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Judo Gi vs BJJ Gi
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Judo Gi vs BJJ Gi

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There is a similar comparison between the art of Judo, and the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It is no wonder both combat sports bear similarities, as BJJ was derived from Kodokan Judo back in the early 20th century. Even though Kodokan Judo is more of a Japanese Jiu Jitsu style of Martial Arts, it did eventually evolve into what we know as Judo today. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was a core principle built off of Kodokan Judo, and the Gracie family were credited for the development of many of the ground fighting techniques. Nowadays Brazilian Jiu Jitsu incorporates many Judo throws into its repertoire, as many of the throws are taught in BJJ classes. Judo is not too dissimilar, as what is known as Ne Waza is when a Judoka spends a limited amount of time, where they can attempt submissions like arm bars, and chokes, after taking another Judoka to the mat.

What this article covers:

Both of these Martial Arts are quite formidable, as they embody a high energy, systematic transitional composition, and a thirst for high impact Martial Arts. Students may ask the question should you wear a cup for bjj, or judo, and the answer is no, as groin protection is forbidden under IBJJF, and IJF regulations. Both Martial Arts wear a Gi, and even though BJJ has a No Gi version of its sport, the traditional element of Gi Jiu Jitsu is quite similar to Judo. Both Arts will utilise grips, and try to throw each other to the mat. The main difference between the arts is Judo will score points by throwing their opponent to the mat, before resetting into their stances. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu also utilises throws, and takedowns, but once they hit the mat the fight will continue as a ground fight until the end of the time limit. In Judo an opponent can be submitted, but there is only 5 to 10 seconds of ground work, as the referee will stand the pair back up if there is not enough action.

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THE ORIGIN OF THE JUDO GI

The Judo Gi originates way back to some of the first practises of Japanese Jiu Jitsu, and Karate. Many of the Samurai warriors in Japan used to wear heavy armour in battle, but after a while they realised that many of their techniques could not work, due to the heavy nature of their outfits. The Samurai began to declutter themselves, and dawned a lighter armourless outfit, which would later be called a Gi. The Samurai learnt what to wear for jiu jitsu, and exactly how to maximise many of their attacks using Gi techniques. The samurai would use various throwing techniques, pinning techniques, and joint lock throwing techniques. As the Samurai faded out of the history books, their fighting was passed on from generation to generation, as many Japanese Martial Artists evolved their understanding of the art.

Many different forms of Japanese Jiu Jitsu were born, as some focused heavily on the throwing aspect, while others focused more on striking, and submissions. In the 19th century, a Japanese educator named Kano Jigoro evolved many of his experiences with Martial Arts into what he would later call Kodokan Judo. Kano developed his style of Japanese Jiu Jitsu, and passed it on to many other Japanese Martial Artists. This was the same lineage that was passed on to the Gracie family when Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was born. The other side of the lineage was still directed towards an eventual sport in Judo, as many of the striking elements were lost in translation. The art of Judo then focused heavily on gripping the Gi to neutralise, and throw an opponent to the ground. The Judo Gi remains a deadly weapon for a Judoka, as the art became a highly recognised Olympic sport.

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THE ORIGIN OF THE BJJ GI

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was brought to Brazil by a Kodokan Judo master named Mitsuyo Maeda. His wealth of knowledge was passed down to Carlos Gracie who trained symbiotically with Mitsuyo for nearly 6 years. After a while Carlos taught his brothers the art of Judo, and how to use the Judo Gi to throw each other to the ground. The problem was Helio Gracie was the smallest, and weakest of all of his brothers, and he struggled to utilise many of the Judo throws. Helio would craft his own system of ground fighting techniques that would later become Gracie Jiu Jitsu. After a while Helio realised that many of his techniques were getting countered, due to the bagginess of his Judo Gi. Helio began to alter the Judo Gi and at first he cut the sleeves in half, and tightened the fabric around the torso. This innovation still wasn't quite right, so he lengthened the arms again making them narrow, and made the lapel even firmer around the waist. This time it was a success, as Helio was now finding that many of his techniques were working tremendously. 

