In the beginning you don’t want to spend a lot of money, so you end up wearing the cheapest and nastiest GI you can find. Maybe it was the one you wore to karate a few years ago when you dreamed of becoming Bruce Lee. It could even have been one of the smelly suits your club lets people wear. Times have changed and you want something fancy. You have now decided you love BJJ and you want to be as professional as possible from now on.
Maybe you’re also jealous when you see your fellow fighters walking around in their beautiful GIs. If you want to do things the right way you will have to buy a professional suit. You need to make sure you buy the right one because they’re not the cheapest piece of clothing you will ever purchase. Let’s look at what makes them so special and what you should be looking out for. From now on you will never feel embarrassed at training ever again.
What makes them so different?
A proper BJJ GI is designed specifically for jiu-jitsu and they are usually designed by the professionals. These are the guys living the dream every single day, so they know what the suit must feel like. One of the reasons they are so expensive is because they’re a lot tougher than most other GIs. The material they are made from isn’t going to fall apart when someone pulls on it too hard. The judo GIs are also pretty tough, but they tend to be a lot baggier, so BJJ ones are unique.
Buying an adult GI
If you’re older and looking to pick one up you should know they come in about 6 or 7 different sizes. They start at A0 and they sometimes move all the way down to A6. If you need something bigger I suggest you spend a few months resisting the temptation of donuts before you think about rolling around the floor with someone who is trying to knock you out.
If you have bought any clothes before you will know they are different depending on the manufacturer. You might wear a size A1 of a certain brand, but when it’s time to buy a new one you might need to buy an A2. You could also be in-between sizes as most people are not built the exact same way. If you have broad shoulders you might need to go a size up.
Buying a child GI
When you buy a suit for your child you don’t have to go crazy and buy the most expensive option in the shop. You just need to make sure the GI fits well because small children won’t be able to grab onto it with the same force an adult could. They also grow very quickly and you’ll need to buy a new one more regularly, so buying a top-of-the-range GI every year will leave you broke.
Trying to be different
If you want to be a little different you don’t have to wear a white GI. If you’re going to compete you will need to wear a white, blue, or black one, but that doesn’t stop companies from offering you GIs in red, yellow, and pink. You can still wear them to training and some people like a little customization.
You can even have patches put on your GI, or you can buy them with the patches already attached. This is definitely one of the main reasons some people are drawn to certain GIs. Other people take the no-nonsense approach and they like to wear a plain white one. No matter what your GI looks like I’m sure you will love it because you will look professional from now on.
The author of this post, Scott David, is a health and fitness enthusiast working at Quality MMA Gear, a provider of MMA clothing and gear. He has a keen interest in technology and he is a huge action movie buff.