Sunday, May 19, 2024

IBJJF Gi Regulations Decoded

IBJJF Gi Regulations Decoded


What follows are the rules for the IBJJF in regards to kimonos.  Keep these in mind if you have read our reviews and are looking to purchase a new gi.  Unless you only want it for training, be sure to follow the guidelines.  If you've never been to an International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation tournament, you have never seen the gi checks they do.  The checks are serious and there is no need to be disqualified ahead of time.

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IBJJF Gi Regulations, in Human Talk

The last thing anyone wants to happen is being disqualified from a tournament. When you’re on the mat emotions and adrenaline can run high and effect your decision making abilities. Before the match even gets started however, there is no excuse to not have a Gi within the IBJJF Regulations. And although there is a lot of ambiguity in the rules and the referees seem to pick and choose all across the world, it’s extremely easy to go into a IBJJF tournament guaranteed to have a passing Gi.

Link to IBJJF Rules (PDF format):


White, royal blue or black.  Yes, IBJJF rules dropped the “Royal” from blue a few years back, and Navy was allowed. But since 2015, they've put the royal back in blue. No other colors are allowed. (Note: It still says Royal Blue for Black belts who are required to have two Gis)

The collar must match the rest of the Gi in color.

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Under the Gi

No undershirts or rashguards for the men, women are allowed “the use of a stretchy or elastic shirt that hugs the body beneath the GI”.


The skirt of the Gi must reach your thigh.

If you raise your arms out in front of you, your sleeves should be no more than 5cm from your wrist.

The bottom of the pant leg should be no more than 5cm from the round bulging bone at your ankle.

The Gi collar should be no more than 5cm WIDE and no more than 1.3cm THICK.

Your sleeve opening can be no less than 7cm long when it is fully extended.

Gi condition

“Gis may not exhibit mending or tears, be wet or dirty or emanate unpleasant odours.” Pretty clear for once.

Just note that you can bring another Gi if your Gi gets extremely sweaty and want to switch, but you MUST wear the Gi you wore for weigh ins/inspection for your first match and then have your other gi inspected prior to you wearing it.

Gi Material

Pearl, Crystal, Gold, Honeycomb, Single, double weaves are all legal, although according to the rule book, if your gi is too difficult to grab it CAN be disqualified, so you might want to shy away from a double just in case.

The IBJJF doesn’t know what their own rules are on Ripstop.

Last we heard, all ripstop pants are ok.

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Top wise only the thicker ripstop jackets (the ones that don’t feel like the thin pants) are allowed. HCK Ripstop Lite and Kingz 420 Ripstop are examples of Gi’s that would be legal. Unfortunately Kauai and Hayabusa’s ripstop Gi tops are a no go.

No hard metal/wood/whatever objects ANYWHERE on the Gi. Everything should be a cloth-like material.

Gi Checkers

IBJJF Gi Regulations Decoded - checking tools

This tool resembles a block of wood 3.5 cm x 2.5 cm x 15 cm with a slit cut in the middle and is used to measure the following:

  • The jacket lapel must be 5 cm wide.
  • There must be at least 7 cm of room from the bottom of the competitor's wrist to the bottom of the sleeve.
  • The jacket lapel must not be thicker than 1.3 cm.


Patches on the forearm part of your Gi are illegal.

Patches that are hard or stiff and impede your opponents ability to grip are also illegal. Because there’s no clear cut measurement for that, it’s all subjective.

The picture below suggests that all seam taping on the OUTSIDE of the sleeves and pants are illegal and I know people turned away by referees because of it. If your patches are in the red area of the Gi in the below picture, I definitely recommend moving them or removing them. Better safe than sorry right?

IBJJF Gi Regulations Decoded - patches

Final thought

When in doubt, go for the safer route! If you think you might have an issue with the Gi you are wearing wear another Gi! Or at least bring an extra!

Note: I ran this article through 2012 IBJJF Rio International Open Gold Medalist, IBJJF Referee and head instructor of Fairfax Jiu Jitsu David “Rock” Jacobs before publishing to verify accuracy.

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