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How much does a Jiu Jitsu gi weight, and why is it important to know?

If you’re just starting Brazilian Jiu Jitsu one of the first things that you will have to get is a gi to practice in.

These are an essential part of training in BJJ and are required for your classes unless you’re only doing no-gi Jiu Jitsu. Check out our article Gi vs. No-Gi BJJ: What’s the Difference?

How much does a BJJ gi Weigh? The average weight of a Jiu Jitsu gi is somewhere between 2 to 5 pounds. Everyday gis are heavier and weigh 4 to 5 pounds, while competition gis tend to be lighter and weigh between 2 and 3 pounds. 

It is vital to know that a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gi is not the same as a judo gi. There are a few differences between the two.

You could use a judo gi to train Jiu Jitsu if you don’t have a BJJ gi. But trying to do so for a competition could get you disqualified. Every tournament has different rules; here are the IBJJF uniform rules.

What Affects The Weight Of A Gi?

Gi weights can vary from brand to brand. Weight is also affected by cut and weave.

If you’re shopping around for a BJJ gi and you’re wondering how much it weighs, check the item description from the gi maker, many times gi weights are listed. 

Sometimes the weight of a gi can be hard to find, and sometimes gi makers may present the weight in a range.

This is because the weight, even of a gi, that is from the same maker and the same size, can vary slightly. 

Patches, although sound silly to mention, they do affect the weight of the gi slightly, but the biggest thing to consider when it comes to adding weight to your gi is sweat.

Any sweat that gets absorbed into the gi is going to make it heavier. This is good to note because if you’re competing, you may not want to warm up and sweat in your gi if you have to weigh-in with it on when you’re cutting it close on making weight.

What is a Jiu Jitsu gi’s weave?

There are several different fabrics that you can choose from for your gi. Most of the time, these have different weaves.

As for the actual gi material itself, you can expect that to usually be 100% cotton. Some gi makers have gis that made of hemp or blends of different materials.

Weaves are represented in GSM (grams per square meter), and Jiu Jitsu gis ranges between 350-1050 GSM. The higher that number is then, the more it will weigh. 

A Gi with a weave of 550 will always weigh more than a gi that has a weave of 375 GSM.  

We’ll cover some of the most common weaves that are out there. These will be the ones you’re most likely to see when shopping for a new gi.

What are some of the common BJJ gi weaves?

Weave Type GSM Range

Single 300-550

Double 750-950

Gold 650–1050

Pearl 300-550

Single Weave

Single weave gis are usually the go-to for a lot of new BJJ practitioners first gi. They are typically lighter and cheaper than the other weaves available. Gis in this weave are nice and cool on those hot days because they are thinner and not as tightly woven. 

Keep in mind because single weave gis are lighter and thinner, they can wear down faster and are susceptible to tearing. 

Single weave gis range from 300–550 GSM

Double Weave

You guessed it; double weave is just a single weave doubled. Two times in as much fabric goes into making this weave. So it is heavier and thicker than single weave. Double weave is also going to be hotter because the weave is tighter and will trap in the heat. 

Double weave gis range from 750-950 GSM

Gold Weave

Gold weave is a combination of single and double weave, sharing traits from both single and double weave, gold weave is durable and lightweight. Gold weave makes for a solid all-around gi that can be used for everyday training and competition as well.

Gold weave gis range from 650–1050 GSM

Pearl weave

Pearl weave is a nice tight weave that’s durable and lightweight. Pearl weave makes it an excellent choice for competition gis. This weave crosses off everything you want for a competition gi it’s light, it’s durable, and it’s cool. I highly recommend this weave for your Jiu Jitsu gis.

Pearl weave gis range from 300-550 GSM

Ripstop 

Ripstop is a non-traditional weave that’s gained a lot of popularity over the last couple of decades. Recognizable by the stitched squares that are sewn into the weave, this stitching helps prevent rips and tears, hence the name. 

Ripstop is extra light and extra-durable, initially used for gi pants, some gi makers now have gis wholly made out of ripstop.

Some tournaments don’t allow particular ripstop gis, so make sure always to buy a tournament legal gi if you plan on competing in it. This information is can be found on the gi makers website or the gi’s item description.

The Size And Cut

The bigger you are, the larger your gi will need to be in order to fit. The larger the gi is, the more fabric it will take and, therefore, the more it will weigh. 

Some gis have unique cut options such as slim, tall, or husky to accommodate different body types better. 

Since most gis are made of cotton, you may get some shrinkage after time from washing your gi. To avoid this, make sure to hang dry your gi rather than throwing it in the dryer.

Some gis also come “Pre-shrunk,” meaning that the fabric has been shrunk beforehand and should not shrink much at all. 

Again the more fabric used will make the total weight increase. These are tiny numbers but still worth mentioning.

What makes a competition gi different from a regular gi?

Besides a few rules around color and length, you’re allowed to compete in almost any Jiu Jitsu gi you want. Even though you can do that, it doesn’t mean you should. What you should do is set out to get a functional competition gi that’s lightweight and durable.

Gis that weigh less are a lot cooler, and keeping cool could play a small factor in how well you do in competition. Competition gis also weigh a pound or two less than non-competition gis. This could make a potential weight cut a little easier.

Jiu Jitsu gis come in a variety of colors too. But when it comes to competing, some tournaments only allow specific colors and may not let you have different colored tops and bottoms.

Things to know about what gi you compete in

If you are not wearing a gi jacket with matching trousers that are either royal blue, white, or black, then a judge can choose to disqualify you.

But more than likely they’ll give you a few minutes to find another gi first. So make sure to bring a spare to tournaments, or you might have to find someone who will let you borrow their gi. 

When competing, your gi must fit correctly, so borrowing one doesn’t always work out well unless you are the same size.

Also, patches have to follow specific guidelines and cannot be placed in some regions of the gi.

Why is a gi’s weight important in competition?

BJJ competitions are divided into different divisions based on weight and age. This helps prevent people who are drastically different in size and age from being paired up against each other in a tournament.

There is a division called “Absolute,” which has no weight limit. You usually need to qualify for absolute by placing in the top 3 of your division. 

This is also why it is so important for you to know what your gi weighs. Some tournaments require you to weigh in with your gi on, and your gi will be added to your weight to determine the weight class you will compete in. 

How much does a Jiu Jitsu belt weight?

Depending on the length and the material used for padding, a BJJ belt weighs around half a pound.

When you’re calculating your weight, keep in mind that your belt is part of your uniform, and you need to add it to your weight.

If you’re between weight classes and plan on making weight, you should make sure to weigh yourself at home with your gi on when you check your weight.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve gotten a better idea of everything that goes into determining the weight of your gi remember to shop around and check out the different weaves and styles mentioned here. 

It’s good to have a few gis in your collection if you’re consistently training, but be careful not to buy too many gis early on in your Jiu Jitsu training.

A good rule of thumb is if you’re training more than 2-3 times a week, then you should consider buying another one. 

Check Amazon for deals on BJJ gis

Remember to care for your gi and wash it after every training session; this includes your belt and never leave your gi in your bag after training.

Thanks for reading!

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Author: Let's Roll BJJ

Let's Roll BJJ aims to be the leading source of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Grappling information and news on the web. Dorian, the owner and editor of Let's Roll BJJ is a purple belt in Jiu Jitsu and has been training and competing for over 6 years. Apart from being a BJJ geek, Dorian is a software developer by trade, a husband, and a father of two wonderful kids who he's recently began teaching Jiu Jitsu. When he's not training, coding, or writing, you can find him hiking, camping or occasionally binging on video games.

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