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BEST BJJ GIs
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BEST BJJ GIs

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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is known around the world as one of the most dynamic, and complex Martial Arts to learn. From the beginning of its creation Helio Gracie intended his art to be strictly for self defense purposes, but as the art grew so did the sporting element. Nowadays the art has become more of a combat sport, as many exceptional athletes are showcasing their talents on the international stage of grappling. Even though the No Gi scene of BJJ has built some significant momentum, the old traditional Gi competition is as strong as it has ever been. The IBJJF are synonymous for hosting high level Gi tournaments like the European Championships, the Pan American Championships, the Brazilian Nationals, and the World Championships. The most traditional form of BJJ involves wearing a Gi, as athletes will compete extensively in these divisions. These days athletes will treat their Gi's as absolute bjj must haves, as collecting Gi's can become an obsession. There are many different types of Gi uniforms, as nowadays the quality of the garments are excellent.

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THE HISTORY OF THE GI

The Gi dates back a long time to Okinawa Japan, where Karate practitioners would use the traditional uniform so they could perform Martial Arts. Kano Jigoro was an avid lover of Martial Arts and a Japanese educator. He began travelling throughout Japan training in many forms of hand to hand combat. Kano would combine different elements of Jiu Jitsu to eventually form his own Kodokan Judo. Due to the nature of Judo, and all of the throws and chokes involved, Kano would create a Gi that was not too dissimilar to a Karate Kimono. Kano's Gi was made from a much heavier cotton so it could withstand the rigorous training of Judo. The Gi was then introduced to many Japanese Martial Artists, as they began utilising the strength of the outfit for their systematic techniques. Mitsuyo Maeda was one of Kano's most famous students, and as he travelled abroad he brought the art and the Gi to Brazil.

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After teaching the Gracie’s his Martial Art, Helio would then develop the art further to cater for ground fighting techniques. Helio would discover how inadequate the Gi was, due to the bagginess of the Judo jacket. The Gracie’s decided to narrow the sleeves, and tighten up the jacket to make it more adequate for ground fighting. This made it significantly easier to teach, and to learn Gracie Jiu Jitsu. Nowadays further developments like evolved weave stitching, and lighter but more durable Gi's, have been made available to athletes all over the world. 

HOW TO DECIDE WHAT TYPE OF GI TO BUY

There are different factors that come into play when a student is deciding which Gi to buy. The first thing to consider is what sort of training will the student be doing, as BJJ is one of the toughest sports to practise. This is why students need to search for the best mouth guards for bjj, or the best bjj ear guards so they can protect themselves in a highly dangerous situation. In terms of uniform durability, searching for the right Gi can be tricky if a student has no idea of what they are looking for. During live rounds in BJJ, students will have their Gi pants, and jackets gripped, twisted, pulled, and stretched, as this is the nature of Gi fighting in BJJ. Considering a student is allowed to wrap the lapel around their opponent's neck and pull as hard as they want, a strong and durable Gi is needed. There are many different types of Gi weaves like the single weave, which is lighter and probably the most cost effective of all Gi weaves. The single weave is usually seen for hotter climates, but the downside is it has a less durable fabric.

The double weave has traditionally more fabric than a single weave, and translates into a heavier feeling Gi to wear. The thickness of this Gi will make it significantly more difficult for an opponent to grip onto the fabric, which means it can have a tactical edge. The downside to a double weave is that it will retain more heat, making it a more uncomfortable Gi to wear especially during the hotter months. The stiffness of the material in the double weave will ultimately become more coarse on the wearer's skin, leaving signs of possible Gi rash. The gold weave is a material that is in between a single and a double weave, as it is more durable like a double weave, but still lightweight like a single weave. For some time the BJJ Federation required all Gi's to be of this standard, but has since relaxed the ruling to allow for all Gi weaves.

The pearl weave has become the first choice for most high level athletes competing on the world stage. This weave is extremely strong and durable, as it contains multiple strings of pearls aligned together. The weave appearance is created when two sets of weft are used, one of them is thin and the other one is tight, while one of them is looser, and the other one is wider. The looser weft will create the appearance of a pearl. Many of the best Gi's including the best women's bjj gi will use the pearl weave. The durability and lightweight functionality makes this Gi the premium standard throughout the BJJ community. 

The Coral weave is a really thin type of weave that is designed to dry extremely quickly after it has been washed. This weave is one of the more popular ones, as many athletes prefer the softness that comes with this type of weave. Another great aspect about this type of weave is that it won't irritate an athlete's skin. The only downside to a Coral weave is how expensive Gi's made out of this material are, as they can be up to double the price of a normal Gi. The Crystal weave has a really soft feel and looks fabulous but it comes with a plethora of problems. This type of weave is not durable at all, as when an opponent grips the GI it will stretch more than a normal Gi should. There are also a lot of reviews saying the weave shrinks a lot after washing, as well as having terrible fitting rates, which means the Gi's are hard for athletes to find the right fit. This can prove troublesome in trying to find a specifically sized Gi, as this weave is one to steer clear of.

