While at first glance they may seem identical, both the judo gi and the BJJ gi have features that make them different from one another. In BJJ, we have two different types: Gi and No-Gi.
No-Gi, as its name suggests, is practiced without the use of a gi. In judo, you must wear a gi all the time.
So before we go into the details of what are the fundamental differences between judo and BJJ gis, let’s briefly explain what is a gi.
What is a Gi?
Gi is a uniform that is worn in both Judo and BJJ and includes a jacket, pants, and a belt. It covers most of the body, except for the hands and feet.
Looking from afar, these gis look similar to karate’s kimono, but both of them are much heavier and have multiple reinforced areas.
Biggest Differences Between Judo and BJJ Gis
Let’s now get into specific details and learn the differences between the two.
Fit & Size
The most obvious difference between the two is the fit. While BJJ gis tends to be more closely fitted to the body, judo gis have a looser fit.
That is most evident in the sleeves; sleeves on judo gis are looser and longer than the ones found on BJJ gis.
While the pants are the same length on both gis, the jacket on a judo gi is slightly longer.
Professional judo gis are also much heavier than professional BJJ gis since BJJ sees more ground action and demands a lighter uniform.
In judo, you will be dealing with throws much more, so thus it uses heavier jackets with very thick lapels which can withstand constant grabbing. A quality judo gi can last you at least 4-5 years.
The average BJJ gi is around 2kg, and a judo gi can weigh up to 4kg. This is because the judo gi has a greater number of layers and a more intricate weaving that makes it heavier than a BJJ gi.
The weave pattern in a gi determines its weight and durability. Judo gis only uses single and double weave, with the latter being heavier and used by advanced judo practitioners.
BJJ gis come in single and double weave patterns but also use gold and pearl weaves, which are much more popular.
Color & Style
Both the judo and the BJJ gis used in the competition must be white or blue, but the BJJ competitions also allow for the use of a black gi. IJF (International Judo Federation) does not permit the use of BJJ gis in judo competitions.
Some BJJ competitions also allow the use of judo gis if they fit the rules of the competition, but vice versa is not possible.
Now let’s talk about the style of these uniforms. Judo gi is a very simple and traditional-looking uniform. There is not much branding and use of logos, etc.
BJJ gis are a different story. While you see simple BJJ uniforms, in most cases they feature a lot of branding, logos on different parts of the gi, and two-tone colorways.