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Does the Color of Your Gi Matter in BJJ?

The color of your Gi does not speak to what level of jiu-jitsu you have attained. In this article, we will answer the question, does the color of your gi matter in BJJ, or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and what are the accepted colors of a gi?

Before you rush out and start shopping for one of your favorite gi brands, you should know what colors you can and can’t choose.

In the 1800s, grandmaster Jigaro Kano began using gi’s across the board in Judo (1). Eventually, the blue gi began to be worn and hence became the accepted uniform for BJJ. 

Does the colour of your gi matter? Well in judo it holds different meanings to BJJ.
The gi offers many interesting opportunities for leverage in terms of both offense and defense.

What Determines the Color of a Gi?

To clarify what colors a gi should be, academies should refer to the rules by the International Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu Federation or IBJJF (2). The rules laid out by the IBJJF are accepted and adhered to internationally in academies and competitions.

Colors of a competition gi is set in stone by the IBJJF, but colors can vary from academy to academy. Some require students to wear white while others are more lenient, allowing them to wear various colors of green, black, pink, or pink camouflage.

There are differing opinions about the color of gis. One side said that the color doesn’t matter while the other side says that students should only wear white. This opinion is because white is traditional and signifies cleanliness.

Have a gi that’s too big? Check out tips on shrinking a BJJ gi here.

You can determine the correct color gi to purchase by checking with the academy you are to begin attending. A solid rule of thumb is to wear white until you learn otherwise.

What Color is a Gi in BJJ?

There are three main BJJ gi colors accepted by BJJ clubs. These colors are white, royal blue, or black. The acceptance of these three colors is because they are the only colors worn during BJJ competitions.

White is the traditional color because it represents truth and purity.

Jiu Jitsu at the end of the day, is the art of expressing yourself honestly. Everytime you put on a Gi, you can’t lie.

You can find gis of all colors, even pink camouflage, available on the market. These colorful gis are usually worn by BJJ students who exclusively use the same club or academy.

Make sure you choose an accepted color for your academy. Also, be sure of the size you will need and the fabric used in the making of the gi.

Brazilian jiu jitsu instructor demonstrates ground fighting arm lock techniques
Royal blue and white are two of the most popular gi colours within the sport of BJJ.

When Does the Color of your Gi Matter?

The color of your gi matters most when you are competing. According to the IBJJF, competitors who participate in competition should wear white, royal blue, or black.

The choice of these colors have to do with the ability to distinguish the competitor as they are on the mat with a partner.

For example, if your competitor is wearing a white gi, you would wear a royal blue or black. The color of your gi should not be the same as your competitor. If there is a time when two competitors are wearing the same color gi, they will place different color belts on in order to help distinguish them. 

A great video to watch about the color of gis:

Final Thoughts

The color of your gi doesn’t really matter because it does not signify a level. It is truly a matter of opinion and left up to your chosen academy’s instructor or owner. Some academies prefer traditional white, while others are open to different colors.

Now that we’ve gone over whether gis matter, let’s get into some frequently asked questions:


Like in any sport, there is a uniform. In the training of BJJ, the gi is the accepted uniform worn during training and competitions. There is no gi BJJ where one does not wear a gi but wears training clothes that fit close to the skin.

A blue gi in bjj does not signify a certain level the person has reached. Wearing a blue or black gi is a personal choice. Some academies prefer blue or black because they look more clean and sleek than a white gi.

There is not a definitive answer to this question as each academy is different. Some instructors require white belts to a white gi while some do not. It is simply a matter of opinion.


  1. History. Retrieved from:
  2. Uniform. Retrieved from:

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