BJJ GI vs JUDO GI – IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?
Finding a gi that gives the BJJ player a proper fit is very important. The individual’s size and weight – along with consideration of the person’s specific build – will ultimately determine the GI size that is appropriate. A very common question arising when training BJJ is if there is a difference between a Judo kimono and one specific to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training.
The Judo Gi is made with additional material for the opponent to grab and hold on to whereas the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gi is designed to make grips more challenging to achieve. The BJJ Gi would typically be tighter at the cuffs of the pants and jackets. The jacket of the BJJ GI is made specifically so that an opponent has a more difficult time in getting a grip/hold on you. This accounts for the relative tightness of the BJJ GI vs the Judo Gi which permits the Judo player a greater ability to throw his opponent.
VARIOUS TYPES OF GI WEAVES FOR BJJ
The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gi has three main types from which to select. The three types are single weave, double weave and the gold weave. Single weave GIS are the most basic GI made. They are relatively inexpensive and light, however this lightness makes them easier for your opponent to grip and hold onto. Double weaves gis are more expensive and heavier than single weaves. If you plan on competing in tournaments, double weave gis, can be a better option because their thickness and stiffness will make it more difficult for your opponent to hold onto. A drawback for double weaves is that they are usually fairly heavy. Gold weaves are designed with materials that are essentially a hybrid of single weave and double weave. They are designed to be durable without adding all the weight of a traditional double weave gi.
Whether you can wear a Judo GI for BJJ or a BJJ gi for Judo essentially depends on your instructor. Generally, a Judo GI can be worn for BJJ, but it is to your advantage to obtain the “tighter cut” of the BJJ GI so that gripping becomes more challenging for your opponent. A Judo sensei would most likely not allow a BJJ gi for training. Definitely a BJJ GI would not be allowed at a Judo competition since Judo has very specific guidelines regarding the GI.
BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU TOURNAMENT BJJ GI SPECIFICATIONS.
The IBJJF has specific guidelines for competition BJJ GIS. The following information is taken directly from their website. It could prove very valuable to have if you plan on competing in an IBJJF tournament.
The only colors allowed for international championships are white, black or blue, though in some jurisdictions this is relaxed to allow any single solid colour. In some clubs it is customary for practitioners who are white belts to only wear a white gi, but once a blue belt is obtained they are free to wear any colour.
According to article 8 of IBJJF rules, a competition gi must conform to these specifications:
The gi must be constructed of cotton or similar material and be in good condition. The material may not be excessively thick or hard to the point where it will obstruct the opponent.
Colours may be black, white or blue, no combined colors (white kimono with blue pants, etc.)
The jacket is to be of sufficient length down to the thighs, sleeves must reach the wrist with arms extended in front of the body. The sleeve should follow the official measurements according to IBJJF (this is measured from the shoulder to the wrist).
Belt width must be 4-5cm, with belt colour corresponding to the practitioners rank. The belt must be tied around the waist with a double knot, tight enough to secure the kimono closed.
Athletes are not permitted to compete with torn kimonos, sleeves or pants that are not of proper length, or with t-shirts underneath the kimono (except for females).
A BJJ practitioner is not allowed to paint his/her gi. Exceptions can be made for teams competition.
According to article 13 of IBJJF rules, patches may be placed on the gi in one of thirteen different locations:
On the jacket:
Left upper arm
Left upper shoulder
Front right upper shoulder
Front right upper arm
Front below the belt
Back below the belt
Back below the collar and above the belt
On the pants:
Above the front left knee
Above the front right knee
Below the front left knee (with at least 15 cm of space to the floor without patch to allow for grabbing)
Below the front right knee (with at least 15 cm of space to the floor without patch to allow for grabbing)
Along the back of the left leg
Along the back of the right leg
By sticking to the criteria you can be confident in finding the perfect uniform for BJJ training!