Feb 17, 2011

BJJ and Judo Gi (Uniform) Differences

Kyra Gracie showing us how to... somewhat properly put on a BJJ gi. Clearly not a Judo Gi.

An often asked question is "What the heck is the difference between a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gi and a Judo Gi? I will go into that in this article, but long story short, unless you are competing, training BJJ in a Judo Gi and vice versa is perfectly fine. Also, good Judo Gis tend to be cheaper than good BJJ Gis - you can generally thank marketing and demand for that.

Example of BJJ Gi
Atama Gold Weave Series
Example of Judo Gi

Mizuno Competition Judo Gi

General Differences:
-BJJ Gi tends to be tight, Judo Gi tends to be loose
-Judo Gi sleeves are longer and wider to facilitate gripping

It should be fairly intuitive that BJJ Gi = designed to make gripping and controlling harder, Judo Gi = designed around getting and breaking grips.

You should also note that BJJ comp rules when it comes to Gis tend to be looser, so Judo Gi are often just fine for competition, but on the other hand, Judo competition rules on Gi are very strict- BJJ Gis have skirts that are too short, and as mentioned earlier, the sleeves are too tight.

IJF Rules:
  1. Jacket shall be long enough to cover the thighs and shall at a minimum reach to the fists when the arms are fully extended downwards at the sides of the body
  2. The body of the jacket shall be worn with the left side crossed over the right and shall be wide enough to have a minimum overlap of 20cm at the level of the bottom of the rib-cage
  3. The sleeves of the jacket must reach to the wrist joint at the maximum and 5cm above the wrist joint at the minimum. A space of 10 to 15cm shall exist between the sleeve and the arm (bandages included), along the entire length of the sleeve

So yup- very exacting. Hope this was enlightening for those of you that didn't know already. On a final note, if you decide to try practicing Judo or BJJ in a Karate uniform... well, that's how Ryu from Street Fighter got his distinctive outfit.

If only Ken and Ryu went with at least a double weave, they would still have sleeves

I dug around Amazon to find if they had any decent BJJ and Judo Gis listed, so I made a list- take a look, all of them are worth taking a look at.

Best BJJ and Judo Gis on Amazon:


Matt the Gi Addict said...

Good article.
Also, the jacket of a typical Judo Gi tends to be longer, and I find that, although the BJJ sleeves are cut tighter, they tend to be longer- with Judo sleeves being somewhere between wrist and elbow.
Also, Judo Gis are a lot heavier, stiffer and harder to grip than BJJ Gis.
The weight differece has to do with the fact that in Judo you are weighed for competition without the Gi, whereas, for BJJ you are weighed wearing your Gi.

Anonymous said...

Great post- I love my new Atama Gi!

Too bad Amazon doesn't carry brands like Isami or Origin.

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