Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is called BJJ for short. The basis for this sport are the Japanese martial arts judo and jiu-jitsu, which were modified and further developed. Ground fighting is the main focus of this martial art. Throwing techniques are also practiced during training.
The athletes are organized in the international Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation, short IBJJF. Here belts indicate the skill, there are in the colors white, blue, purple, brown, black and red. As a finer gradation still exist up to four stripes per belt. Furthermore, the athletes are divided into different weight classes before the competitions.
Besides the belt, the athletes wear a GI, which is a special training suit for Japanese martial arts. Such a special suit is necessary for the sportswear to withstand the sport. What is important in a special Brazilian Jiu Jitsu suit and how to choose best bjj gi is explained in the following text. Properly equipped, the sport is extremely fun.
What clothes are needed for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?
Those who are new to BJJ will first be able to do a trial training, where comfortable and clean sportswear is needed. If the trial training awakens a new passion, the athlete will need a few special pieces of clothing.
The BJJ suit:
The suit consists of pants and a jacket that closes above the waist with a belt. The BJJ suit is usually referred to as a GI in technical jargon. Here it is important whether you also want to participate in competitions.
For those, there are namely certain regulations regarding the fit, the processing, the color and the material. Purely for training, colorful suits are also allowed. Here, the trainer provides information about what is liked or disliked in this club.
The BJJ belt:
The belt gives information about how far the martial artist is in his training. So the color of the belt is a result of the rank achieved. There are the belt in different lengths, between 240 and 320 centimeters. Here it depends on how long the ends are after the knot.
The athlete have a pair of sports shoes that he uses exclusively for his indoor training. These shoes are, of course, clean and without damage. It is recommended to have a shoe with a white sole or a sole that does not leave marks on the indoor floor.
There are training sessions called “no-GI” sessions. A “No-GI” unit is a time when you train without the appropriate suit. For this purpose, a rashguard is recommended, which is a functional shirt. It fits extremely tight and thus has a slight compression effect.
It is breathable, which allows it to wick away sweat. It keeps the athlete warm during breaks in training, preventing injuries. Then, for no-GI units, you need comfortable sportswear. Here, the pants should have neither pockets nor zippers to protect yourself and your opponent from injuries.
Why do you need a special BJJ suit?
As already mentioned, the martial art has its roots in Japan. There was already the Judo GI. Then Master Funakoshi of Okinawa had the idea that there should be no class distinctions in his dojo. His students should be able to practice their karate training regardless of their standing.
So, in imitation of the Judo GI, who had a culottes, he invented the Karate GI. Now the students were equals in their white suits and everything focused on the rank represented by the belts.
In addition, a BJJ suit is specially designed to meet the requirements of this martial art. It is made of tightly woven fabric and is usually more durable than a judo GI or a karate GI. If you want to wear your GI often, you should invest more money.
If the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu suit is also to be worn in tournaments, the color is limited to white, royal blue and black. Further, for tournaments, there may be regulations regarding the material and jackets. A BJJ suit has a tight cut so that the opponent has a harder time finding a point of attack.
Reinforced sections on the pants and multiple seams ensure that the pants can withstand the grip techniques of BJJ. For the same reason, the collar is reinforced and some even have plastic inserts.
A rashguard as an optimal complement:
The useful and increasingly popular garment is often also called a compression shirt. It supports the removal of sweat. If it is hot, it prevents overheating and in a cold environment it prevents hypothermia. At the same time, the hypothermia protection also provides the injury protection.
In addition, a rashguard also acts as a sunscreen. In addition, the skin is protected from friction, if it goes once again across the mat. The compression ensures that the blood circulation is slightly improved. On the side, it looks good. However, it should have a sewn-in rubber at the cuff, which prevents it from sliding up.
Functions performed by a rashguard:
- Drain sweat
- Keeping the body temperature
- Mandatory for some belt exams
- Reduces the risk of abrasions and scratches
Buying advice on BJJ Gi:
A BJJ GI consists of pants and a jacket. With the colors no wishes remain open. As long as you do not want to wear it to an official tournament, the GI can be blue, gray, olive green, pink, black or white. The material should be durable. They are often made of cotton or linen, some are even made of silk.
