How Is A Judo Gi Different Than A BJJ Gi?

How Is A Judo Gi Different Than A BJJ Gi?

Even other martial artists do not realize that there is a difference between a judo gi and a BJJ gi. It is just something that grapplers know. Both uniforms have their advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Expensive competition-level judo gis tend to be heavier than the cheap ones that students wear. The collar is thicker and harder. The sleeves on a judo gi are baggier and the bottom of the jacket extends further.

BJJ gis are lighter, like the ‘student’ judo gi, but more flexible. They jacket only reaches the top of the butt, with tighter cuffs at the end of the sleeves. The pant legs have similar cuffs at their end.

The material of either gi varies depending on the season. In the summer, practitioners opt for lightweight ‘travel gis,” while the winter calls for heavier uniforms, such as the “Tank”, a heavy duty gi manufactured by Tatami Fightwear.

Lapels and sleeves play a role in certain chokeholds. Ezekiel chokes require baggy sleeves, while long lapels come in handy when performing the ‘garotte’ choke. If you wish to avoid being grabbed, then you will want shorter lapels.

Tournaments are a different matter altogether. There are rules and restrictions regarding gis. The weight of a BJJ gi must be under 2kg. With a thicker weave, the judo gi tends to be much heavier. While a judo gi is permissible in a BJJ tournament, under certain rules, the BJJ gi is not allowed at certain judo competitions. Before stepping on the mat, competitors must be weighed in, in which case the weight of the gi plays an important role.

Colors and patterns vary when it comes to BJJ gis, whereas judo gis are typically white or blue. Some BJJ schools allow patches or embroidery, while judo gis tend to be rather plain. A basic, low cost gi can be worn for either style. However, the brighter, more distinct appearance of a BJJ gi is sometimes not permitted in judo tournaments or classes.

A gi is a uniform, and just like in the military, the uniform says a lot about the man or woman wearing it. Aside from appearance, careful thought regarding material lets another fighter know, immediately, how shrewd his or her competitor is. All questions regarding gis should always be directed at the school owner or head instructor.

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