The ultimate question for the jiu jitsu beginner embarking on his/her first gi buying journey: what is the best gi brand? Really, this blog is just for that person, because anyone who has been in jiu jitsu long enough will know that 1) there are many great gi brands all claiming to be the "best", and 2) "best" is really relative on someone's personal preferences.
If everyone had the same exact preferences, there'd be exactly one gi brand. But everyone is wonderfully, magically different... we're left with a ton of different gi brands. And so instead of writing about what I consider the best - because my preferences will likely be different from yours - here are a few awesome gi brands that we here at the Fighters Market warehouse really like:
You really can't go wrong with a Kingz gi. The brand has been around since 2011 and produces some of the best-constructed gis in the market. Owned and run by jiu jitsu practitioners, they have a vested interest in producing a gi that stands up to rigorous training. Kingz also offers a variety of different models - perfect for every preference and price range. For example, their ultralight weight Kingz Nano 2.0 Jiu Jitsu Gi and lightweight Kingz Balistico 3.0 Jiu Jitsu Gi are both ideal for the competitor worried about making weight on the competition scale. For those practitioners a little strapped for cash, their Kingz The One Jiu Jitsu Gi is probably the best - and sharpest-looking - basic gis that have come through the warehouse. Kingz also has offers kid's and women's cuts for most of their gi models!
Although Progress is relatively new to the jiu jitsu brand landscape, they've quickly made waves in the industry. Super streamlined with fresh, modern details, Progress made a big entrance onto the competition scene with their sponsorship of debut black belt superstar Kaynan Duarte. What they lack in variety (yet), they more than make up for in quality. Their standard kimono is the Progress M6 Kimono, which is now in it's fourth version, featuring the quote "Without struggle there is no progress". And while the price point is really quite reasonable, their basic model, Progress The Foundation Kimono, is the best bang for your buck you'll spend on a gi. They do offer a women's cut in a few of their models, but no kid's cuts as of yet. Stay tuned...
Aside from Kingz, Tatami is the other big name gi brand in the market today. Established in 2009 in South Wales, Tatami features one of the widest range of gi and no-gi products in the industry, with collections ranging from simple and streamlined, to wild and "way out there". Tatami definitely has every other gi brand beat when it comes to the number of gi models they offer, so there is plenty to choose from. By far their most popular gi model - particularly for competitors - is the Tatami Estilo Gi, now in its sixth edition, with a variety of different color schemes to choose from. Looking for something more lightweight? Their Tatami Zero G is one of the lightest in the market. If you like the fun and funky, Tatami also has a whole slew of more artsy, collectible gis, including the Tatami Japan Series Samurai Gi and the Tatami Gorilla Smash Gi.
If you're just starting BJJ, you might have to buy and try a bunch of different gis before you actually have a preference. There's no getting around that. And few gi brands have actual storefronts where you can go in and try a bunch of different gis on. If you can't get to the Fighters Market store in San Diego or visit the Fighters Market booth at a major IBJJF event, odds are you'll find a great gi from among these three awesome gi brands.
Train on... comfortably. Oss.