This article is to answer the question: does the colour of your Gi matter in BJJ?

When it comes to buying a Gi, there’s lots of choices available.  There’s no longer just white and blue…

…but black, grey, green, pink, orange, and even camouflage.

I’ll provide a bit more context later, but first:

Does the colour of your Gi matter in BJJ?

Yes. For everyday training some clubs don’t mind what colour Gi you wear, while others have restrictions on what colours (and when). If you plan on competing, IBJJF rules are that the Gi should be completely white, royal blue or black.

BJJ Clubs White Gi Only

On a personal note:

As I write this I’m eagerly awaiting the delivery of a new plain white Gi with no patches…

…because last week I missed out on a drop-in visit at a club for this reason:

Some clubs have a policy about Gi colours

Before you buy a new Gi, it’s worth thinking about where you’re going to use it. This is especially the case if:

  1. You’re going to be using it when visiting other BJJ schools, or
  2. It’s your first Gi and you don’t know your club’s rules yet

Most clubs I’ve trained at have had no problems with wearing a Gi of any colour. But some rules you might come across include:

  • White Gi only
  • White Gi only until you’re a Blue Belt
  • White or blue Gi only
  • White, blue or black Gi only
  • White Gi only for seminars, gradings, or visiting an affiliate gym

Also:

Your club’s patches may not be welcome when visiting other clubs….

…so that’s why having a plain white Gi with no patches is a safe bet.

So that’s it for training. What about if you plan on competing in the future?

You can only wear a white, royal blue, or black Gi in competition

If you buy a Gi that’s a different color (or more elaborate in design) you might only be able to wear it for training because the IBJJF’s rules are:

The Gi should be completely white, royal blue or black. No Gi’s will be accepted with different colored jackets or pants nor will we allow the use of Gis with different colored collars.

[This is IBJJF rules: other competition organisers might be a bit more casual]

BJJ Gi Colour for IBJJF Competition

Also:

In the adult black belt divisions (mens and women’s), the event’s organizers may demand that athletes have two gis of different colors (one royal blue and the other white), in order to distinguish between the two athletes in a match.

In summary: the colour of your Gi matters (but not all the time)

Some clubs have a policy about Gi colours.

You can only wear a white, royal blue, or black Gi in competition

If you’re about to start BJJ then white is a safe bet… until you find out what’s the norm at the club.

But if you’re planning on visiting another BJJ school then the safest bet is to just travel with a white Gi with no patches

If you’re after a Gi for training only, check out the Sanabul Essentials v2 Gi


But if you’re planning on competing, then the Elite Sports Gi


Want to see a comparison?

Read: Sanabul vs Elite Gi: The Best BJJ Gi for the Money [2019]