You are thinking of buying your first Gi for either BJJ or Judo. You have come across different types of Gis and are wondering what the difference between a BJJ and Judo Gi is?
What is the Difference Between a BJJ and Judo Gi? The difference between a BJJ and Judo Gi is the fit (Judo Gis are looser and wider, the fabrics (BJJ Gis are made from tougher, firmer fabrics), the design (BJJ Gis come in many colours and have more elaborate designs) and the price (BJJ Gis tend to more expensive).
How Should A Judo Gi Fit?
Judo has strict requirements for how a Judo Gi should fit.
How should a Judo Gi fit? The jacket must be long enough to cover the thighs and needs to touch the wrists when the arms are extended. The body of the jacket must be be worn with the left side crossed over the right and needs to be wide enough to have a minimum overlap of 20 centimetres. There must be a 10cm gap between the sleeve and the arm.
The pants must cover all of the legs and touch the ankle. There must be a 10cm gap between the pants and the legs.
The belt must be 5cm wide, tied around the waist of the jacket with a square knot and be tight enough to prevent the jacket from being too loose and must wrap around the waist twice.
How Should A BJJ Gi Fit?
BJJ has less strict requirements on how a BJJ Gi should fit.
How Should A BJJ Gi Fit? The GI jacket should touch the competitor’s thigh. The sleeves should come to no more than 5 cm from the athlete’s wrist when the arm is fully extended straight and downwards. The Gi collar must be 5cm wide. The GI lapel should be 1.3cm thick, width of GI collar (5 cm). The gap between the sleeve and arm needs to be 7cm. GI trousers should be no more than 5cm higher than the ankle.
The aforementioned requirements have been set out by the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF). They must be followed if you want to compete in one of their tournaments. However if you are just training for fun don’t worry about following those guidelines too strictly. Just focus on finding a Gi which fits you well and is comfortable.
What Are The Design Differences Between A BJJ and Judo Gi?
BJJ Gis come in many different colours from white to any colour imaginable. I have seen a camouflage and even a tie dye BJJ Gi. In contrast Judo Gis only come in white or blue. Judo academies tend to be very strict on the colour of Gi you use with many only allowing white Gis and the more liberal gyms allowing blue Gis. BJJ gyms tend to be much less strict and you will often see a range of Gi colours.
BJJ Gis often have elaborate designs and are covered head to toe in patches. Patches range from company logos, motivational quotes and gym logos. In contrast Judo Gis are plain and do not have any of these designs or patches. You may be asked to remove your BJJ Gi if you turned up at a Judo academy decked out in patches with flaming skulls on your sleeves. BJJ Gis wearers have famously be described as looking like NASCAR drivers.
How Much Does A Judo Gi Cost?
How Much Does A BJJ Gi Cost? Judo Gis typically cost between $30-$300 depending on the brand, material and where they were made. The average Judo Gi costs $70-$100. Judo Gis on average are cheaper than BJJ Gis.
You can find cheap Judo Gis online for $30-$40 from China. Be careful before you purchase one of these as the durability may be suspect. You don’t want to tear your Gi within a few months. You are better off buying a mid level Judo Gi from a reputable brand such as Mizuno, Adidas or Fuji.
The most expensive Judo Gis are the made in Japan Mizuno series. These Gis can cost between $200-$300. These are the Gis worn by the Japanese national team. If these Judo Gis play any role in the talent of the Japanese team then they may be worth it however if they don’t then probably not.
How Much Does A BJJ Gi Cost?
How Much Does A BJJ Gi Cost? BJJ Gis typically cost between $50-$300 depending on the brand, material and where they were made. The average BJJ Gi costs $100-$150.
The cheapest BJJ Gis appear to be Ronin and Elite Sports which you can find for $50-$70. Shoyoroll tend to be the most expensive Gis and can fetch over $300 for highly collectible and exclusive collections. Shoyoroll have been described as the Supreme of BJJ Gis and have a hardcore loyal fan base. Whether they are largely hype or are actually worth the astronomical prices is up to you.
Can You A Wear A Judo Gi For BJJ?
Yes you can wear a Judo Gi for BJJ. I have worn a Mizuno Judo Gi when training BJJ for years and it has held up to the abuse. Judo Gis are meant to be less durable than BJJ Gis but they are still strong enough to handle BJJ training. You can also wear a Judo Gi in BJJ competition. However I do not recommend this as the looser fit and softer material of a Judo Gi gives your opponent an advantage as it is easier to grip and control your Gi.
Can You A Wear A BJJ Gi For Judo?
Yes you can wear a BJJ Gi for Judo. However you need to ensure your BJJ Gi is white or blue, does not have patches or elaborate designs (the plainer the better) and meets the Judo Gi fit guidelines. The Judo Gi jacket must be long enough to cover the thighs. The jacket must be worn with the left side crossed over the right and be wide enough to have a minimum overlap of 20cm. The Judo Gi sleeves must cover the wrists when your arms are extended down by your sides.
I hope you now know the differences between a BJJ and Judo Gi. If you can only purchase a Judo Gi for BJJ or vice versa don’t worry you will be fine both can be used interchangeably.