Now as I said buying BJJ and MMA gear has been a nightmare for me in the last five years or so. Living in Qatar has meant not really having access or even anyone who really knew what to look out for. The market for martial arts is extremely young out here. My first GI was given to me temporarily but I eventually had to buy one – I ended up buying a Judo GI !!!!!
To cut a long story short you need to understand what a GI for BJJ actually is. A GI is basically a Kimono which can be of varying thicknesses and strengths – a Karate Gi / Kimono / Suite is incredibly thin when compared to a Judo GI. The practical reasons for this are obvious a Judoka needs to have strong material to grab onto as part of the throw or pin while a Karate guy simply kicks / punches or does a lot of Kata and thus now pulling on the Kimono. ( Note I use the words Kimono, Gi interchangeably confusing I know ..).
Now a Judo GI and a GI for BJJ is different in the cut rather than the material itself although a GI for BJJ can come in various types of weaves – story for another post – so the GI for Judo is nice and baggy and easy to grab for the throws and pins while the GI for BJJ is cut so it is more hugging of the body and more difficult to get chokes and grips on. Again there are many variations but overall make sure you check the strength of the GI material it should easily hold your weight and secondly check the cut of the GI.
Now many instructors sell GIs which have the club badge on them – now without a doubt you need to have a GI from your instructor it shows commitment and loyalty but you may also wish to purchase another more branded possibly quality GI and add your club patches to it. You need and must have two GIs if you are serious in BJJ – one in the wash and one to wear and maybe a third to do pull ups with !!!