In the beginning Helio wore a navy blue belt, and all his other students wore light blue belts. After a while he needed to find a way to distinguish the masters from the instructors, and the instructors from the students. This brought about the question of what colour gi for bjj beginner, and Helio made all of his beginners wear white Gi's, and white belts, as all of the other instructors would wear black belts, and blue Gi's, as a way to distinguish student from Master. The evolution of BJJ rolled on, and so did the development of the Gi. Nowadays Gi manufacturers have outstanding technology embedded into their Gi apparel. The addition of different kinds of weaves, reinforced stitching, special air flow systems, and bacteria control aspects, which are designed to make a more durable, affordable, breathable, and comfortable Gi for all athletes to wear.

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HOW DOES BOTH GI'S COMPARE

Comparing a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gi to a Judo Gi can be particularly easy, as both Gi's have unique similarities. A good question to ask is how should a bjj gi fit, and the easy answer is; the BJJ Gi is definitely slimmer, and narrow around the chest, as it is meant to fit tight enough so their opponent will struggle with grips, but loose enough so they will still have a good range of motion. The BJJ Gi has less fabric to grab, making it harder for their opponents to grip onto the Gi. The Judo Gi on the other hand is a looser fit, making it easier to grab controls, and easier to throw their opponent to the mat. Some Judokas like to wear the single weave Gi, because they are extremely thin, and they will not overheat. This can be the same in BJJ, as most beginners will feel uncomfortable wearing a Gi, so they will wear the single weave Gi. 

Experienced Judokas tend to go for the double weave Gi, which is a much heavier jacket, and is a lot harder to secure grips, this will ultimately wear out their opponents hands. This used to be the same in BJJ, as many practitioners would opt for a double weave Gi, but in more recent times these professionals prefer the pearl weave Gi, which is the best of both worlds, as it is durable like a double weave Gi, but lightweight like a single weave Gi. This is ultimately a much more comfortable, and enjoyable Gi to wear. All in all both Gi's can be just as deadly as each other, as they both are used to dynamically take their opponent to the mat, and execute choke holds.

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THE BEST BJJ GI'S 

It is extremely common to hear students ask how many bjj gi's should i own, and on that note. Here is a list of some of the best BJJ Gi's available on the current market. The Judo Fly-X Quattro is a  special edition BJJ Gi, and is a fourth generation Judo Fly BJJ Gi. The Judo Fly Gi is inspired by Hyperfly's love of German engineering, as this sleek, but deadly Gi is one for the ages. Even though sold as a BJJ Gi, it can double as a Judo or BJJ Gi. The fourth in the x series of Hyperfly Gi's that this popular brand has brought to the table. The hybrid Gi is a 750 gsm pearl weave that will almost guarantee an athlete the dominance in any grappling battle. The skirt has a double diamond weave, with embroidered logos on each arm. The traditional Judo back seam, give athletes plenty of extra support  during their matches. The pants are made of 10 oz cotton twill, with reinforced JJ workwear panels. The Gi also comes with internal draw strings making it a no strings attached kind of Gi.

The Hayabusa Shinju is one of the best BJJ Gi's on the market, with its ergonomic design, and it's extremely comfortable fit. The 500 gsm pearl weave Gi has reinforced stitching, and is completely IBJJF legal. The Hayabusa Shinju is by far one of the most popular choices of BJJ Gi apparel by high level competitors. The Gi has an extremely smooth feel, as it has a tapered design, making it one of the most important reasons why the Shinju fits like a glove. The Shinju is an extremely hard Gi to grab even though it is one of the lightest Gi's on the market, and the pants are made of 10 Oz ripstop fabric. This handcrafted Gi has amazing reviews, as many professional athletes wear it seamlessly, including athletes who have an average body type, and have extra long legs. The Shinju also comes pre shrunk, so there is no need to fear the inaugural wash.

