8 Common Mistakes When Buying a BJJ Gi and How to Avoid Them

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art that demands both physical and mental rigor. One of the most crucial pieces of equipment for any practitioner is the BJJ Gi. This traditional uniform, often referred to simply as a gi, plays a vital role in training and competition. However, buying the right BJJ gi can be daunting, especially for newcomers. To help you navigate this essential purchase, we’ve outlined the eight most common mistakes people make when buying a BJJ gi and how to avoid them.

1. Choosing the Wrong SizeMistake

One of the most frequent errors is purchasing a gi that doesn’t fit properly. A gi that’s too big can hinder movement and make you an easy target for your opponent, while a gi that’s too small can restrict your mobility and be uncomfortable.

How to Avoid It

  • Know Your Measurements: Before purchasing, measure your height and weight accurately. Most BJJ gi manufacturers provide size charts to match these metrics.
  • Consult Size Charts: Each brand may have slight variations in sizing, so always check the specific size chart provided by the manufacturer.
  • Try Before You Buy: If possible, try on the gi before purchasing. If buying online, ensure the retailer has a good return policy in case the fit isn’t right.

2. Ignoring the Fabric TypeMistake

Overlooking the fabric type is another common mistake. The type of fabric affects the gi’s durability, weight, and comfort.

How to Avoid It

  • Understand the Fabric Types: Common gi fabrics include single weave, double weave, gold weave, and pearl weave. Each has its pros and cons:
    • Single Weave: Lightweight and usually less expensive but less durable.
    • Double Weave: Heavier and more durable but can be more restrictive and hotter.
    • Gold Weave: A balance between single and double weave, offering good durability without being too heavy.
    • Pearl Weave: Popular for its lightweight and durable properties.
  • Consider Your Needs: If you’re a beginner, a single or gold weave might be sufficient. For competition or more intense training, pearl weave is often preferred for its strength and comfort balance.

3. Overlooking the Importance of the Gi’s WeightMistake

Not considering the weight of the gi can lead to discomfort during training or competitions. A gi that’s too heavy can tire you out, while one that’s too light might not be durable enough.

How to Avoid It

  • Assess Your Training Environment: In hot climates or during summer, a lighter gi is preferable. In cooler conditions, a heavier gi can provide more warmth.
  • Match Your Skill Level and Purpose: Beginners might benefit from lighter gis for ease of movement. Competitors often choose heavier gis for their durability and the slight advantage they might provide in grips.

4. Neglecting the Gi’s Reinforcements and StitchingMistake

Some buyers overlook the importance of reinforced stitching and overall construction quality. Poorly made gis can tear easily and won’t withstand the rigors of regular training.

How to Avoid It

  • Inspect the Reinforcements: Look for gis with reinforced stitching at stress points such as the knees, shoulders, and chest. Double or triple stitching can significantly increase durability.
  • Read Reviews: Before purchasing, read reviews from other BJJ practitioners about the gi’s durability. Trusted brands with positive feedback are usually a safer bet.

5. Choosing Style Over FunctionMistake

While it’s natural to want a gi that looks good, prioritizing style over functionality can lead to buying a gi that doesn’t perform well.

How to Avoid It

  • Function First: Ensure the gi fits well, is made from appropriate fabric, and is reinforced properly. Style should come second to these functional aspects.
  • Balance Style and Function: Many brands offer stylish gis that don’t compromise on quality. Look for reputable brands that combine both elements effectively.

6. Ignoring the Care InstructionsMistake

Not following the care instructions can lead to a gi that shrinks, fades, or deteriorates quickly.

How to Avoid It

  • Follow Manufacturer’s Instructions: Always adhere to the care guidelines provided by the manufacturer. This usually includes washing in cold water and air drying.
  • Avoid High Heat: High temperatures can cause significant shrinkage, especially in cotton gis. Avoid using hot water and high heat settings on dryers.
  • Consider Pre-shrunk Options: Some brands offer pre-shrunk gis, which minimize the risk of shrinkage after washing.

7. Overlooking Rash GuardsMistake

Many BJJ practitioners overlook the importance of wearing rash guards under their gis. Rash guards, whether long sleeve or short sleeve, provide an additional layer of protection and comfort.

How to Avoid It

  • Invest in Rash Guards: Wearing long sleeve rash guards or short sleeve rash guards under your gi can prevent skin irritation and rashes caused by the rough fabric of the gi.
  • Choose Quality Rash Guards: Look for rash guards made from moisture-wicking and breathable materials. They should fit snugly but not restrict movement.
  • Consider Sleeve Length: Decide between long sleeve and short sleeve rash guards based on your preference and the training environment. Long sleeve rash guards offer more protection, while short sleeve rash guards provide better ventilation.

8. Focusing Solely on PriceMistake

Basing your purchase decision solely on price can lead to buying a low-quality gi that doesn’t meet your needs.

How to Avoid It

  • Value Over Cost: While it’s important to stay within budget, consider the value a gi offers rather than just the price. A slightly more expensive gi that lasts longer and performs better is a better investment.
  • Look for Sales and Discounts: Many retailers offer sales or discounts periodically. Keep an eye out for these opportunities to get a high-quality gi at a lower price.
  • Budget for Quality: Set a reasonable budget that allows you to purchase a gi that meets the necessary quality standards. Avoid the cheapest options unless they are from a reputable brand known for quality.


Buying a bjj gi involves more than just picking the first one you find or the cheapest option available. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that you select a gi that fits well, performs effectively, and lasts through the rigors of training and competition. Remember to consider the fabric type, weight, reinforcements, and care instructions, as well as the importance of rash guards and a balanced approach to cost. With the right gi, you can focus on improving your skills and enjoying your BJJ journey.