Our Top 5 Recommended BJJ Gi for Kids:
Brazilian Ju Jitsu (BJJ) is a great martial art for conditioning. It can easily provide a lifetime of learning and developing. If you have a child, the earlier you get them into BJJ, the greater tha advantages for him or her.
To help encourage continuous training he or she will need a gi (or uniform) that is comfortable, durable, and looks good too!
First a little background
The word ‘gi’ is derived from the Japanese words ‘keikogi’ or ‘dogi’, which means “uniform for training”. So it is not surprising that ‘gi’ is worn for several different types of martial arts. However, they are not all the same.
There is a Karate gi, a Tae Kwon Do gi (also called a dobok), and a Judo gi. All come in two parts, a top and trousers with pull strings. Generally speaking, Judo gis are most similar to BJJ gis, although they are generally larger with wider sleeves than BJJ gis. This can be a disadvantage with BJJ. Karate gis are much lighter and not designed for rigorous grappling.
Most clubs are relaxed about the choice of style and color of gi that is worn for training. However, for a tournament your kid will likely need to wear a International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) approved uniform.
If your kid is a beginner it can sometimes be a little daunting trying to select the best gi to get started. Even if this is your second or third purchase for your kid there are a few considerations.
Attributes to Look for in a BJJ Gi for Kids
The source of the word ‘gi’ originates from Japan. The word essentially means official clothing for training. The word gi has spread to mean the uniform for several other martial arts especially those predominantly practiced in Asia.
Despite having the same name, the gis for different martial arts like Tae Kwondo or Judo have significant differences. The differences are typically manifest in the sleeves, collar, weight and length. Gis also change with improvements in technology which increases their differences.
Most clubs are not very strict about the color and style of gi used for training. However, to compete in a tournament gi must be approved by the International Brazilian Ju Jitsu Federation (IBJJF).
The following are attributes to look for in a BJJ gi for kids:
The cut and fit of a gi is a crucial part of enjoying wearing it to training and competition. If it fits right, your kid will be able to perform better when rolling on the mat.
A gi that is tight in the back, in the crotch or has short sleeves will not feel right. If he or she is wearing one that is too big then opponents will be more easily able to grab hold of it to take your kid down.
Most companies have their own slight variation in the cut design of their gis. This means that some will fit better than others depending on the size and shape of your kid. However, the nice thing about gis is that they do not have to be a perfect fit to be comfortable and competitive. So don’t feel you need to spend too much time worrying about this.
The design of a gi can influence one’s decision to buy it. The human eye is attracted to flamboyant and unique designs. Even kids are sensitive to this. But don’t be tempted to compromise functionality for looks.
Some people like their gis as plain as possible while others want them to be embellished. Obviously, embroidery gives one an opportunity to be quite creative.
The design of a gi for kids will matter because it should allow them freedom of movement without making it too easy for an opponent to grip them.
A BJJ gi is a piece of clothing that will take on a good amount of abuse. Therefore, if you want the gi to last you should get one that is durable.
The most durable of BJJ gis are cotton blend double weave gis. They are strong and a little heavier to withstand aggressive grappling.
There are light gis that are still very strong and durable but they are less common. A gi that weighs up to 300 grams would do well for a kid.
A gi that is not durable will need to be replaced sooner than you might like, which can cost you more money in the long run.
For a kid that is starting out in BJJ, comfort should be a priority when looking for a gi. The point at this stage is to encourage interest in the sport. An uncomfortable gi will not help.
Kids like a gi that feels comfortable when they are training especially when tumbling on a mat. A gi with a golden weave is made for comfort.
Comfort also means breathability. The more air that can be circulated through the gi, the more comfortable your kid will be. The more comfortable he or she is, the more likely they will continue training.
The weave of a BJJ is probably its most important attribute. On the other hand, different companies have different definitions for their different types of weaves that can sometimes be confusing. However, simply speaking there are standard weaves.
The most common types of weave are the single weave, double weave, gold weave, rip-stop weave and pearl weave. Some weaves are more expensive than others because of the quality durability and comfort.
We like double weave and occasionally gold weave, but it really does depend on the manufacture. It is perfectly fine to start with an affordable but decent quality weave to get started. Once your kid is joining in competitions and seems committed to the sport then you may want to think about paying a bit more for a higher-quality competition gi.
The price of a gis vary widely. Even well-known brands have varying pricing for their kids gis. However, you really do not need to spend a lot to get a decent training gi.
Some gis are exorbitantly priced because they are from big-name manufacturers. Look past the brand name and focus on quality and feedback from others. This is where we can help in our reviews below.
Our Top 5 Recommended BJJ Gi for Kids:
Jayefo is not a famous maker of martial arts gear but what they lack in reputation they make up for in great pricing. They are one of the lowest priced BJJ gis you will find out there. This particular gi is one of the lowest costs. However, we think the quality is adequate to make it good value for money.