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DOES IT MATTER WHAT COLOUR GI TO BUY

Deciding what colour Gi to buy really comes down to the individual's preference. These days there are a large range of different styles of Gi including colours like red, aqua, brown, grey and even camo. Some students like to collect Gi's, as they can have a whole closet full of them. For students that have no intention of competing, they are free to choose any colour Gi that appeases them. Students that want to become competitors will need to make sure they choose one of three colours: a royal blue, black, or a white Gi. The IBJJF has a strict ruling regarding what colours are legal, as they also do not allow different coloured jackets and pants. This means that a student wanting to compete might want to think about one of these three Gi colours when looking to purchase a Gi. Considering how expensive the cost of a Gi is, choosing one of these IBJJF legal Gi colours seems like the smartest move, especially if it is a student's first ever Gi. Once they have secured a Gi that they can compete in, they are free to venture into the world of weird and wonderful Gi's.

THE BEST VALUE FOR MONEY GI ON THE MARKET

There are a few affordable choices when it comes to a durable, and comfortable Gi. Fuji have a broad range of outstanding quality Gi's, made specifically for all levels of practitioner. The All Around is one of Fuji's most affordable, and versatile Gi's. This Gi is perfect for beginners, and that is due to the single weave lightweight stature of the garment. The Gi is crisp and does not require the athlete to wear it in, as it comes ready to go with a medium level stiffness in the lapel. This single weave Gi is a very comfortable fit, as the pants have reinforcements that extend from the top of the knee to the bottom of the pants, which is highly uncommon for an affordable Gi. The Fuji Gi is extremely diverse, as it is available in five different colors like white, black, navy blue, royal blue, and pink.

Kingz Kimonos are another quality brand of Gi, that is extremely affordable and great for the beginner. Kingz is revered worldwide not just for its quality gear, but for its synonymous work in sponsoring some of the best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitors like the late Leandro Lo. This Gi model is called The One, and is a pretty fancy Gi for its affordability. The Jacket is made up of a single piece 100% cotton pearl weave, this means it offers comfort, durability, all while being extremely lightweight giving the Gi a great air flow capacity. The lapel is composed with a heat resistant and vulcanized rubber, which allows for durability, and fast and effective drying capabilities. Kingz Kimonos offer 12 different sizes, as the Gi will shrink at least five to ten percent when using a dryer. The Gi also comes in three different colors like white, black and blue. The Kingz kimono is an excellent Gi with outstanding quality, and one of the more affordable choices in Gi apparel.

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THE MOST DURABLE GI 

One of the best Gi brands in the world is Hayabusa, which is a brand owned by the Canadian Black belt Luke Harris. Throughout his career as an apparel distributor, Luke has persevered to showcase nothing but quality within their Gi uniforms. One of their best Gi's is called the Goorudo, and is one of Hayabusa’s signature Gi's, which is now in its third generation. This is a high quality premium Gi, made from a 550 gsm gold weave with 12 oz twill cotton pants. This means that the Gi is extremely durable, due to the heavy weight of the garment. Hayabusa have specifically designed this Gi for competition purposes. The Goorudo has reinforced stress points throughout the jacket, and the pants and this is for resistance from pulling and twisting on the fabric. The fact that the Gi is a gold weave, instead of a pearl weave means that the GI is extra durable, but the downside is the GI is extremely heavier. The Gi comes embroidered with bold kanji characters, the kanjis are the Japanese words for courage, strength, pride, and respect.

One of the most popular Gi brands is Tatami, and if a student is training in high altitude, or a hot climate then they will need a lightweight Gi. One of the trickiest aspects for competition these days is athletes making weight. An easy fix to combat this problem is to purchase an extremely lightweight Gi, so this will give the student extra kilos to play with. Tatami have a third generation Gi called the Zero G V3, and all of the reviews are saying this is one of their best Gi's yet. The jacket is made out of a 475 gsm pearl weave, with a rip stop cotton covering the collar and the lapels. There are also reinforced areas underneath the armpits, and behind the side vents. The new age look is due to the contrast stitching, as the cuffs are also lined with folded seam tape sporting the Zero G logo design, which adds to the pinash of this Gi. Tatami have also added 11 oz rip stop cotton in the pants, including a double reinforcement for extra durability. The Gi weighs 1.5 kilograms which is slightly heavier than a lightweight Gi, but still light enough for extreme comfort. The Gi has a slightly longer design in the jacket, making it a looser fit than some new Gi's. One of the strong points about this Gi is the minimal shrinkage factor, as students can put this Gi in the dryer without fear of losing size.

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best gi for bjj

Overall there are many different types of good quality Gi's, as one of the premier brands is Hyperfly. There are many different Gi's in the Hyperfly arsenal, as they range from single weave all the way up to heavy duty gold weave. Hyperfly has created some of the world's most diverse Gi's including Judo Fly, which is a heavy duty competition Gi with a thicker lapel than usual. Hyperfly have also created an extremely lightweight range of Gi's for athletes to use in competition. Hyperfly is one of the leading manufacturers of Gi's across the world, as they also use their brand to sponsor many up and coming athletes of the sport. Hyperfly has the famous motto of "you can't teach heart" which is synonymous with what Brazilian Jiu Jitsu stands for. Hyperfly has also become one of the leading brand names for different coloured Gi's, as they have created Gi's in all different colours like pink, purple, light blue, aqua, grey, and many other weird and wonderful colours. 

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