In the areas of the knees and elbows should be reinforcements. In the areas of the chest, shoulders and lapels should be a structure, usually the rice grain weave. There are different fabrics used for a gi, for example: Double Weave fabrics, Gold Weave, Rip Stop fabrics and Single Weave.
If you have a wide built body, you need a GI in the L version. Here, the GI size is based on the measurements of the male or female athlete. Men’s sizes start with a height of 140 to 149 cm at A1 and end with more than 200 cm at A6. Women’s sizes start at 140 – 150 cm at F1 and end at 180 – 190 cm at F5.
You can buy a BJJ GI both offline and online. The advantage of the specialty store is clearly in trying on. But the selection is often very limited. More products are available online. In addition, the price is better. In many smaller towns there is often no store. Therefore, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu suits are purchased almost exclusively online.
BJJ suits for competitions:
The fabric used for making must be cotton or cotton-like. The fabric must not be so thick that it interferes with the opponent’s grip. In the starting classes: Youth, Adult, Master and Senior, the fabric must be woven.
The pants and jacket must be the same color. Royal blue, black and white are the approved colors. Patches reflecting the club, school or sponsor logo may only be found on the permitted areas.
The belt must be four to five inches wide. The color must match the grade. It is closed at the level of the hips over the jacket double knot. There should be 20 – 30 cm of belt left after the knot.
Certain dimensions must be observed. The jacket reaches the thigh, if the arms are stretched parallel to the floor, the ends of the sleeve must be no more than five centimeters from the wrist.
The collar must not be thicker than 1.3 cm and the sleeve opening must not exceed 7 cm. The pants must not protrude more than 5 cm from the ankle.
Other rules are:
- Only women may wear a shirt under the GI.
- No pants may be worn under the GI.
- All athletes must wear underpants, but no thongs.
- The GI must be dry and clean with a pleasant smell.
- The GI must not be torn or patched.
BJJ Suit – Proper Care:
Anyone buying a suit must pay attention to whether the size refers to a washed or unwashed suit, because suits shrink during the first few washes. Therefore, the washing temperature should be 30° for the first five to ten washes and the suit should be air-dried afterwards.
Later, it is advantageous if the suit can be washed at 60°. It is a sweaty sport and only a hot wash prevents bacteria from forming and the suit from smelling unpleasant over time.
Fabric softener should be avoided. If the fabric of the suit is too soft, opponents can grip tightly too easily. The fabric also becomes softer in the dryer, which is why it should be dried on the line.
The damp belt should only be taken out of the bag and dried. It is not washed, because the experience of the fighter accumulates in the belt and it is lost with washing.
Depending on the material, the BJJ GI can shrink when washed. If it is made of cotton, it can shrink up to eight percent, which can be as much as ten centimeters for adult pants. This feature allows an athlete to perfectly fit his GI to his body.
If the BJJ suit is washed hotter or even goes into the dryer, it will shrink more. On the other hand, a GI that has been washed at a low temperature can be stretched to make it a little bigger. Especially in the beginning, you should buy the GI tends to be too big.
Our FAQ to conclude:
Should I wear a rashguard under my gi?
A rashguard absorbs sweat and thus contributes to hygiene. However, they are usually not allowed to be worn during competitions. Whether you want to wear them in training is a matter of individual taste. There are many advantages to wearing a rashguard, it absorbs sweat. It prevents the athlete from cooling down during a break in training and thus minimizes the risk of injury. It also protects the skin from abrasions.
Are there special Brazilialn Jiu Jitsu suits for women?
BJJ, a sport once practiced only by men, is increasingly being discovered by women. The classic BJJ GI is not optimal for some female figures, that’s why there are now offers of Gis optimized for the female body. As with all other garments, only trying on helps to find out whether a classic cut is good or it should be an optimized cut.
Can I start with BJJ at the age of 30?
Clear answer: Definitely! Maybe you won’t win the ADCC or the Mundials, but you’ll get fit, keep your body in shape and (provided you have a good gym) it’s a lot of fun. There is no maximum age for this sport!
I need to do any martial arts or at least be athletic to do BJJ?
To be honest, it doesn’t hurt to know roughly how to move your individual body parts. Experience in other martial arts isn’t required, but if you’re not quite up to it physically, it’s better to take it easy. BJJ can be a very demanding sport.