Competing in BJJ is exciting. Kind of scary even. But with the best BJJ competition gi you have an edge. So let me tell you how to choose a gi that you can use as a weapon in competition.
What to look for in a BJJ competition gi?
You need to consider three factors when choosing a competition gi for BJJ. They are (in order of importance):
- Rules: every BJJ competition has requirements that your gi must meet.
- Strength: your BJJ gi has to be strong to withstand the pressures of competition.
- Fit: a BJJ competition gi should be slim fit, because this makes it lighter and harder to grip.
- Weight: if you have to watch your weight for the tournament (like I do), and you have to weigh in with your gi on, it helps if your gi isn’t very heavy.
- Stiffness: a stiffer gi is a little harder to grip, which is an advantage – but this should be low on your list of priorities.
BJJ gi rules and requirements for competition
Every BJJ competition has rules and requirements for your gi. These rules are about:
- Fit: your gi cannot be more than 2 inches apart from your wrists and your ankles in terms of length.
- Color: your gi should be white, royal blue or black according to the IBJJF rules (some smaller tournaments may not enforce this rule).
- Thickness: the gi cannot be so thick or stiff that your opponent cannot grab it (this is judged by the referee, but to be safe you shouldn’t get a gi that’s heavier than 750 grams per square meter).
- Material: the gis should be made of a cotton like material (all normal BJJ gis are, so don’t worry).
- Hygiene & decency: your gi cannot be broken and you can’t have sh*t on your gi or do anything else that’s clearly inappropriate.
All gis that I recommend in this article meet all these rules and requirements.
The Best BJJ Competition gi
So you should choose the best competition gi for you based on what you need.
Remember that you always need your competition gi to be strong and IBJJF legal (like the 5 gis Iist below).
What else do you need? Is this your first competition? Do you need to cut weight? You should pick a gi from the list below you based on your needs.
|BJJ Gi model||Weight||Strength||For who?|
|Origin DNA Atleta (shop this gi on OriginMaine)||N/A||Very high||High level competitors|
|Sanabul Core Competition (shop this gi on Amazon)||450 gsm||High||First time competitors|
|Gold BJJ Aeroweave (shop this gi on Amazon)||270 gsm||High||Weight cutters|
|Gold BJJ Valiant (shop this gi on Amazon)||550 gsm||Very high||Heavyweights|
|Sanabul Professional Competition (shop this gi on Amazon)||450 gsm||High||Regular competitors|
1. Origin Comp DNA Atleta
The DNA Atleta is Origin’s premium competition gi.
First off it looks amazing.
It’s lightweight and very strong, exactly what you want from a competition gi.
They took off the reinforced padding on the knees to make this gi lighter.
But that doesn’t make it weaker. In fact, you even get the origin guarantee: if you rip out of these gi pants within a year, they will replace them.
Origin breaks down exactly why this gi is so amazing in the video below.
2. Sanabul Core Competition Brazilian jiu jitsu gi
The Sanabul Core Competition gi is a great gi for first time competitors.
It’s lightweight which helps you make weight for the tournament and cool off your body during your matches.
It’s also slim fit which makes it lighter (again) and harder to grip for your opponent.
Compared to other BJJ competition gis it’s on the lower end in terms of quality, but it’s still good enough for white belts.
Your opponents might not even wear a competition gi, so you’ll still have an edge with this model.
And it’s also the most affordable competition gi in this list, which is another reason I highly recommend it to beginners.
3. Gold BJJ Aeroweave
The Gold BJJ Aeroweave is a fantastic competition gi for BJJ athletes that cut weight.
I always had to cut weight for competition (until I became a dad and was forced to move up a weight class forever…).
That’s why I always wanted a lightweight competition gi: the lighter my gi, the easier I’d make weight.
And the Gold BJJ Aeroweave is the lightest competition gi in BJJ.
At 270 gsm it’s 22% lighter than 350 gsm lightweight gis. (And almost 50% lighter than standard 450 gsm BJJ gis.)
In practical terms this gi is about 1 to 2 pounds lighter than normal gis – so those are pounds that you can be heavier yourself.
And it’s also a very strong gi, which is important for competition.
So if you have to make weight for your BJJ competition, I highly recommend this ultra light competition gi.
4. Gold BJJ Valiant
The Gold BJJ Valiant is the best competition gi for heavyweight competitors.
Heavyweights need an extra sturdy competition gi because all their opponents are huge and strong (like themselves).
At 550 gsm (grams per square meter) the Gold BJJ Valiant gi is 22% heavier than medium weight gis and almost twice as heavy as lightweight competition gis.
If you’re not a heavyweight and you have to cut weight for competition this gi is probably too heavy for you.
But since the heavyweight division isn’t capped, heavyweights can bring this extra thick gi with no worries.
5. Sanabul Highlights Professional Competition
The Sanabul Highlights Professional competition gi is the newer competition gi from Sanabul.
It uses a special competition double weave, which is why it’s a bit more expensive than the core competition gi.
And obviously the design is a bit different (nicer, in my opinion).
I also compared the weight of this gi and the Core competition gi and they’re pretty much the same:
|Core competition gi (A3)||3.99 lbs|
|Highlights pro gi (A3)||4.01 lbs|
|Essentials gi (A3)||3.58 lbs|
All in all this is a good competition gi that’s still very affordable.
I recommend it if you compete more regularly but still want a cheaper competition gi.