07.02.2023 |

BJJ Blue Belt Tips

My thoughts as a BJJ bluebelt.

I named this post “tips” just to get more SEO juice. These are my observations as a BJJ blue belt to document the way I think of some fundamental things.

Protect yourself (and your partner) at all times

As long the fight is on, you are (also) responsible for your safety. People (especially beginners) tend to forget that. If you are in doubt of your safety then you can always stop the roll. If you are not sure that your arm or knee bends that way or if your neck can stand the pressure from that angle – just STOP the roll and take the time to investigate. Stopping the roll is always an option whenever you feel uncomfortable.

I would like to believe that my partner is also taking care of my safety (Wim Deputter) but I don’t always count on that.

Some people want to win, some people want to play

Some people want to win at all costs. Some people want to play sports.

It is healthier in the long term to be the one who wants to play. If some people want to win, let them win. Don’t reflect the violence because it doubles the violence. If I get an overly aggressive partner then I will simply stay calm and play an overly defensive game – for example, move between the turtle and running man the whole round.

Keeping it playful

If you are scared of losing then throw the first round the most embarrasing way possible with one asterix for newer and/or smaller practitioners – make sure you are safe.

Positional sparring

Craig Jones and Kit Dale on positional sparring.


I don’t know what is the reason behind it but in training environment people like to give advice outside their scope. Recovery, excercising, nutrition, supplements, medical interventions, financial, life coaching etc. Very often the advice in not of high quality. So it is not wise to implement everything immediately.

Honor in jiu-jitsu

If you win because your partner does not know what to do – is there really (an honour in that) win? (by Priit)

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18.12.2022 |

BJJ Belt Size – How To Get It Right

I got my first white belt with my first gi. The belt was a good fit (I guess) and I did not pay much attention to the length of it. The gi was Tatami (size A2) so probably the belt was also A2.

See also: BJJ Gi Size – how to get it right.
Kingz belts. Photo: Facebook

I got another white belt with Ippon gi, A2 again. As our BTT gis come without belts then I left it on the hanger in the gym so that someone else could use it. And, it found its new owner quickly. The third one I got with Progress Academy gi, A1L this time.

Continue reading “BJJ Belt Size – How To Get It Right”

05.05.2022 |

BJJ Gi Size – How to Get It Right

TL;DR: Seriously, look at the gi size chart and don’t buy a gi heavier than 400 gsm (unless you need it for IBJJF competitions from 2024 Worlds). If you are in doubt then ask the producer. If you are looking for best deals, then check this post.

Don’t worry, for several reasons you will get it probably wrong the first time. And luckily – it does not matter. It will look stupid if your gi is too large but nobody will care.

I probably think about it way too much but gi sizing is so stupid.

My personal experience

I am 68-70 kg, 178 cm. When I look at size charts then most of the times I am between(!) 2 sizes. From my experience so far:

  • Tatami Absolute Nova A2 is very baggy, pants are like a balloon but otherwise OK, comes with a free belt;
  • Progress Academy A1L is too short, pants are super short (10 cm shorter than Scramble A1L) , even though their size chart says it should be OK, comes with a free belt (which was also too short for me). I would like Progress Academy gi to be the right size because it is very compact and otherwise nice gi and I see many high level athletes wearing it on social media;
  • Ippon Gear Rookie A2 is OK – lightweight, compact, good fit despide being basically an unknown brand, comes with a free belt;
  • Scramble Standard Issue A1L is and I like it very much but as it is 450 gsm then it is heavy, hard to pack and hard to wash.

Gi size system

A – adult
F- female
Number, for example A2 – a size bracket, different for every producer
C, for example A2C – adult, size bracket 2, curvy
L, for example A3L – adult, size bracket 3, long

For example A2 can mean adult sized 77-87 kg, 170-178 cm (for Tatami brand).

Every gi producer size is different

If you look at size charts of different producers then you find that for every producer the sizing is slightly different.

In addition to that gi cuts are also different. Some are baggy, some are slim fit.

Look at the size chart, please

Please look at size charts before buying a gi. Tatami and Manto (next to every gi) provide very nice detailed size charts. Progress as well.

Size charts allow tolerance which means their accuracy is around 2 cm.

It will shrink

If you wash your gi for the first time then it will probably slightly shrink. Gis usually have a natural shrinkage rate of about 3-6% after washing with warm water. This means that sleeves and trousers will become shorter.

It is advisable to wash your gi before the first use because otherwise it will leave rubble(?) on your partner (and your body).

Weight of the fabric

Weight of the fabric is usually show in gsm (grams per square meter). Lighter fabrics are usually around 350 gsm, thicker fabric is 550 gsm (Tatami Estilo).

If you like compact lightweight gi then look smaller gsm ( less than 400 gsm). If your gi is heavier than 400 gsm then it may be inconvenient to put it into washing machine.

300 gsm – Tatami Elements Superlite
350 gsm – Venum Power 2.0 Light, Scramble Athlite 6, Manto Rise, Ippon Gear Rookie, Hyperfly Hyperlite 2.5, Manto Rise Gi
375 gsm – Progress Academy Gi

IBJJF Uniform Guidelines require gi jacket heavier than 380 gsm (starting from 2024 Worlds). So below are some that are in line with IBJJF Uniform Guidelines:

400 gsm – Progress Featherlight Lightweight Competition Gi, Manto Base 2.0
420 gms – Kingz Ultralight 2.0
450 gsm – Scramble Standard Issue, Manto X4, Progress M6 Mark 5
550 gsm – Tatami Estilo

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