Category Archives: Buying Gudes

The MMA Fightwear BJJ Gi Buyers Guide: Part Two

In this, the second part of our BJJ Gi Buyers Guide, we will follow on from Part One by looking at four more points that you will want to consider before buying a Gi.

The four remaining common points that we will cover are;

1 – Gi Pants

2 – Gi Shrinkage

3 – How Much To Pay

4 – IBJJF Legality

 

1 – Gi Pants

Thankfully for the first time Gi buyer or beginner the variations in Gi Pants is fewer than that of Gi Jackets.

However, pants are available in varying weights, but are generally classed in to the two material categories below:

Cotton twill

Some people find Cotton Twill the more comfortable, however this is down to personal preference and opinions will vary.

Ripstop

The main benefits of Ripstop over Twill is that it is much faster to dry and is light weight. There is an unresolved argument between practitioners that the thinner Ripstop material makes it easier for your opponent to maintain a stronger grip than on thicker, heavier Twill material pants.

The quality of stitching on the pants (and the Gi in general) will also be a major factor in the durability of the Gi. It doesn’t matter if you opt for either of the two choices above, if the stitching that holds everything together isn’t of a high quality then you could be dealing with much more problematic issues than comfort, weight and fit!

 

2 – Shrinkage

Whilst the majority of Gis today are described as pre-shrunk, don’t count on this and it is wise to be cautious and expect some shrinking from all brands of Gi. The average shrinkage after washing and drying is usually in the region of 3% (consult individual brand washing guidelines for specific details).

Washing and drying instructions will vary from brand to brand, but we would normally advise that Gis are washed in cold water and are allowed to dry naturally to prevent any unwanted shrinkage.

By its very nature, cotton absorbs water and expands as a result. During the drying process, cotton shrinks back down to it’s tightest and most condensed form, this is where the shrinkage occurs.

 

3 – How Much To Pay?

The price ranges of Jiu Jitsu Gis varies vastly and was with anything that you buy, you normally do get what you pay for in terms of quality.

However it is important to note that the higher the price tag doesn’t always mean superior quality and there are excellent quality Gis to be had in the mid level price brackets. It is just a case of doing your research once you have an estimate of how much you are willing to pay. There is one thing that can be said about BJJ fanatics is that they love to discuss the sport and there a plenty forums out there with knowledgeable and opinionated practitioners who often provide very thorough Gi reviews.

With the higher price Gis, although you should of course expect a high standard of quality, you may be paying the extra for things like the brand name, additional patches or detailed embroidery and design features.

 

4 – Will My Gi Be IBJJF Legal?

The International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation is the renowned for organising some of the word’s biggest BJJ Tournaments, such as the World Jiu Jitsu Championship and Nogi World Jiu Jitsu Championship to name but a few.

If you are looking to compete in an IBJJF tournament, you will need to be aware of the strict rules that are in place with regards to Gi specifications for competitors.

The IBJJF has the authority to change their rules at any given time so we advise keeping yourself up to date via their official website, where you will find the necessary information on their IBJJF Uniform Requirements page.

The MMA Fightwear BJJ Gi Buyers Guide: Part One

We know that for those starting out and looking to buy their first BJJ Gi, the task can seem a bit overwhelming, with so many choices, sizes and variations to take in to account.

We have put together this buying guide to try and simplify the process and to help you make the right choice for you.

The first part of this guide has been broken down in to 5 sections and will cover important things to take in to account, such as;

1 – Material

2  – Weight

3 – Appearance

4 – Colour

5 – Size

 

1 – Material

In general, Jiu Jitsu Gis are made from 100% cotton, however there are exceptions to this, such as the Hayabusa GSP Rising Sun Jiu Jitsu Gi which has Bamboo woven in to its fabric.

The type of “weave” used to construct a Gi is something that you should also be aware of when buying for the first time, as this will reflect its the physical weight and durability.

There are many different kinds of “weave” out there, so we have listed the different options below to help you get a better understanding.

 

• Single weave

The majority of Gis out there are Single Weave and some brands offer the option of a Light Weight and Heavy Weight version.

If you are looking to buy your first Gi, then Single Weave options like the Venum Challenger BJJ Gi make a great choice as they are normally the least expensive. Their relatively low cost is due to the lesser amount of material used in the basic Single Weave manufacturing process.

• Pearl weave

Some BJJ purists say that weave variations outside of the Single, Double and Gold Weaves are used to help their products differentiate themselves from the rest. However we do know that Pearl Weave Gis, like the Spider Jiu Jitsu Gi and Hayabusa Shinju Pearl Weave Jiu Jitsu Gi are light in weight akin to that of the Single Weave, but they also place a strong emphasis on their durability properties too.

• Honeycomb weave

As with the Pearl Weave, this further variation on the Single Weave offers another light weight option. The name comes from the Honeycomb like pattern of the weave that can be seen when view up close.

• Double weave

This kind of weave produces heavy, durable and long lasting Gis. Often used for Judo, this weight of Gi has declined in popularity for Jiu Jitsu practitioners in recent times, with preference for Light Weight Gis being the more popular choice. The relatively expensive cost of Double Weave Gis is due to the increased amount of material used for their construction.

