So you want to buy your first Gi? It’s the first serious decision after you start training Bjj. When I started training there was only a submission wrestling class in my town. Then I moved to a bigger city where the classes were given in the gi. So I went to the local store with sporting goods and bought my first judoga for not much over 20$… it was one of the worst decisions. Nowadays we have online stores that have so much different gear, that it’s hard to pick just one kimono. In this article I will try to show you what have in mind while purchasing your first dream gi.
Knowing your size
The size chart of gi is a little bit different than the normal size chart. There’s no S amount, so people who haven’t trained bjj might get a bit confused. I’ll try to make it clear so everybody can get their perfect kimono. I will use myself as an example. I’m 6 ft 3 inches tall, and weigh around 200 lbs. That makes me a little bit undersized because by my weight I’m in the A3 size, but my height I’m in the A4 chart. So the gi I might buy might too broad on me, and too short. But the producers came up with a really great idea, they made mid-sizes for people that don’t fit in regular sizes. Those sizes are:(I used A1 as an example)
A1L – if you are a bit lighter but have longer limbs
A1H – if you are a bit stockier a the gi could be too long for them
A1F – this kind of gi is made to fit more, and be less loose on the person wearing it.
Choosing the best size for you is a really important part due to competition, because if your gi will be too tight you might get disqualified, while when your kimono will be too loose you can get easily caught by your gi, and you don’t want it.
When you buy your dream gi and it will arrive, don’t get frustrated when it will be a little bit too big. The kimono has it in common that it shrinks during the first wash like 10%. Some gi’s are advertised as pre-shrunk, but every gi that I had shrunk less or more. Most of the companies warn against tumble dryers because it can wrap-up and melt the rubber-side collar.
Written by Jakub Trojan.
Travis Stevens gives some great advice on how a BJJ Gi should fit: