Purchasing the perfect Gi for BJJ might not be the easiest task for a beginner as there are a few factors to take into consideration. In the early days of BJJ, getting a Gi was simple due to the fact that there were limited options to choose from. With BJJ evolving as a sport, many BJJ equipment and apparel brands have evolved as well, giving practitioners many options to choose from.
The first question that a novel white belt should is how should a BJJ Gi fit. In short, a BJJ Gi should not be too loose nor too tight, you should be able to move comfortably in it. Moreover, the sleeves of the jacket should be 5 cm above the wrists, the same goes for the length of the pants from the ankles.
There are many more things to consider before purchasing a Gi for the first time. Stick around until the end of the article for a full guide on how to size your BJJ Gi and how it should fit.
How Your BJJ Gi Should Fit?
In order to find a BJJ Gi that will fit you perfectly these are the factors that you need to consider:
First of all, It is important to choose the correct size based on your body type in order to avoid the Gi being too tight or too baggy. If your BJJ gi suits you well, your overall performance will be better. Even though it is harder to grab a tight Gi, they come at a price, your movements will be limited.
It might be a good idea to pay special attention to the lapels and sleeves. Your lapels should overlap smoothly and you should not feel uncomfortable when you tie your belt. Another good sign that your jacket fits you well is that you can move your elbows with ease.
As for the Gi pants, you should be able to squat and bend your knees easily without any hesitation. Moreover, try grabbing the knee area of your pants when you are performing those motions, if you can get a hold of the fabric in that area, that is a good sign that the pants fit you well.
As far as the length of your sleeves and pants is concerned, it depends on whether you plan to compete in IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation) sanctioned competitions or not. The IBJJF has strict rules regarding the length of the sleeves and hems.
According to the IBJJF rulebook, the edge of your sleeve is no more than 5cm from your wrist when your arms are outstretched in front of you, and your pant hem is no more than 5cm up from your ankle. However, this rule is not always implemented in a lot of non IBJJF competitions.
On the other hand, if you do not plan to compete, then the length should be your personal preference. Shorter sleeves and hems are harder to grab. However, some people like them longer.
The next thing that you need to keep an eye out for is the material of the Gi, whether it will shrink over time and how much to be more precise. Some Gis shrink more than others, this is very important to keep in mind to avoid complications with your Gi.
BJJ Gis are mostly made from cotton, while there are Gis that are made from ripstop. Ripstop is a very light and durable polyester or polyester/cotton blend fabric that is not prone to shrinking. Since cotton can shrink when washed in hot water, people that buy a bigger Gi can use this to their advantage.
Finally, keep in mind that sizes vary from brand to brand. There is no universal size, if an A2 Gi from Kingz suits you perfectly, it might not be the case for an Albino & Preto A2 Gi.
BJJ Gi Sizing
To begin with, BJJ Gi sizes differ from other martial arts. BJJ GIs are generally labeled with either an “A” for adult males, “F” for adult females, or “M” for both male and female children between the ages of 5-14 years old and the letter is then followed by a number usually between 0 and 4 (000-4 for kids GIs).
In order to determine your appropriate Gi size, you will need to take your weight and height into account. These two factors are usually key for determining the right size.
Let’s take a look at a typical Gi size chart for men, women and children:
- A0 5ft 4” – 5ft 7” 60 – 65kg
- A1 5ft 7” – 5ft 9” 65 – 72kg
- A1L 5ft 11” – 6ft 65 – 72kg
- A2 5ft 8” – 6ft 72 – 82kg
- A2L 5ft 11” – 6ft 2” 72 – 82kg
- A3 6ft 1” – 6ft 3 82 – 95kg
- A3L 6ft 3” – 6ft 4” 82 – 95kg
- A4 6ft 1” – 6ft 4” 95 – 120kg
- F1 4ft 9” – 5ft 39kg – 45kg
- F2 5ft – 5ft 4” 45kg – 55kg
- F3 5ft 3” – 5ft 6” 52kg – 65kg
- F4 5ft 6” – 5ft 8” 64kg – 77kg
- M00: Heights of 100cm
- M00: Heights of 110cm
- M0: heights of 120cm
- M1: heights of 130cm
- M2: heights of 140cm
- M3: heights of 150cm
- M4: heights of 160cm
You have probably noticed that several of the weights and heights on the sizing chart cross over between sizes. When attempting to select a size, this is when the contemplating begins. For example, a person who is 5ft 9″ tall but weighs 72kg would fall anywhere between an A1 and an A2.
Which size would you choose? In most circumstances, it’s better to choose a size that fits you better in the body, even if that means the arms and pants are a little too short. This is because when you roll in it, it will look and feel nicer on you.
If you choose height above weight, it will fit in the length but will be quite baggy, which will not only look bad but will also be difficult to roll in due to the additional material and looseness of the garment to your body.
Finding a perfect BJJ Gi that will fill fit you in every way may be challenging at first, but it is worth the trouble. Once you purchase your first Gi, you will have an idea about what to look for in your future Gis. Hopefully, this article will help you in your quest to find the right Gi.