BJJ GI Size Guide – How to choose the correct Size BJJ GI.
Probably the most common questions we get asked are to do with GI sizing. The GI size chart can sometimes be a little confusing with both height and weight mentioned and with some people falling between various sizes and others being too tall and slim or too short and big to fit somewhere in the chart. These are just some of the problems people face when trying to pick the right size. Below we will show you how to choose the right size no matter what your build is.
BJJ GI Size System
BJJ GI Sizes are worked out a little bit different when compared to other martial arts GIs. BJJ GIs are usually labelled with either an “A” for adult males, “F” for adult females or “M” for both male and female children between the ages of 5-14 years old and the letter is then followed by a number usually between 0 and 4 (000-4 for kids GIs) whereas a karate or judo GI, for example, uses sizes comprised of just numbers like 5/180 or just 180.
It’s worth pointing out that you will get some cross over with all GI sizes so some teenagers could fit a lower end “A” size like an A0 or A1 and a small adult female could fit a bigger size kids “M” size like an M4 or a small adult male size like an A0-A2. Other than the slight difference in cut between a men’s and ladies Gi, the men’s A0 is similar in size to a ladies F2, a men’s A1 is similar to a ladies F3 and a men’s A2 is similar in size to a ladies F4.
Although the typical GI sizes range between A1-A4 for men’s GIs, F1-F4 for the ladies GIs and M0-M4 for the kid’s GIs there are some companies (us including) that have additional sizes including A0, A5, A6, “L” for men and M000 and M00 for the kids.
L or Long Sizes
Over the last few years, more and more companies have added “L” sizes to their adult GI “A” sizes. So, for example, an A2L size would have the weight dimensions of an A2 (up to 82kg), and the height of an A3 (up to 6ft 3). This would be ideal for someone who is too tall for an A2 and too slim for an A3. The L sizes are quite new and only a handful of companies currently use them, but I can see more and more companies rolling them out over the next few years.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu GI sizes versus traditional martial art sizes
When working out a size for someone with a traditional martial art suit it’s relatively simple. You find out their height and choose a size. That’s great right? Wrong! Although it has been sized correctly, rarely will you get a decent fit and the reason for this is that although it might fit in height not everyone will fill the gi in terms of weight and width so most of the time they look ill-fitting and baggy/loose. With Jiu-Jitsu GI sizing you work out the size with a mix of a person’s height and weight which should give you the best fit for that person. This works most of the time but there are exceptions to this which include people who are tall and skinny or are on the larger side. We will cover more on these 2 body types below.
How a typical BJJ GI size chart looks
|Size||Height Range||Weight Range|
|A0||5ft 4” – 5ft 7”||60 – 65kg|
|A1||5ft 7” – 5ft 9”||65 – 72kg|
|A1L||5ft 11” – 6ft||65 – 72kg|
|A2||5ft 8” – 6ft||72 – 82kg|
|A2L||5ft 11” – 6ft 2”||72 – 82kg|
|A3||6ft 1” – 6ft 3||82 – 95kg|
|A3L||6ft 3” – 6ft 4”||82 – 95kg|
|A4||6ft 1” – 6ft 4”||95 – 120kg|
Heights and weight ranges for all sizes
THE TYPICAL MEN’S “A” SIZES HAVE THE FOLLOWING RANGES:
- A0: heights of 5ft 4” – 5ft 7” and weight’s between 60-65kg
- A1: heights of 5ft 7” – 5ft 9” and weight’s between 65-72kg
- A1L: heights of 5ft 11” – 6ft and weight’s between 65-72kg
- A2: heights of 5ft 8” – 6ft and weight’s between 72-82kg
- A2L: heights of 5ft 11” – 6ft 2” and weight’s between 72-82kg
- A3: heights of 6ft 1” – 6ft 3” and weight’s between 82-95kg
- A3L: heights of 6ft 3” – 6ft 4” and weight’s between 82-95kg
- A4: heights of 6ft 1” – 6ft 4” and weight’s between 95-120kg
THE TYPICAL LADIES “F” SIZES HAVE THE FOLLOWING RANGES:
- F1: heights of 4ft 9” – 5ft and weights of 39kg and 45kg
- F2: heights of 5ft – 5ft 4” and weights of 45kg and 55kg
- F3: heights of 5ft 3” – 5ft 6” and weights of 52kg and 65kg
- F4: heights of 5ft 6” – 5ft 8” and weights of 64kg and 77kg
THE TYPICAL KIDS “M” SIZES HAVE THE FOLLOWING RANGES:
- M00: Heights of 100cm
- M00: Heights of 110cm
- M0: heights of 120cm
- M1: heights of 130cm
- M2: heights of 140cm
- M3: heights of 150cm
- M4: heights of 160cm
Using a GI size Chart
You might notice that with the size chart some of the weights and heights cross over between sizes. This is where the confusion starts when someone is trying to pick a size. For example, someone who is 5ft 9” but 72kg would fall between an A1 and A2. What size would you go for? In most cases, you are better of going with a size that will fit you better in the body even if it means the sleeves and trousers are slightly too short for you. This is because it will look and feel better on you when you are rolling in it. If you go for the height over the weight it might fit in the length but it would fit very baggy, which can look awful and also be a nightmare to train in because of the excess material and looseness of it to your body.
Please note this might not be the best choice when picking an IBJJF legal comp GI, more on this later.
Another thing to consider is the material or weave that the GI is made from. Some materials will hardly shrink after being washed whereas other materials will shrink loads! As a rule of thumb pearl weaves will shrink less than gold or single weave.
