training gi collection and will hold up to tough roll sessions.

Manto is a leader in unique fight apparel and is widely popular most notably throughout Japan.

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Tatami Nova Gi Review
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The Tatami Nova gi is a lightweight gi with a High Tech Weave jacket that is composed from a single piece of fabric that weighs 425 grams per square meter (425 gsm). The Tatami Nova gi also has lightweight 10oz twill cotton pants, double reinforced knee padding and triple stitched across all stress points.

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Inverted Gear Bamboo Gi Review Image
Inverted Gear Bamboo Gi Review
Inverted Gear Bamboo Gi is a nice choice if you are looking for a simple and classic Gi. This Gi is great for everyday training, competition, open mats, and just drilling. Also, this BJJ Gi is perfect to wear even in summer, in hot tempe... Read More
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Tatami Estilo 5.0 Gi Review Image
Tatami Estilo 5.0 Gi Review
This is a great quality Gi at an affordable price. The Tatami Estilo 5 Gi has the ability to last up to the toughest roll sessions over a long period of time. This Gi is very comfortable and well fitting that performs well during ... Read More
Value Gi