• Gold Weave

Long lasting and durable like Double Weave Gis, Gold Weave Gis like the Hayabusa Goorudo Gold Weave Jiu Jitsu Gi are normally heavier and again more expensive than their Single Weave counterparts.

The aim of this kind of Gold Weave is to combine the best of being both light weight yet strong and durable. In essence, replicating and combining the most desirable properties of both the Single and Double Weave Gis.

• Ripstop

Similar in appearance to canvas like material, Ripstop is designed to reduce tearing as much as possible. Some brands will use Ripstop as the material of choice for both the Jacket and Pants, or like the GRIPS Athletics Secret Weapon BJJ Gi 2.0, use a combination of a cotton jacket and Ripstop pants,

The main pro of Ripstop is it’s light weight, however as tends to be the case with light weight materials, you may find that your opponent will have a better chance of applying a tighter grip on your Gi during training or competition.

• Triple Weave

A relative newcomer, this type of construction was first used on the Hayabusa Mizuchi Pro Jiu Jitsu Gi and Hayabusa Kanji Pro Jui Jitsu Gi.

Unlike the name might suggest, this is not a material that is three times as thick as a Single Weave, but is in fact a variation of the much lighter weight Ripstop material. The properties of the Triple Weave are therefore light weight and durable.

 

2 – Weight

BJJ Gis are available in different weights, which can sometimes add further confusion for a beginner when deciding what to buy. The weight of a Gi will ultimately be based on your own personal preference over time.

Gis are measured in gsm (grams per square meter), a system used to quantify the density of a fabric. We have listed the commonly used fabric weights that you will find below:

• 420 gsm

This weight of material is used for a lot of Light Weight Gis and is popular for those competing in tournaments. Whilst strong enough for regular use, a lot people prefer to wear a heavier weight for everyday training.

• 450 gsm

Again, popular for competition use, this weight is naturally more durable than a 420gsm Gi and offers a good balance between weight and durability.

• 500 & 550 gsm

As expected, 500gsm and 550gsm Gis are in the Heavy Weight Gi category and usually this comes with an increased price tag too. Gis of this weight are long lasting and very durable.

 

3 – Appearance

Ranging from the minimal to the outlandish, Jiu Jitsu Gis are available in a variety of designs to cater for all tastes. The favoured design will usually include a vertical brand logo patch on the arms or chest of the Gi, as seen on Hayabusa’s Jiu Jitsu Gi designs.

Like with any range of sportswear, style is down to your own personal preference, however in BJJ there can be restrictions on the appearance of Gis when competing (see IJJBF guidelines at the end of this guide). Again, as with other sports, the more flashy the design of your clothing or equipment, the more attention you will draw to yourself! Unless you’re just a naturally super confident person, we’d recommend that you get your technique up to scratch before being the centre of attention down at your local club.

 

4 – Colour

The same as design styles, Gis also come in a variety of colours. Traditionally the most popular colours are; White, Black and Blue. If you are a beginner at a new club it is always worth finding out if there are any restrictions about the colour of Gi allowed before making your first investment. It has been known for new practitioners to make a purchase of a new Gi without consulting their instructor first, only to find out that the colour they have chosen is not allowed at their club!

By no means a hard and fast rule, the colour of Gi is sometimes linked to the experience and rank of it’s wearer. Beginners and traditionalists normally tend to opt for a White Gi and we believe you can’t really go wrong with this colour. Mainly because White Gis tend to be a universally accepted colour with regards to club and gym restrictions.

Blue Gis are again popular, and as with wearing White, as a beginner you won’t draw any unwanted attention to yourself early on in your BJJ career.

Black Gis, although becoming popular with practitioners at all levels, has normally been the colour of choice for more experienced and higher ranks.

 

5 – Size

Due to the variations that exist between brands, it is always recommended that you check the size guide for each brand before buying. Adult Gi sizes are standardised in to the categories shown below. To simplify each size without using measurements, we have labelled each one with corresponding; Small, Medium, Large and X-Large to give you an idea.

A1: Small

A2: Medium

A3: Large

A4: X Large

Sizes A0 (X-Small) and A5 (XX Large) are also available but those listed above are the most common.

It is important to note that not all brands offer a gi that is sized and cut specifically for women. However brands like Grips Athletics™ do have Gis that are designed and cut for women. Their Amazona Womens BJJ Gi is a an example of this kind of specially designed Gi.

For Women’s sizes, the equivalent Small to X Large sizing guide is the same, however you will notice that before the number will be either the ‘F’ or ‘W’.

As with the standard Adult sizes, it is advisable to consult the relevant brand size guide before making your choice.

F1: Small

F2: Medium

F3: Large

F4: X Large

 

Check out Part Two of our BJJI Buyers Guide for more handy buying guide hints!

Pro MMA Products – A Buyers’ Guide

Pro MMA Gloves 10ozBag Gloves

The primary purpose of Bag Gloves are to protect your knuckles and wrists against the impact of hitting bags and pads during training. The PRO MMA Advanced Pro Series 10oz Bag Gloves are designed to perform exactly for this purpose.

