Is Your BJJ Gi Competition Legal?

Is Your BJJ Gi Competition Legal?

BJJ Gi Competition Legal

IBJJF Tournament MatchAt IBJJF competitions and most major tournaments, each competitor has to pass the test of the “gi-checker.” With a pair of calipers and measuring tape, the checker decides if a gi meets all the standards.

Failure to pass the gi checker can lead to disasterous situations. Competitors have to scramble to find another gi, or even worse, are forced to back out of the competition. I have witnessed several competitors get disqualifed from the tournament without a refund of the competition entry fee.

To prevent this from happening to you, here are some tips to help you pass the test.


Gis should be tailored using cotton or cotton-like fabric only. The fabric should not be so thick or hard as to impede an opponent from gripping it. For juvenile, adult, master and senior divisions, a gi fashioned from woven fabric is mandatory. It is permitted to wear Gis with EVA or similar material inside the collar, as long as the measurements of size and rigidity regulations provided in the IBJJF Rules Book are followed.

Gi Measurements (General)

The gi top should reach the athlete’s thigh and 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. Gi pants should reach no more than 5 cm above the tibial malleolus (ankle bone).The inspection will verify whether the following official measurements are met: gi lapel thickness (1.3 cm), width of gi collar (5 cm), opening of sleeve at full extension (7 cm).

Sleeve width

Begin by slipping four fingers inside your cuff while wearing your gi. Make sure that your fingers can slide in and out without much resistance. If the space is too tight, your gi may not pass the test.

Sleeve length

Begin by holding your arms out in front of you and measure how many finger widths between the end of your wrist bone and the sleeve tip. Four fingers should be enough to pass the test. More than four will not pass.

Patch placement

IBJJF Gi Patches Placement

Patches may only be affixed in authorized regions of the gi, as depicted in the illustrations above. Usually, as long as you follow the chart provided on this page you shouldn’t have an issue. But some gi checkers are stricter than others, so be prepared to part ways with a patch or several. All patches unseamed or in unauthorized regions of the gi will be removed by the gi inspectors.


Pants length must not be too short.


Lapel thickness must not be too thick.


Belt length must not be too short or long. Athletes should use a durable, 4 to 5 cm wide belt colored according to the athlete’s rank, with a black tip – except for black belts, where the tip should be white or red. The belt should be worn over the top, wrap around the waist twice, and be tied using a double knot tight enough to hold the gi top closed. Once tied in a double knot, each end of the belt should hang 20 to 30 cm in length.

Gi Color

For IBJJF, Gis must be white, royal blue or black. Gis where the tops and pants are of different colors are not permitted. A Gi where the collar is of a different color from the rest of the top is also not permitted.

Other Requirements

A shirt or rashguard under the gi top is prohibited for male competitors but allowed for women. Wearing pants or spats of any kind under gi pants is prohibited. Athletes must wear underwear or compression undergarments; The use of thong-type undergarments is not permitted, only briefs-type undergarments. Gis may not exhibit mending or tears, be wet or dirty or give off any unpleasant odors.