Get Started with the Right Armor: Best BJJ Gis for Beginners
Updated: Jul 22, 2022
If you’ve just started to train jiu-jitsu, check out these gis that can help you get started on your BJJ journey.
You’ve decided to start Brazilian jiu-jitsu! Congratulations on making a decision that will make your life better in many ways. You have decided that you want to protect yourself by learning a martial art, that you want to be more fit, and that you want to challenge yourself physically, mentally, AND emotionally.
Like most beginners in BJJ, you’re going to need a jiu-jitsu gi to start you off on your training. Your gym could potentially give you a gi when you sign up, but I’m sure that you’ll want to train more than once or twice a week, so you’ll definitely want a second or even a third gi (if you don’t want to do laundry every day).
When choosing a gi as a beginner, you might want to consider the following criteria to choose that gi:
· Not so expensive
· Wear and tear
· Doesn’t shrink
1. Not so expensive
When you’re just starting out, you might not want to drop thousands of dollars all around including any monthly gym fees, sign-up fees, and gear. So, when you can actually spare to save a few bucks, you want to do so in any way you can. This is not to say that you should buy a paper gi that’s going to last you exactly two classes and then you have to toss it. You want to get a gi that is great quality and that isn’t that expensive to start out with. When you get more into your training, you can stop dropping coins on fancy gis.
Also, if you’re school didn’t give you a gi and a belt to start off with, many starter gis will give you a free white belt that will go with your gi, so you don’t have to worry about buying a belt to go with your gi.
2. Wear and tear
You would think that when you’re training Brazilian jiu-jitsu, you should be watching out for the color belts because they are “the most dangerous”, but this is far from the truth. Color belts have the most control and can adjust to who they are training with. It’s the white belts you need to watch out for because there is no control, and they are just trying to fight and win.
That being said, you want a quality gi that is going to take a vast amount of pulling and stretching especially when the person doesn’t exactly know what they’re doing. Also, a great quality gi is going to be great against the people who DO know what they’re doing and always have fancy grips and whatnot. You also want something that is going to last you a long time through your training.
3. Doesn’t shrink
Gis can be quite fickle and if you don’t buy one that is great quality or has a super light weave, then it can shrink easily. There are pre-shrunken gis but those potentially can still shrink when you wash them. You don’t want to buy a gi, put it through the washer and dryer and have your gi pants looking like shorts and your gi top looking like a vest. In any event, you should always hang dry your gi to avoid shrinkage, but I know there are times that you need to wash and dry your jiu-jitsu gi quickly in order to get ready for class.
Black Girl, White Gi Personal Gi Buying Opinions
Since 2012 when I started training jiu-jitsu, I have considered many types of gis based on my color and fashion preferences.
Personally, I would buy more traditional colors because they can be used for competition. Yes, orange and army green gis are really cool and you’ll stand out if that’s what you’re looking for. But let’s say you decide to do your first BJJ competition and you decided to get only one gi for the moment and it’s a wild color. Then you’ll have to buy an additional gi for competition. That’s up to you but I would try to maximize my gi until I got more into jiu-jitsu and invest in more gear.
In addition, if you decide you don’t like BJJ it will be easier to sell your gi (as much I hate saying that, I know it’s the reality sometimes). You can always opt for selling or giving away your gi to someone who trains more than you. Traditional colors are easier to sell because despite your color preferences, white, blue, and black gis are always in fashion.
So, without further ado, I give you some of the gis I think matches the qualifications for a great beginner jiu-jitsu gi. I did my research based on reviews, what I’ve hear about the brand, and my own experience with the brand.
1. Fuji BJJ Uniform
Fuji is one of my favorite brands because the gis are great quality. The first gi I bought was a black Fuji gi from BJJHQ. This gi is a bit heavier than the other gis that are lightweight, but it isn’t too heavy. Like my Fuji women’s gi, this gi lasted me forever. The only reason why I don’t have it anymore is that I gave it away in Shanghai when I moved back home so I didn’t carry too many things.
