4 Things To Consider When Buying Your First BJJ Gi
Lovers of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu prefer a BJJ Gi to a typical karate kimono because of its greater defiant quality that facilitates a long grappling session. BJJ Gis are now available in multitudes thanks to the massive popularity of the art. In fact, participants have a hard time trying to choose the right one because they are spoilt for choice. If it is your first time shopping for a BJJ Gi, below are a few crucial things you should consider:
1 The cut
Perhaps the most important aspect of finding the perfect BJJ Gi is the cut. If you are going to enjoy wearing it, you have to get the right size that fits your proportions just right. If a Gi is too big or small, it not only feels uncomfortable, but also hinders your performance. Be careful not to pick a Gi that is too tight in the back and/or crotch and too short in the sleeves – not being able to pass properly or play guard because your attire hinders you from doing full splits can really suck especially during competition.
Nevertheless, you also have to consider your own preferences. What works for you may not exactly be right for another fighter. Some prefer bagger and longer cut Gis while others love shorter and slimmer ones. Whatever the cases, make sure the cut you pick feels cozy to wear, allows you to perform all your favorite moves and is tournament legal, in case you are buying it for competition. Every brand uses a propriety cut hence do not forget to look at recommendations and reviews before buying.
2 The fabric
The second most important thing when shopping for a Gi is the fabric. Different Gis are made of different materials, so you need to choose according to the durability and comfort you will need for each style. Gis made of 100 percent cotton are more resilient and hypoallergenic. Those made from of raw-type material – that is fabrics that have not been died – go through noticeable shrinkage for not having undergone a chemical process. Jacket material weave differ from one another, and so does the plaiting of the material and weight of the pants. Sadly, there is not cut and dry answer for many of the propriety labels BJJ Gi brands use for their weaves, but the most common are:
Gold weave: Traditionally, gold weave has been the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu standard for competitions. Gold weaves feature an exceptional ladder arrangement at every weave. This weave is a thing of rarity in the market – which is why BJJ professionals love it so much.
Pearl weave: Pearl weaves are extremely light and soft, making them more comfortable than others. Expect brands to market pearl weaves in the range of 450-550 gsm. Nevertheless, they vary significantly in weight and strength.
Single weave: This weave is very smooth and light. Even though it is not as durable as other Gis are, it is perfect for beginners because it will not break the bank. Additionally, a lighter Gi is easier to grip, meaning you will have to concentrate on grip breaking and correct escapes sooner.
Double weave: This is one of the thickest weaves available. It is known for its heavy weight and leaves little room for breathing. Executing some moves in this Gi such as the spider guard is difficult.
Ripstop weave: This weave uses the lightest material of al the Gis, and is suitable for people who live in very hot regions. Even though it is very light, it is durable and resistant to tear. They are rare in the market.
3 The design
With so many brands coming up, there is a vast array of Gis to choose from such that it can be confusing. Consider what you like based on what you might have seen around in BJJ schools or in the movies. Do you like your Gi blinged out or just plain? Does a generic Gi do it for you or do you prefer a custom-built gear that is unique? Some fighters strip all their Gis to make them plain while others make it a hobby to add even more patches on top of the ones the attire comes with.
Some designs may require tactical reinforcements in places that are most prone to wear and tear such as the underarms, knees, thighs and chest. The hem should be thick and well matched with the weight of the material, yet should not hinder its resistance. Even though the silk-screens, tags and finishing make the Gi look better, they must be done is such a manner that they conform to the rules of the sport.
4 The brand
It may not seem as important to many people but actually the Gi brand you choose matters a lot for various reasons. It could mean the difference between finding the perfect gear and throwing your money away. Therefore, become familiar with some of the top Gi companies before purchasing your attire so that you can make an informed decision. Here are two examples of the leading Gis currently:
Tatami Estilo 5.0 Gi: The Company has been among the leading BJJ Gi brands for a while now. Their latest 2015 release features a new Y-shaped jacket vent, allowing for a greater range of motion and providing a better fit across the body. It also features high quality embroideries, 550 gsm pearl weave jacket, 12 oz canvas pants, inside sublimated neck lining and woven tape lining cuffs.
Combat Corner ECO V3.0 Series BJJ Gi: This brand has been a favorite for many BJJ practitioners for many years. The ECO V3.0 offers a professional design suitable for those who compete and train. It features many of the finer details of a top quality Gi but remains pocket-friendly. These features include one-piece construction, fast-drying lightweight EVA filled collar, quadruple stitched hem, and gusset reinforced seams.
Hayabusa Shinju Pearl Weave Jiu Jitsu Gi: The Shinju was released in 2014, and has been among the top 10 selling Gis since. Some of its notable features include a tight weave cloth with double reinforced fabric on high stress areas, 14oz Canvas Cotton and a 550 gm Pearl weave material.
Venum Challenger 2.0 BJJ Gi: Developed in conjunction with Leandro Lo – the 2012 winner of the Worlds, Pan Am and Brazilian Nationals – the Venum challenger is the prefer Gi for both beginners and advanced BJJ practitioners. It boasts of features such as 410 gsm lightweight fabric, Pearl weave cotton jacket, pre-shrunk cotton for customized fit, reinforced collar and tough cotton pants.
Shoyoroll Comp Standard XIV: As the leading Gi company worldwide, Shoyoroll needs no introduction. The Comp Standard XIV is one among several releases in 2015. Its heavier, thicker, studier and general better built than its predecessors. Some of its incredible features include a 450 gsm pearl weave pro jacket, 10oz cotton blend pants, enhanced heavy reinforcements, longer knee pads and embroidered logos.