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BJJ Gis & Kimono Buying Guide: How to choose?

by liang weini 27 Aug 2023

Most people seem to have same questions regarding how to pick the right BJJ Gis, here’s the answers for some of them.

 

1. Can I just use any gi or kimono for BJJ?

Using any crossover gis such as Aikido, Judo, or Sambo Gi, is not recommended for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. While they may appear similar to the untrained eye, they are actually designed and manufactured quite differently.

For example, judo uniforms have a loose cut, making it easier for opponents to grab and use against you. With a Sambo Gi, in particular, you will face the issue of obtaining Gi pants. Taekwondo or karate uniforms are too flimsy and not durable enough for BJJ grappling. You’ll have to throw them in the garbage after the first roll.

BJJ grappling demands sturdy Gi

Additionally, many competitions, especially larger organizations like the IBJJF, have strict rules regarding the type of gi allowed.

It's best to invest in a proper BJJ uniform if you're serious about BJJ.

 

 

2. What color gi should I get?

BJJ gis generally come in white, blue, or black. Nowadays some non-traditional colors like red, green, camouflage, yellow, or pink are gaining popularity.

Choosing the color of your gi is not too complicated. When you're training, you can wear any color or mix of colors that you like. Some big associations might have their own gis and require you to wear a specific type, but for the most part, it's up to you.

However, there's one important rule to keep in mind. If you're unsure about what color gi to choose, it's always a safe bet to go with white. If you're not a fan of white, your other safe options are black or blue. While you can train in any color, these three colors are usually the only ones allowed in most competitions.

 

 

3. What's the best gi?

Based on experience of working with different Gis factory, we can say price will indicate Gis quality, but not determine it. Branded Gis will choose better fabric, stitching, and put more effort to the design, embroidery, patches and quality control. Let’s face it, a 30 dollar Gis will never have the amount of weight and durability like a a few hundred dollars one.

Having said that, you can still choose a Gi that uses similar fabric as the branded ones, with fine stitching and decent design without having a spend a lot. We offer a selection of Gis made from factories that manufacture for brands and their quality is well worth the price.

 

To decide for yourself, several indicators will help you get a basic idea of kimono quality, most importantly the weave, weight, stitching, etc.

 

 

4. What are the differences between weaves and how to choose?

Understanding the fabric used in a gi can give you valuable insights about it. One important factor to consider is the GSM, which stands for Grams per Square Meter. This measurement tells you the weight of the fabric. Generally, a lower GSM means a lighter gi.

 

Another aspect to look at is the type of weave used in the gi. Let's delve into the different weaves, starting with those used for gi jackets.

Gi Jackets

Single weave: This is common in beginner gi jackets. Single weave fabric is lightweight and affordable. It has a thin texture and a soft feel, but it may not last as long as other weaves.

 

 

Double weave: Double weave fabric is similar to single weave, but it has twice the number of threads, making it stronger and more durable. However, it is also heavier and more expensive. Double weave jackets are not very common in jiu-jitsu because they can be less comfortable and restrict movement. Most people prefer lighter gis for competitions.

 

 

Pearl weave: Currently, pearl weave is the most popular fabric choice for BJJ gis. It is highly durable, even with a lower GSM. There are various styles of gis available with pearl weave fabric, ranging from lightweight competition gis to limited edition designs. You can choose Pearl Weave Kimono of different weights and designs in KIKS shop.

 

 

Gold weave: In the past, many experienced jiu-jitsu practitioners preferred gold weave fabric. It was lightweight yet durable. However, one drawback of gold weave is that it tends to shrink significantly, which is why it has been largely replaced by pearl weave fabric nowadays.

 

 

Gi Pants.

As for Gi pants, there are fewer options. The weight of the fabric is usually measured in ounces (Oz). Similar to the jacket's GSM, a lower number indicates lighter and thinner pants. The pants can be made of cotton, ripstop, or a combination of materials.

Cotton pants are known for their durability and come in various thicknesses, ranging from lightweight to heavy-duty military-grade cotton. Cotton used to be the most popular choice for gi pants until ripstop pants came into the picture.

 

Ripstop fabric offers a great balance between strength and weight. It is woven using a special technique that makes it resistant to tearing and ripping. Ripstop pants can be incredibly light and thin while still being durable. You can easily identify ripstop fabric by its square pattern.

 

 

 

5. What size gi should I get, will it shrink?

Always refer to the size chart provided by the manufacturer or distributor. Sizes can vary between companies. Besides, some fabrics might shrink a bit after wash, while others might stay the same, so it’s always suggested  to ask your seller for recommendations based on your measurements. When in doubt, it's better to order a size up and shrink it slightly than to get a gi that's too small.

 

 

6. Can I customize Gis?

The answer is yes of course! Many companies and online shops offer customization service, but there are usually Minimum Order requirement. Customized Gis are not cheap. Some will charge you sampling cost, and for those that do not charge, the cost is already included in your unit price.

It’s easy to understand why customized Gis is usually higher cost for small order. Making new embroidery and patches need several skilled workers working on different processes and machines. Each unique patch and embroidery needs separate line of work.

You may be surprised to learn the time and cost of making one sample patch is not so much different than making a hundred. The more customized patches and embroideries, the higher the production cost.

BJJ patches customized machine

So if you want to customize, think first about how many sets you would like to make, how many patches and embroidery in the Gis, what’s the fabric for the Gi, since these will determine the cost. After deciding the production cost is acceptable, you can then move on with the design.

 

We will write a detail blog about manufacturing process of Gis to help you better understand how a Gi is made. Stay tune!

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