Buying Your First BJJ Gi
So you want to start BJJ. Or maybe you’ve already been training no-gi grappling and you want to start practicing in the gi.
You do a simple Google search and suddenly realize, holy crap, there are a ton of gis to choose from. Single weave, pearl weave, honey-comb — Are we buying bedsheets? Cereal?! — not to mention the prices.
With some gis clocking it at an insane $500, all sorts of doubts start to crop up. “Is it really worth it to buy a gi? What if I decide I only want to practice gi once a week? What if I decide BJJ isn’t for me altogether?” After all, you don’t want to invest a couple hundred bucks on a pile of useless fabric.
*Gordo’s advice is probably the best out there: “To begin training, any kimono is suitable.” In other words, buy a gi that fits and you’re good to go. More than finding a good gi, Gordo recommends finding a gym where you’ll always be eager to put the gi on and train.
But I bet your wheels are turning again. “If any old gi will do, I should go all in, right? If I feel like a million bucks, I’ll roll like a million bucks, right?”
Sure, you can totally go that route. You can spend months going through all of the gi reviews on the internet — but that time you spend researching is time better spent training.
KISS: Keep It Simple and Standard
Once you start training in a gi, you’ll find out what gis other people use and you’ll slowly figure out what you want too, like the kind of fabric or the type drawstring for the pants, even the stiffness of the lapel.
For that end, you’ll want a gi that’s on the cheaper side but with quality that’ll withstand the first couple of months of training and give you a good starting point for dreaming up your ideal gi.
Lucky for all of us, such a gi actually exists.
The Fuji All Around Gi
The Fuji All Around gi is listed at $94 on the Fuji website without shipping. It can be $10 or so lower on Amazon if you prefer to shop from there. It’s not dirt cheap — any gi that’s less than $70 is probably a rip off, and will probably rip apart while rolling — but it’s perfect for a starter gi: It’s available at almost every martial arts store, not to mention Amazon and eBay. It’s available in every size, from the smallest of kids to the largest of adults. And most importantly, it’s a trusted brand that will not fall apart on you when you start training.
Simply put, you can’t go wrong with the Fuji All Around as your first gi. Even the famed gi addict Meerkatsu agrees:
I’m seriously impressed with the Fuji All Around gi. At this price range I would expect cost-cutting and inferior materials. The opposite appears to be true. It is made to very high standards, fits great, feels comfy to roll in and the great price makes this an absolute bargain in my opinion. … At the end of the day, the All Around gi is a fantastic everyday training gi for beginner and pro alike. [Source, emphasis mine]
I started with the Fuji All Around gi and at my size (5’0″, ~110lbs/~50kg), I actually use a kids C2. I’ve trained and competed in the All Around gi for about 2 years now and, to be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if this gi lasts me to that dreamed of day that I become a black belt.
And besides, in the end, the gi really doesn’t matter. Whether you’re a white belt or a black belt or any color in between, it’s how you train that matters most.
*If you’d like to see the rest of Gordo’s top ten BJJ tips, just leave a comment with your email below!
- My post on tips for buying a womens BJJ gi as a small player
- Meerkatsu’s gi info article, gi care advice and gi reviews
- General women’s guide at Grapplearts
- Women’s gear review by Sally Arsenault at Breaking Muscle
- And some amusing but very informative instructional videos by Rener Gracie on how to tie your pants** and how to tie your belt
(**Pro-tip: Tie the pants knot on the left or right side so that there’s less chances of it coming undone while rolling)
DISCLAIMER: I have no affiliation, personal or business (including financial), with Fuji. All of the above are my personal opinions, except where stated otherwise.