The gi is constructed with a lightweight 450 GSM cotton that is made with fabric sewn in a soft pearl weave. A lighter material is easier for an opponent to grab hold, but it is more comfortable to wear and it does not get as hot to wear. This gi is IBJJF legal so it can be worn at competitions.
The Jayefo Kids BJJ GI is a good fit for kids. It is preshrunk which helps ensure a good fit that remains. It also comes with a high quality strap for beginners.
The gi itself is very light but has strong stitching in the points that usually tear. That will improve its durability. However, the light material will eventually wear out sooner than a heavier material.
Nevertheless, the gi has a two-year warranty so if it gets damaged in sparring, you can simply send it back to Jayefo for replacement. The price along with the warranty make this a really good value-for-money BJJ gi for kids. It also comes with a free white belt for beginners.
The Elite Sports Kids BJJ gi is IBJJF certified and can be worn for both training and tournaments.
It is made using 400 GSM cotton which is not as strong as some other gis on this list. However, it is reasonably sturdy and durable despite being very light.
The gi has reinforced stitching on the areas that are prone to tearing such as under the armpits and the sides of the jacket. The collar is also very stiff which makes it hard for opponents to grab onto.
Since it is a preshrunk gi, you are more likely to find a good fit for your kid. Most gis will shrink a little but these seem to do really well. Elite
This gi features anti-microbial and anti-odor treatments to help with infections and smells respectively.
For the price and quality, including being approved for competitions, this gi is good value for money.
The color choice is a big bonus: including black, blue, grey, white, military green, navy, and pink. Black, white and blue are the only competition colors.
This is a really good Gi for beginners or even kids that have been at it a while. First and foremost, it is made from unblended cotton using a pearl weave. It is lightweight and comfortable but it is also a strong material that is durable.
The collar is stiff enough to keep his or her opponent from easily gripping it.
The pearl weave aerates the gi which makes it breathable which is good in warm training classes. It is preshrunk which helps to get the sizing right, just keep washing it in cold water and be sure to hang dry it away from a source of direct heat. Vector has its own size chart that you need to use if purchasing this gi.
Whereas it is common for many gis to have double stitching for reinforcement of weak parts of the gi, this gi has quadruple stitching in these areas. This makes it more robust and durable without sacrificing comfort.
The trousers are pulled tight by a elastic rope drawstring that stretches. It is easier for kids to use, but we do not prefer of a simple drawstring.
The light Vector Sports Kids Brazilian Jiu Jitsu BJJ Gi comes in three colors: blue, black and white. This gi will cost a little more than some of the others, but it is still reasonably priced and you get more quality for your money.
This is a high quality kids BJJ gi made from a branded martial arts gear company. The standout feature of this gi is that it looks more stylish than other kids gi and it features minimal branding.
The gi’s jacket is made from cotton sown in their own unique weave. This gi is lighter but has a good sturdy feel about it.
This gi has been treated with anti-odor and anti-microbial materials. So this will help for a time to reduce how fast it will start to smell from repetitive training sessions and to reduce the chance of bacterial infection in the gym.
There is reinforced stitching on all seams. For a kid’s gi we think this one is pretty indestructible.
This gi is more expensive than other decent kids gis, but it is durable and looks good. It is a little surprising that it comes with an elastic waistband instead of a traditional drawstring. Saying that, elastic waistbands are much faster for kids to put on and take off. Just make sure the waistband has a reasonably snug fit.
Venum is a reputable martial arts equipment manufacturer. Their products are used by experts and amateurs alike across for many different martial arts.
The gi is made from 100% cotton in a pearl weave which is great for making a light but strong gi. It is also comfortable when training which helps to keep your young BJJ practitioner going.
The collar of the gi is particularly sturdy. It is reinforced with foam to make it more difficult for the opposition to grab it.
The trousers of the gi have multiple rows of reinforced seams around the crotch and ankles, and key parts of the jacket. This makes it really robust without being too heavy.
This is certainly one of the more expensive kids gis. Partly because of the brand but also because of the quality. It does not appear to be preshrunk, so allow for some shrinkage. You can minimise the shrinkage by always washing in cold water and hanging to dry away from any direct source of heat.
When selecting a BJJ gi as a kid, or for your kid, it helps to know what to look for. There are certain attributes and some may be more important to you than others. For example, the weave, material and price of the gi. However, we recommend sticking with gis that have reasonable quality such as those we have recommended.
The all around favorite Judo gi is the Vector Sports Kids BJJ Gi. Hands down the best value for money is the Jayefo Kids BJJ Gi. However, if you don’t mind spending just a little extra for a really good quality, premium, selection than go for the Venum Contender Kids BJJ Gi.