Know your Gi – BJJ Gi vs Judo Gi – Simple Answer

BJJ Gi vs Judo Gi

This is a question a lot of people ask themselves when they start Judo or BJJ. Both martial arts involve wearing a Gi so what is it that makes these Gi so different from each other if anything at all. Well here is the answer to that question and few others that you have about the most important piece of attire in many grapplers kit bag.

The price

Let’s cut straight to the chase when it comes to price there’s only one winner. Judo Gi’s are a lot cheaper, a quick search returns Gi’s that are easily half the price of there BJJ equivalents. Whilst there are some competitively priced BJJ Gi’s for sale with improved quality over recent years, they still can’t compete on price with Judo Gi’s.

The cut

This is one area where the difference between Judo Gi’s and BJJ Gi’s is quite apparent. Judo Gi’s tend to be longer and the cuffs are a lot looser which means they are easier to grip. If you were to wear a Judo Gi to a BJJ class you may find that you are giving up a small advantage to your opponent, it shouldn’t prove to be too significant but who really wants to offer any advantage at all.

Conversely if you were to wear a BJJ GI to a Judo class it would make it harder to grip which might provided a small advantage. Naturally, this wouldn’t be an advantage you could exploit in competition as the rules around Gi’s are tightly monitored in both sports. Depending on the instructor you might not even get away with the wrong Gi just for training.

The weave

One of the differences I expected to find was in the weaves of the Gi’s, most of the Judo Gi’s I have come across have seemed very heavy. However, when conducting some quick research, it became quite apparent there is more than one weave available for Judo Gi’s and there are a whole range of weaves advertised for BJJ Gi’s. Check out my article on the different weaves if you want to learn more about this.

The style

Judo Gi’s are generally quite plain with little branding or reference to the manufacturer, they come in two colours white or blue. In contrast BJJ Gi’s are sold with any number of patches and are frequently further customised by sowing school patches onto the Gi. Branding on BJJ Gi’s tend to be a lot bigger with patches stitched onto the shoulders and they come in a wider range of colours, although not all clubs will allow you to turn up in the latest batman or teenage mutant ninja turtles Gi. If your thinking of competing in either sport its worth checking with the governing body or tournament rules to make sure your Gi complies.

The round up

To state the obvious if your looking to for a Gi for Judo then buy a Judo Gi, why would you pay more for a Gi for a different sport! If your looking to buy a Gi for BJJ I would recommend that you stick with a BJJ Gi but you should have all the information here to decide if the limitations of using a Judo Gi are offset by the savings you will make.