The 10oz weight enables you to train with a glove that is not too heavy (to allow fast bag and pad work), yet padded enough to protect your hands and wrists.

A further benefit of the 10oz weight of our bag gloves is that, especially during heavy bag sessions, you will get a better feel for how your hand forms when you hit the bag, more so than say if you were wearing a 14oz bag glove. This allows you to correct your striking during training sessions, and even if you feel you need more protection you can also wear a pair of our 100% cotton Hand Wraps or Gel Hand Wraps beneath the glove.

Sparring Gloves

PRO MMA have opted for a 16oz weight Sparring Glove for their range, although there are variations in the weights of Sparring Gloves on the market, the 16oz is a widely accepted as a standard weight for sparring.

The heavier weighted 16oz Sparring Glove gives you and your sparring partner increased protection during training and has the further benefit of helping to strengthen and condition your upper body.

Pro MMA GlovesMMA Gloves

When buying MMA Gloves, the first thing you will notice is their smaller size in comparison to any gloves you have bought for boxing and or other similar contact sports. MMA Gloves tend to weigh 4oz, as do the PRO MMA Advanced Pro Series 4oz MMA Gloves, and due to their size and construction they give you the dual benefit of being suitable for both striking and grappling.

The Advanced Pro Series MMA Glove with its fingerless construction and padding protecting the back of the hand and knuckles allow unrestricted movement for your hands to enable a full range of grips when clinching and grappling.

MMA Sparring Gloves

MMA Sparring Gloves, heavier than the standard 4oz MMA Gloves, are designed with two main goals in mind, to keep the hands as free as possible for grappling and ground work and to provide extra padding for protection during sparring.

The PRO MMA Advanced Pro Series 7oz Sparring Gloves are perfectly constructed for the main dual purpose of MMA Sparring Gloves.

The heavier 7oz construction means that these gloves have more padding and protection than their 4oz counterparts but have finger rings to keep your hands as free as possible during grappling work.

Pro MMA Hand WrapsHand Wraps

As you can see, PRO MMA offer two kinds of Hand Wrap, the Gel Hand Wrap and a traditional cotton Hand Wrap… what are the benefits of either kind? Ultimately the primary purpose of any hand wrap is to guard the hand/wrist against breaks and fractures.

The traditional hand wraps, when tied correctly, provide excellent protection for bones and tendons in your hands and support for your wrists, helping to prevent injuries. Gel Hand Wraps also serve to protect your hands and wrists in the same way as the traditional hand wraps, but provide extra protection for the knuckles and are time saving in terms of their application.

Thai Pads

The Advanced Pro Series Curved Thai Pads pre-curved design enables the shock of impact to be dispersed more evenly around the area of the pad itself. The curved pads are thicker than standard flat Pro Sized Thai Pads allowing them to withstand more powerful strikes.

Just as important as the striking surface and pad thicknesses are the straps and handles for holding the pads, we understand that the art to correctly holding a pad is equally as important as how it is hit. The Dual Velcro Enclosure system used on these pads ensures the maximum level of support possible.

Kick Shields

Kick shields are excellent tools to aid in developing power and need to be light enough so not be too much of a burden on your training partner, yet thick enough to withstand full force impact striking. The PRO MMA Advanced Pro Series Kick Shield fits the bill in this respect, designed from a high density shock absorbing foam and has three durable riveted handles at the rear for superb gripping and control.

Pro MMA Focus MittsFocus Mitts

Much smaller than the other kinds of pads we have so far discussed, Focus Mitts are designed to help improve speed and accuracy of striking as well to practice and perfect combinations. Again as with the other forms of pads, you are looking for that perfect combination of the right weight and padding to give the best performance during training.

PRO MMA Advanced Pro Series Focus Mitts are light in weight with a thick padding, and offer extra wrist support and protection.

Shin Guards

Shin Guards come in many forms and styles, however their primary purpose is pretty obvious, designed to protect and reduce injury for the systems that involve practising kicking. Shin Guards, also known as Shin Insteps amongst other names, as far as PRO MMA are concerned their offering is grouped in to two categories; MMA Shin Guards and Thai Shin Guards.

Thai Shin Guards, like the Advanced Pro Series Thai Shin Guards are typically of a heavier construction and build than MMA Shin Guards, and are designed to give more complete protection to the shin, instep and foot. Velcro straps are now the norm for both the Thai and MMA variety, allowing quick release and fastening of the shin guard. The more durable construction and all round protection of the Thai Shin Guards mean that this variety are the choice for those of you who practice Kick Boxing and Muay Thai as opposed to MMA.

MMA Shin Guards are lighter in weight, with slightly more emphasis on freedom of movement during ground work for MMA practitioners. As with MMA Shin Guards in general, the Advanced Pro Series MMA Shin Guards will provide you with some protection, being constructed with a shock absorbing foam padding. They also have a full neoprene backing allowing for an extremely secure fit during grappling and ground work.