The Last BJJ Gi Size Chart You’ll Ever Need
When it comes to buying a BJJ gi, finding the right size can present a challenge. Deciphering the wide variety of system and charts that brands use, is difficult, as you may find yourself categorised into different sizes with different brands.
Determining your size in a gi is crucial to finding a gi that suits you best. The best way to understand how to find your size is by first knowing how to understand a size chart.
BJJ Gi’s and Judo Gi’s were designed to fit differently
While the structure of the gi is universally the same, with it being based on the Japanese keikogi, there are differences in the design of gis for different sports. Judo gis are designed with a looser structure so that the wearer’s focus is on evading their opponent’s grasp. A Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gi is tighter fitting, making it more difficult to grab.
If you wish to learn more about the difference between the two, check out our article on the subject: Judo vs BJJ Gi.
How to Read a Gi Size Chart
While most brands have their own gi size calculator, they all generally consist of both a letter and a number. The letter represents who the gi is made for, such as A for Adult Male. The number represents how big the gi is.
When reading a BJJ gi size chart, it is best to first find your height and then your weight. From there, you can follow the row to the correct size assignment for your gi.
There are often different letters on BJJ gi size charts, such as W for Women or Y for youth. Sometimes, additional letters are attributed to the length of gi, like L for long or S for short. The numbers of the size usually range from 0 to 6, depending on the brand.
The size charts will take into consideration the height and weight of the wearer. Sometimes, there is only one total size for the gi, meaning that the top and pants are assigned the same letter-number combo. Some brands offer different sizes for the top and the pants.
Each brand has their own size chart. For example, Fuji has charts for men’s, women’s, and children’s gis. The men’s gis are sized from A0 to A6, based on the wearer’s height, weight, and measurements. To put it simply, a person who is 5’ 9” tall and weighs 180lbs would wear an A3.
For comparison, Venum also has size charts for men’s, women’s, and youth gis, but their sizes range from A0 to A4 with half sizes – A1.5 and A2.5 – in between.
The Venum chart also considers the apparel size match of the gi and relies on the weight and measurements of the wearer. The same 5’9″ person, who weighs 180 lbs, would be an A2.5 in a Venum gi.
Because each brand has their own size chart, it is quite difficult to determine one universal size for your gi. The best place to start is by taking your measurements.
How Do I Measure Myself?
In order to know your general size in a BJJ gi, you will need two measurements: your wingspan and your outseam.
To find your wingspan, you can take a soft measuring tape starting at the center of the back of your neck, then measure to the center point of your wrist. Then, double this number. It’s important to take this measurement when your arms are hanging by your side, not outstretched.
To find your outseam, measure from your natural waist to the ankle. If you already have a gi that fits well, you can measure the sleeve and outseam of the gi to determine the size of your new gi.
With so many options on the market, it can feel overwhelming when it comes to choosing the right gi for you. Consider finding a different callout. This adds nothing to the piece.
What if I’m Between Sizes?
You may find yourself between sizes when looking at the size chart. If you’re between sizes on a BJJ gi size chart, you have a few options. Perhaps you meet the height requirement for an A4, but your weight is closer to an A3, or vice versa.
You can simply choose to size down if you feel that a slightly more snug fit would be more comfortable or if you’re shorter, and you don’t want a gi that is too big. Or you can size up and try to shrink the gi by hot washing and hot drying it. Gis are typically preshrunk, but it is still possible to shrink a gi.
Some brands, like Fuji, offer more options, like their Tru Fit brand, in order for you to have the most comfortable fit possible. You can read more about Tru Fit by watching this video:
Choosing a Gi
With so many options on the market, it can feel overwhelming when it comes to choosing the right gi for you.
The first thing to consider is what kind of material you are most comfortable wearing. Cotton is the most common material for a gi, but bamboo and hemp are also frequently used. The next thing to consider when purchasing a gi is the weave pattern. There are several types of weaves, from single to pearl to gold, each with their own benefits and drawbacks.
It’s also to be aware of often you will be using your gi, depending on how often you train. Are you on the mats every day? Or do you prefer once a week? Depending on your needs, you will need either a lightweight gi, for lighter training, or a heavier gi, for heavier workouts.
The Gi Size Calculator
Because each gi brand has its own size chart, it’s a challenge to determine your exact size in a gi. There is, however, general overlap between brands, meaning that it is possible to find an average size that works for you.
The simplest way to figure out your basic size in a gi is to use your height and weight. With these two pieces of information, you can very easily determine your basic size. With most brands, because the sizes generally range from A0 to A6, the spread of height and weight is generally the same.
Looking at Tatami, someone who is 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing 180 pounds will be an A2 gi. Meanwhile, this same person would be an A2 in Fuji. To determine the most accurate fit, this person would most likely need to know their measurements.
Although there is no one definitive size across all brands, knowing a general average size can help you purchase a new gi.
Finding the right gi can present unique challenges. Brands often have their own BJJ gi size charts, meaning that your gi size will vary from brand to brand. Typically you will be close to or the same size in most brands, but it’s most important to first determine how to find your size.
Knowing your height and weight are useful, but having measurements on-hand for your wingspan and outseam will give you a more accurate size. Being able to choose a gi based on your measurements rather than the range for your height and weight will give you a more comfortable fit.
The most common material for a BJJ gi is cotton, although gis can also be made from bamboo and hemp. Each material offers unique benefits and drawbacks, so it really comes down to preference. Cotton gis can be lightweight or heavyweight, but are susceptible to shrinking. A hemp gi is very strong and breathable. The bamboo is the softest of the three materials and becomes softer with each wash.
Most size charts present their measurements in centimeters, so when measuring yourself it is best to measure in centimeters. Not all brands require measurements, however. But knowing your wingspan and outseam in centimeters is helpful when choosing a gi.
Choosing between a colored or white gi again comes down to preference. The colors for gis seen in BJJ are royal blue, black, and white. Colored gis are readily available, as are white gis. Each is very commonly worn on the mat. However, white gis are harder to keep in pristine condition.
It’s important to keep a gi clean and free from odors. It’s also important to avoid bacterial growth from lack of cleaning. A gi can be cleaned in a cold wash and hang dried; warm drying can cause a gi to shrink. Make sure you don’t let your gi get smelly and avoid leaving it in cramped spaces while it’s damp, too.
Hi, I’m Brandon, editor here at MMA-Today. Mixed Martial Arts has been my life long obsession as long as I can remember. I was introduced to Muay Thai at a young age, but ultimately fell in love with BJJ and grappling in my teenage years, and have never looked back. My goal with MMA today is to inspire people to train and enjoy mixed martial arts more every day.