Competition GIs and Training GIs: What’s The Difference?

Home » Competition GIs and Training GIs: What’s The Difference?

In the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the type of gi worn can greatly impact the overall experience and performance of the athlete. With this in mind, it is essential to understand the differences between competition gis and training gis. Training gis and Competition gis are designed specifically to suit their purpose, so let’s take a look.

BJJ Gi and Black Belt

The primary difference between training and competition gis is material choice. Training gis often use heavyweight cotton for regular practice durability. In contrast, competition gis use lighter materials like pearl weave or ripstop. This allows competitors to stay agile and durable during tournaments.

Competition gis often have unique designs and patches for distinction in competition. Conversely, training gis prioritize functionality and comfort over aesthetics. Yet, the preference can vary among athletes. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners can enhance their performance in training or competition.

Understanding the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) Gi

The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) Gi is both a symbol and a functional tool in the martial art. It’s a uniform that BJJ practitioners wear in training and competition. This Gi plays a role in BJJ techniques by enabling grip, control, and opponent manipulation.

The BJJ Gi shares similarities with the Judo Gi since BJJ originates from Judo. Both uniforms include a jacket, pants, and a belt. However, the BJJ Gi usually has a longer skirt, shorter sleeves, a snug fit, and durable materials for enhanced control.

In BJJ, there are training and competition Gis. Training Gis, or daily Gis, prioritize comfort and durability for regular sessions. They come in many styles and materials, offering a choice for practitioners.

Conversely, competition Gis suit tournament use and follow organizer guidelines. They’re typically lighter than training Gis for comfort and speed. The color options for these Gis are usually white, blue, or black.

Types of Gis

A folded BJJ Gi

In the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), there are mainly two types of Gis: training Gis and competition Gis. Both types have various styles and materials, tailored for the specific needs of practitioners during their training sessions and tournaments. This section will cover the differences between training and competition Gis, along with some variations in between.

Training Gis are designed for regular practice and training sessions. They are usually made to be more durable but can also be heavier as comfort and movement restriction are less important factors in this context. As a result, training Gis may not always be the ideal choice for competitions due to their weight and added heft.

Competition Gis are specially designed for BJJ tournaments and must conform to certain requirements set by organizations like the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF). They are generally lighter and made with materials that promote more mobility and comfort, such as Aeroweave and Ripstop. These Gis aim to give competitors an edge in performance while ensuring compliance with competition regulations.

Although not commonly used in BJJ, some practitioners may also come across Judo Gis due to the similarities between the two martial arts. Judo Gis are generally heavier, thicker, and more durable than BJJ Gis, but these qualities can restrict mobility. As a result, Judo Gis are not recommended for BJJ competitions, but can easily be used in training.

What Materials Are Used In a BJJ Gi?

A Very Close up image of a bjj gi


Cotton is a common material used in making Gis for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) as it’s known for its durability and comfort. It is ideal for training Gis, which need to withstand the rigors of regular practice. Gis made from heavyweight cotton fabric offer longevity and comfort during training sessions. The weight of the cotton fabric used in Gis is measured in grams per square meter (GSM), ranging generally between 375 and 890 GSM.

Ripstop Material

Ripstop material is another popular choice, especially for competition Gis. This lightweight fabric is made by reinforcing regular weave patterns with an additional, stronger thread. The result is a fabric that is resistant to tearing and ripping. Competition Gis made from ripstop material have the advantage of being light, allowing for increased speed and agility during matches.

Different Weaves

There are various types of weaves used in BJJ Gis, each providing different characteristics in terms of weight, durability, and comfort. Some common weaves include:

  • Single Weave: This is a basic, lightweight weave that is more affordable than other types. Single weave Gis are comfortable and suitable for beginners but may not be as durable as their heavier counterparts.
  • Double Weave: As the name suggests, a double weave is made by weaving two layers of fabric together, resulting in a thicker, heavier Gi, providing added durability and strength. However, it can be less comfortable and more difficult to execute techniques due to the increased weight.
  • Pearl Weave: This type of weave is popular in both training and competition Gis. Pearl weave Gis are known for their balance of durability, comfort, and lightness. With this weave, you get a Gi that is strong yet flexible, making it an excellent choice for many practitioners.
  • Gold Weave: Gold weave Gis combine the best of both single and double weaves. They are typically made by weaving a single layer of fabric with a tighter, thicker pattern, resulting in a durable Gi that is lighter and more flexible than a double weave.

When choosing a BJJ Gi, consider the type of material, weave, and weight that best suits your training and competition needs. The combination of factors such as comfort, durability, and performance will help you find the ideal Gi to enhance your BJJ journey.