The Tatami brand is extremely well respected throughout the BJJ community, as their Gi technology is one of the leading brands. The Tatami Nova is one of those Gi's that is leading the way in the BJJ world. This Gi has a simple design, but was made extremely durable with its triple stitching. It also has a rope drawstring so the athlete can control tightness of the pants in a much easier way. This Gi has a comprehensive tight fit that many practitioners prefer, as it seems to offer a line of protection. There is also extensive padding on the knee compartment, so the athletes knees are safer from injuries. Tatami have made the collar extremely soft, so it can divert the moisture quite fast. This extremely durable, and comfortable Gi, is also one of the most affordable Gi's on the market today.

Scramble are another reliable, and trustworthy Gi brand that have brought out high quality Gi uniforms. The 450 gsm pearl weave jacket is really durable, but still offers a comfortable wear. The pants are made from ripstop fabric, and are extremely lightweight, giving the athlete a greater range of motion. The sleeve design is tapered, and basically does not have any extra, or unnecessary fabric. Scramble has the highest quality finish, and it is definitely a high end company signature. Scramble has produced an absolute gem with this standard issue Gi. The Gi has an impeccable durability, comfort, and lightweight feel, making the athlete feel like they are floating on the mats. The Gi also comes with 8 free patches that can be sewn on, which is great for customisation.

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THE BEST JUDO GI'S

Fuji is one of the most reputable, and accomplished manufacturers of Judo Gi's. They have created several high quality types of Judo Gi's, with many of them becoming extremely popular with today's modern Judoka. The Fuji Double Weave Judo Gi is one of the most durable double weave Gi's on the market. It is designed to specifically handle constant abuse, and friction from high intensity training sessions every day. Fuji’s double weave is made from a special cotton blend that is extremely soft, and very comfortable for the athlete. As a beginner it is extremely important to be comfortable, and this Gi is the perfect one for newcomers. The downside to buying this Gi is it only comes in two colours white, or blue, and can fetch quite an expensive price. However, it is the durability of this Gi that makes buying this double weave a really good investment.

Another trusted brand in the world of Gi manufacturing is Elite Sports, and as an established brand, they are well known for making affordable Gi's. They also are known for their quality, considering how inexpensive their Gi apparel is. Elite are a synonymous brand that makes a lot of gear for different disciplines of Martial Arts. This Gi is an outstanding double weave cotton addition that was made with nothing but comfort, and durability in sight. This Gi will last just as long as any other more expensive, and fancier brands of Gi. Another good aspect about this Gi is that it can take a beating from hard grips, and dynamic throws. The collars are made exceptionally thick, so it becomes more challenging for any opponents to grab hold of them during competition matches. The Gi is also IJF approved, so using it for Judo tournaments is a green light. The Elite Sports Adult Judo Gi has state of the art technology, as it is treated for anti odor, and antimicrobial properties. This is perfect for fending off any type of odors, and infections that can linger throughout the Gi.

Ronin is a trusted brand of Judo Gi that will offer an outstanding quality with all of their Martial Arts gear. Many Judo practitioners do trust in this brand, to bring comfort, durability and quality. The Gi is made from unbleached cotton, which is incredibly strong, and still extremely comfortable to wear. Many opponents have had a hard time gripping hold of the Ronin fight wear. This Gi is extremely durable considering it is only a single weave garment. A great aspect about being a single weave Gi is that the GI is extremely lightweight, and is reasonably breathable due to the extended air flow. This Gi is perfect during the summer, and it can also be used outdoors because of its air flow technology. The Gi is reinforced throughout all of the stress prone areas, like the sides, the knees and the collar are all reinforced with extra stitching. There is a large range of sizes that even start from kids, all the way up to adult sizes. The only downside about this Gi is that it comes only in white. 

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