Choosing the Right BJJ Gi Color – Black or White?

Womens jiu jitsu gi

Choosing the Right BJJ Gi Color – Black or White?


When it comes to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) gis, one of the decisions that practitioners face is selecting the right color. The most common choices are black and white, each with its own merits and considerations. In this article, we will delve into the factors to consider when choosing between a black or white BJJ gi. By understanding these aspects, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your preferences and needs.

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Tradition and Respect

In BJJ, tradition and respect hold significant importance. The traditional color for gis is white, representing purity and the humble beginnings of the martial art. Many practitioners value the tradition and history associated with the white gi. It pays homage to the roots of BJJ and signifies a commitment to the core principles of the discipline.

Visibility and Recognition

Visibility is another crucial factor to consider when selecting a gi color. While white gis may seem more conspicuous on the mat, black gis provide a contrasting appearance. This contrast can make it easier for referees, training partners, and spectators to identify your movements during training or competitions. Some practitioners prefer the enhanced visibility that a Black gi offers, as it can help accentuate their techniques and make them stand out.

Temperature Considerations

Training in BJJ can be physically demanding, and temperature regulation plays a vital role in comfort. Dark colors, such as black, tend to absorb more heat from the sun or intense training sessions, potentially making you feel warmer. Conversely, white gis reflect more sunlight and can help keep you relatively cooler. If you train in hot climates or tend to overheat easily, a White gi might be a more suitable choice.

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Stain and Dirt Visibility

BJJ is an intense grappling martial art, often resulting in sweat, dirt, and occasional bloodstains. The visibility of stains and dirt on your gi can vary depending on its color. White gis tend to show stains more prominently, which may require extra effort to keep them clean and presentable. On the other hand, black gis are less likely to show stains and dirt, allowing for a more forgiving appearance. If you prefer a gi that hides the evidence of tough training sessions, black might be the color for you.

Personal Style and Preference

Personal style and preference play a significant role in choosing the right gi color. Some practitioners feel more comfortable and confident wearing a specific color that aligns with their personality or mindset. Whether you gravitate towards the simplicity and tradition of a white gi or prefer the sleekness and boldness of a black gi, selecting a color that resonates with you can enhance your overall experience on the mats.

Competitive Considerations

If you plan to participate in BJJ competitions, it’s important to consider the rules and regulations regarding gi colors. Some competitions may have restrictions or preferences regarding gi colors. Familiarize yourself with the guidelines of the governing body or organization to ensure compliance. Being aware of these rules can prevent any disqualifications or complications during tournaments.

Brand and Team Guidelines

Certain BJJ academies or teams have specific guidelines or requirements regarding gi colors. Before making a final decision, it’s important to check if your academy or team has any dress code regulations. Some teams may prefer their members to wear a particular color to maintain consistency and unity. Respecting your team’s guidelines is essential to fostering a cohesive and unified training environment.

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Maintenance and Durability

The maintenance and durability of your BJJ gi are crucial factors to consider. White gis may require more frequent cleaning due to their susceptibility to visible stains. On the other hand, black gis can potentially fade over time due to frequent washing. Consider the specific care instructions provided by the gi manufacturer to ensure that your chosen color maintains its vibrancy and durability.

Price and Availability

Lastly, price and availability can influence your decision. The cost of gis can vary depending on the brand, material, and color. In some cases, certain colors may be more readily available or offered at a different price point. Consider your budget and the availability of the color you prefer when making your final decision.


Choosing the right color for your BJJ gi is a personal decision that should take into account various factors. Whether you opt for the traditional and respectful white gi or the visually striking black gi, consider aspects such as tradition, visibility, temperature, stain visibility, personal style, team guidelines, competition rules, maintenance, durability, price, and availability. By weighing these factors, you can select a color that enhances your training experience, reflects your personality, and aligns with your goals on the mats. Remember, the most important aspect is to feel comfortable and confident in your chosen gi color, as it becomes an extension of your BJJ journey.


Q: Can I wear a colored gi instead of black or white? 

A: While black and white are the most common gi colors, some BJJ practitioners choose to wear gis in other colors. However, it’s essential to check if your academy or competition regulations permit colored gis, as some may have specific guidelines regarding acceptable colors.

Q: How often should I clean my white gi to keep it stain-free? 

A: To maintain a stain-free white gi, it’s recommended to wash it after each training session or competition. Promptly treating any stains or discoloration can help prevent them from setting in. Follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure proper cleaning and maintenance.

Q: Do black gis fade over time? 

A: Black gis may experience some fading over time, especially with frequent washing. To prolong the vibrancy of the color, it’s advisable to wash the gi inside out, use a gentle detergent, and avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight when drying.

Q: Are there any specific rules regarding gi colors in BJJ competitions? 

A: Different BJJ competitions may have their own rules and regulations regarding gi colors. It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the guidelines set by the governing body or organization hosting the competition to ensure compliance and avoid any issues during the event.

Q: Can the color of my gi affect my performance in BJJ? 

A: The color of your gi does not directly impact your performance in BJJ. However, some practitioners may feel more confident or motivated when wearing a certain color that resonates with them personally. Ultimately, it is your skills, technique, and mindset that play the most significant role in your performance on the mats.

Q: How do I choose the right size for my BJJ gi? 

A: Selecting the correct size for your BJJ gi is crucial for comfort and performance. Refer to the size charts provided by the gi manufacturer and take accurate measurements of your body to determine the appropriate size. It’s also helpful to consider any specific fit preferences you may have, such as a looser or more fitted gi.

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