Gi Design and Color

General Design

In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), there are distinct differences between the design of training gis and competition gis. Training gis usually have a more relaxed and roomy fit, allowing for a wide range of movements during training. They are often made from materials that prioritize comfort and durability for long-lasting use. On the other hand, competition gis are designed with a more tailored fit to minimize an opponent’s ability to grab and manipulate the fabric. These gis are often made from materials that prioritize lightweight construction while still maintaining a certain level of durability.

Color Regulations

Color is another important aspect to consider when choosing a BJJ gi. In general, a BJJ gi can come in a variety of colors, but it’s crucial to understand the regulations surrounding color choice, particularly for competition. According to the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) rules, you can only wear a white, royal blue, or black gi in competition. Other colors, like red or green, may be acceptable for training sessions but are not allowed in official competitions.

Determining the Fit and Shape

When comparing competition gis and training gis, a significant difference between them is the fit, shape, and cut of the garment. Training gis usually have a more relaxed and roomy fit to accommodate the wide range of movements performed during training sessions. A comfortable fit ensures that the athlete can focus on learning techniques and improving without any restrictions.

On the other hand, competition gis have a more tailored fit to minimize an opponent’s ability to grab and manipulate the fabric during matches. The snug fit helps enhance agility, speed, and maneuverability while competing, providing an advantage in securing positions and executing techniques effectively. Additionally, competition gis offer specific cut variations to cater to diverse body types and help athletes to achieve a perfect fit.

Detailing and Personal Preference


Patches are a common way to customize BJJ Gis, showing off team affiliations, sponsorships, or a person’s unique style. When selecting a training or competition Gi, considering the positioning and quantity of patches is essential. Training Gis, which are used more frequently and are subject to daily wear and tear, can have more patches as durability is the primary concern. On the other hand, competition Gis should have fewer patches and follow specific competition guidelines, as they prioritize lightweight construction and adherence to regulations.


Embroidery allows practitioners to add a touch of personal flair to their Gis while also showing team support or honoring their lineage. In a training Gi, intricate embroidery designs are more common because they can withstand frequent use and washing. However, competition Gis should have minimal embroidery to keep the weight down and focus on performance. It is crucial to keep the organization’s rules in mind when choosing an embroidered competition Gi, as some competitions have specific restrictions on design placement, size, and content.

Cost Analysis: Training Gis vs. Competition Gis

Two men in a jiu jitsu gym having a discussion

Longevity of Gis

Comparing the costs of training and competition gis reveals notable differences. Training gis, designed for daily use, are made of durable materials to handle constant gripping, pulling, and stretching. This makes them last longer and often cheaper than competition gis, presenting a cost-effective choice for regular practitioners.

Conversely, competition gis cater to tournaments, using lighter materials for optimal performance. This might make them less durable, showing more wear during intense matches.

When assessing cost, consider both the initial price and the value in terms of durability and performance. Though training gis might be more affordable and durable, competition gis offer specific advantages in high-pressure events.

Understanding Gi Regulations

IBJJF Gi Regulations

The International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) has specific regulations for competition gis to ensure fairness and safety in events. Competitors must adhere to these regulations, which cover aspects such as material, color, size, and patch placement.

IBJJF allows white, blue, and black gis for competitions. The gi top and pants must be the same color, and the colors should be solid, without any mixtures or shading. Additionally, the gi should be clean and free of any strong odors.

For size, the gi must fit properly according to the athlete’s body, neither too tight nor too loose. The IBJJF has specific measurements for sleeves, pants, and collars, which ensures that the gi provides adequate coverage and prevents opponents from having unfair advantages in grips or submissions. If you need more information regarding how to measure yourself for a new gi, click here, if you need help reading Size Charts, we have a post just for you.

  • Sleeve length: When the athlete’s arms are extended in front, the distance from the cuff to the wrist must not be more than 5 cm.
  • Pants length: The distance from the bottom of the pants to the top of the athlete’s shoe must not be more than 5 cm.
  • Collar width: The collar must be between 1.3 cm and 5.0 cm in width.

Lastly, patch placement is regulated by the IBJJF. Competitors can have patches on specific areas of the gi, such as lapels, shoulders, and pant legs, but they should not exceed the allowed dimensions. Patches must be securely fastened and cannot impede functionality or pose safety risks to the athlete or opponent.

In summary, understanding and adhering to IBJJF regulations for competition gis is essential for competitors to participate in events without risking disqualification. This includes proper material, color, size, and patch placements. By following these regulations, athletes can compete in a fair and safe environment.


In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the gi an athlete chooses plays a pivotal role in shaping their performance and experience. From training to competition, the materials, design, fit, and regulations surrounding the gi impact its functionality. Training gis focus on durability and comfort, whereas competition gis emphasize weight, fit, and adherence to guidelines. As practitioners delve deeper into the art of BJJ, the understanding and selection of the appropriate gi become integral. Whether you’re training daily or stepping onto the competition floor, having the right gi, tailored to the specific needs and regulations, can be the difference between a good and a great performance.