The reason this is important when choosing a size is that with a pearl weave you could choose the A1 with the above stats as the GI would hardly shrink whereas if you bought a gold weave you might be better going with an A2 and shrinking to fit. For more information on GI weaves see our article BJJ GI Weaves Explained.
Sizing for a Tall Skinny Guys
Tall skinny guys seem to find it hard when trying to get a decent fit from a GI. With their long limbs and slim body, they normally have a choice between having a GI that fits well in the body and has short sleeves and trouser or has the length right and has it too baggy in the body. If you can get an “L” size Problem solved, but if you cannot then you will need to make do with the best “A” size you can get. Our range of BJJ GI come in a range of L sizes from A1L – A3L so we’ve got you covered.
If you can’t get an “L” size you would be better off going with the size that fits you in the body over the fit with the weight for an everyday training GI but if you needed an IBJJF legal comp GI you would be better off sizing by the height as this would help you to pass all of their GI check rules even after washing and any shrinking.
Sizing for Big guys
Like tall skinny guys, big guys tend to find it hard to get a decent fit although they have the opposite problem to the skinny guys. They can normally get a GI to fit in the body, but the sleeves and trousers are normally too long. This is where they have the advantage. They should go for a size that fits well in the body and then shrink the GI so that it brings down the extra length. Like we mentioned above, some GIs shrink more than others so depending on how much the length needs to shrink it might be worth considering the type of weave when choosing your next GI. If you need any information on the best way to shrink to fit, check out this guide we did on Caring for your BJJ GI which has a section on shrinking a BJJ GI.
Tailored fit or comp fit GIs.
Some companies us included offer slim, tailored or comp fit GIs. All our GIs are slimmer fitting than most other brands as we feel this gives a better fit than some of the classic or original GI fits which can be baggier and ill-fitting. Our GIs are as slim as they can be in all areas including the sleeve and trouser cuffs but stay within the IBJJF GI rule limits. Our VLR GIs are our slimmest and are designed for tournament use. It’s worth pointing out that they will fit tighter to the body so if you have previously worn a standard fit GI and are now trying out a comp fit GI for the first time it can seem like it doesn’t fit or is too tight but this is how it is meant to fit. This gives the user every possible advantage when competing as it gives your opponent less to grab hold off or take a decent grip.
Sizing for an IBJJF comp legal GI
Getting a GI to pass the IBJJF GI check can be a minefield. If you haven’t read the
IBJJF GI Uniform rules it’s worth taking a look on their website and familiarising yourself with them.
When sizing for an IBJJF legal GI the main things to consider are the sleeve and trouser lengths, cuff widths and the jacket skirt length. There are other GI requirements for IBJJF tournaments but in this article, we will only be focusing on the ones that pertain to the sizing. They are:
- GI skirt requirements: Must sit lower than the gluteus muscles.
- Sleeve lengths: Less than 5cm or 2 inches from the wrist bone.
- Sleeve cuff width: 7cm or 2.75 inches or more.
- Trouser lengths: Less than 5cm or 2 inches from the ankle bone.
- Trouser cuff widths: 7cm or 2.75 inches or more.
The IBJJF use various tools to check your GI and are very strict on this so it’s worth checking before you go to the tournament if your GI fits you in a comp legal way or you could end up being DQ’d before you even step on the mat.
We hope that this article helps you when you are next trying to work out which size of BJJ GI to pick. The above is the best advice we can give someone when trying to choose the correct size without first knowing their height and weight. There will always be exceptions to the rules when it comes to sizing a GI correctly because it’s near impossible to size the entire population of all shapes and sizes into the small number of sizes available.
If you are in any doubt about the size, you can contact us on the following email, and we will be happy to help you choose the correct size: [email protected]
Some additional Frequently Asked Questions
What size BJJ GI Pants do I need?
Answer: When sizing your BJJ pants/trousers you would follow the above size chart the same way you would for a full GI. Your GI size and pant size are one and the same.
What BJJ GI size am I? / What size BJJ GI do I need?
Answer: Your BJJ GI size is the size that best matches both your height and weight. For most people, this will be straight forward but for those that it’s not, if you contact us with your height and weight, we will help you choose the best size for your GI.
Should I buy a size up from the recommended size when buying a BJJ gi?
Answer: The simple answer is no. You should choose the size that best matches your height and weight. People used to choose a size up as a lot of the older GIs used to shrink massively, which today, is not the case. The only reason that you would choose a size up nowadays is if you wanted to shrink a GI to fit, which in most cases would prove difficult seeing as most GIs are now made from pearl weave which hardly shrinks. If you want a GI to shrink, choose one made from a single or goldweave.
How do you know if your GI is too big?
Answer: The first thing I would say is to check the size chart and make sure your height and weight match the size your GI is on the size chart. After this, sizing is more of a personal thing. Some people prefer their GIs closer and tighter fitting to the body, short sleeves and trousers whereas others prefer a baggier fit with long sleeves and trousers. It’s finding the type of fit that’s right for you. I would say that if the GI feels good on you and you feel comfortable in it when rolling, then I would say you have the right size.
How long should BJJ Gi sleeves be?
Answer: The IBJJF say that the sleeves should come to no more than 5 cm from the athlete’s wrist when the arm is extended straight parallel to the ground but for a general fit the sleeves should sit somewhere between your wrist and halfway up your hand. If the sleeves are in this area, you are golden.