This gi is more expensive than the other ones on this list but it’s still not a bank-breaking gi. You might even catch it on sale on BJJHQ or even on Amazon. This gi comes in different colors mostly traditional but there is also the pink gi that only comes in women’s sizes from W0-W6. For all the other gis they come in A0- A6. So, there’s a great variety for all body sizes. For this gi though, you don’t get a free belt so consider that when you buy it.
2. Sanabul Essentials V.2 Ultra Light Preshrunk BJJ Jiu Jitsu Gi (See Special Sizing Guide)
This gi is a great price for a starter gi and comes in traditional and non-traditional colors. But the non-traditional colors aren’t so loud and gives you a few options. This gi is pre-shrunken so you can get a size that matches what you’re looking for without thinking you should buy a size up. They have a comprehensive size chart to help you choose your exact size. But again, be mindful that when you do wash it, it can shrink. That’s why you should wash your gi in cold water and hang dry it.
This gi is also lightweight so when you train in the summer, you won’t be hot and super sweaty. Sometimes with heavier gis, they soak up the sweat and feel even heavier to move in. Even though this gi is a light weight gi, it’s durable so it will last you a while. This gi also looks fancy and sleek so you look like you know what you’re doing. Sanabul also gives you a free belt in any color when you purchase it. The sizes go from A0 to A4 so possibly not the best fit if you’re larger in size.
3. Hawk Jiu Jitsu Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gi BJJ Gi for Men & Women Grappling gi Uniform Kimonos Ultra Light
These gis are pre-shrunken but like any other gi, just be mindful when you wash and dry them. You should always hang dry your gis unless you’re trying to shrink them on purpose because of the length of the pants and gi sleeves. When reading the reviews, it seems like the gis run a bit big.
Like many of the other gis I mentioned, they come in traditional white, blue, and black and non-traditional army green and gray. I kind of like the army green one.
The gi also comes with a free white belt so you don’t have to worry about buying one separately if you’re just starting out. This gi comes with a five-year replacement warranty, so if it doesn’t fit your standards, you can always return it. There were a lot of reviews on this one and I think that it’s mostly because of the pricing but you can tell that people are also happy with the quality.
Also, as the title of the product says, the gi is also for women but it doesn’t come in women sizes directly. If you’re a woman who happens to also be a beginner, you can see some great gis for women here.
4. Venum Contender Evo BJJ Gi
Venum is also a popular gi and martial arts gear brand. I have a Venum gi, but it honestly runs a bit short. After my first time washing and drying it, the pants fit me like high waters but otherwise it’s a good gi. According to the reviews, it does run small for other people and many of them suggest that you buy a size up.
These gis run from sizes A0-A5 with half sizes in between. What’s great about half sizes is that sometimes when you go a size up it might be still way too big, and you’ll have to shrink it. This gi also comes in the traditional colors of white, blue, and black and the non-traditional gray. This gi doesn’t come with a belt, isn’t pre-shrunken but is light weight based on its Grams per Square meter (GSM).
5. Elite Sports 2022 BJJ GI for Men IBJJF Kimono BJJ Jiu Jitsu GI W/Preshrunk Fabric
I know that Elite gis are popular amongst beginners because of the pricing. This gi is pre-shrunk so you can buy the size that is best for you based on the sizing chart. In addition, it is lightweight, so you don’t have to worry about sweat weighing the gi down. This gi also comes in a variety of colors including the traditional colors and the additional gray and green. There are also two types of blue gis to buy based on your preferences. This gi also comes with a free white belt.
Picking the Right BJJ Gi for You
Getting a gi just to start off with should be great quality for a great price. The gis I suggested in this post are good starter gis and you can see if you like them before you spend a lot of money. Check out any of these gis, talk to your new training partners and coaches, and go explore for some gis you think will be great for you.
Question: What is your top feature you look for or are looking for in a gi?