BJJ Training: Gi Buying Guide
The gi is a widely recognized symbol of martial arts. Practitioners wear the gi in multiple disciplines of martial arts training and competition such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo, and Karate. There are many brands that sell Jiu Jitsu gis today, but what makes our Sanabul gis stand out?
Figuring out your gi size can be tricky. Everybody’s body is different. Some people may have longer arms or longer legs, while others may have shorter arms or shorter legs. It is completely normal for you to have different body proportions from someone else. For example, having longer limbs can mean that it is easier to control someone, while having shorter limbs may translate to more explosiveness. This is what’s great about Jiu jitsu and martial arts in general: you can adapt your fighting style to match your body.
We have a unique sizing guide to match our gis. Sanabul gis do tend to run larger than most brands, to accommodate for different preferences in washing and drying. Our fabric is “pre-shrunk”, meaning that after washing in cold water and hang drying, the amount of shrinkage is minimal (the gi will hardly shrink). The anti-shrink properties of our gis only apply when washed in cold water and hang dried. However, the gi can still shrink if desired - just increase heat when washing and drying your gi.
Many companies have their own sizing guides, designed for the gis that they make, which is why it is important to record body measurements before every clothing purchase. Unfortunately, gi sizing is not universal between brands, so your gi size in Brand A might be a completely different gi size in Brand B.
We have a detailed sizing chart (based on height and weight), with clear visual guides on what should be measured when calculating your gi size. Check it out here!
Sanabul gis are 100% cotton. Other brands use a poly-cotton blend to make their gis. While the polyester-cotton mix is cheaper to produce, Sanabul is committed to creating products using the best materials available, which is the reason our gis are 100% cotton. You can read more about Sanabul’s commitment to improving our sustainability efforts and reducing our environmental impact through the materials we use, here!
Weaves and GSM
A gi’s weave is the way the gi is stitched together when it is produced. Cotton is weaved in a specific pattern to make different gi designs. For example, a lightweight gi will have a different weave and different GSM than a competition gi (we will explain the differences in the next section). “GSM” stands for Grams per Square Meter, which refers to the weight of the fabric used to make the gi and, as a result, how durable it can be. The higher the GSM, the heavier and more durable the gi will likely be.
For your convenience, we put together a list of Sanabul gis sorted by GSM:
Women’s Essential Gi
Women’s Easter Egg Gi
Future Legends Kids Gi https://sanabulsports.com/collections/jiu-jitsu-gis/products/future-legend-kids-jiu-jitsu-gi
Kids’ NASA Gi
Easter Egg Scrambled Gi (Men's and Women’s)
Core Gi (can be used for both training and competition): https://sanabulsports.com/collections/jiu-jitsu-gis/products/core-competition-bjj-gi
Highlights Pro Competition Gi
IBJJF Approved Gis (White, Blue, and Black)
Highlights Pro Competition Gi
Types of Gis - Which is right for me?
There are multiple types of gis, each designed for different purposes. If you train and/or compete, you will most likely need more than one gi. There are a few different types of gis, all charged at varying prices according to their intended uses, materials, and construction. But which gis should you get? Here are the most common types of gis you will encounter on the market:
Training Gi: You can’t run before you walk. The first step in every BJJ practitioner’s career is training. Whether training for self-defense, for hobby, or for potential competition in the future, you start in training. You will need a gi to train in. Training gis are designed to be durable and last for a fairly long time. They have a tougher construction due to the amount of time they will be worn and the intense stress they will handle. It is constructed to withstand grabbing, pulling, and twisting by others, for extended periods of time, on a fairly frequent basis.
Lightweight Gi: Lightweight gis are designed to be - you guessed it - light. They weigh less than normal gis, as they are constructed with less material. As a result, these gis will dry quicker, allow more breathability during training, and may allow for slightly faster movement. Because of their very light weight, they can be favored during weigh-ins (if a competitor is close to making weight). On the other hand, lightweight gis usually do not withstand as much force as other gis, meaning that they may tear easier and might not last as long as other types of gis. Since these gis tend to be thinner, opponents may have an easier time grabbing and holding on to this type of gi.
Competition Gi: When it’s time to perform against competition, competition gis are the gi you want. Composed of very thick weaves, the gi will be harder to grip and hold on to, making it easier to deal with and break opponents’ grips. Similar to training gis, competition gis are constructed to be extremely durable and will usually last a long time. It is important to check the rules of the gi Jiu Jitsu tournament you will be competing in, as only certain colors may be allowed under IBJJF rules (usually blue, black, and/or white) – see the section above for IBJJF approved gis. These gis will come at a higher cost due to the very high quality construction and extra material, but you will get what you pay for.
Extra/Backup Gis: How many gis should you have? It depends on your training, competition, and laundry schedule. If you train multiple times a week, you will need more than one gi. If you do not do laundry after every training session, you will need multiple gis. You need to wash the gi you train in before wearing it again: this can help prevent skin infections from developing and spreading. Having extra gis can allow flexibility in how often you can train before doing laundry. For example, if you want to train in the gi three times a week, but only have one gi and cannot do laundry after your first training session of the week, you should buy more gis. Backup gis can also be good to have if you are exhausted and forget to do laundry, or are too busy to wash your clothes on your scheduled laundry day. Extra gis may come in handy in any situation where your previously worn (but not yet washed) gis are unavailable, but you still want to train.
Thank you for reading - we hope this article helps you when making your gi decisions!