Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Gi sizing is an imprecise science to say the least. Not only do you have to squeeze into a very narrowly designed range of sizes (A1 through A5), You also have to deal with inconsistent sizes from manufacturer to manufacturer, and even within the same run from the same manufacturer. Throw in shrinkage and buying a gi online can be a real gamble.

And what happens if your not a traditionally proportioned jiu-jitsu fighter? Maybe your arms are little long, your legs are little short, or your belly is a bit larger than it should be. The good news is that being aware of some characteristics of gis from the various manufacturers can get you a little closer to that elusive great fitting gi.

This article is far from exhaustive. With new manufacturers coming online every day it is almost impossible to have a complete list. But this covers some of the various gis that I've owned and trained in. I encourage you to add your own observations in the comment section especially if you have a favorite brand or knowledge of a brand that isn't covered in this article.

The Danny DeVito 
Everybody loves Danny DeVito, but trying to fit him into a gi used to be darn near impossible. But not anymore, Shoyoroll to the rescue. Shoyoroll recently released their competition 450 series gis including an H size. My friend ordered A2H hoping that would give them a little more room in the shoulders and the less length in the leg. He got more than asked for both in room and reduced length. If you are little shorter and rounder than most but still want a decent fitting gi check out the Shoyoroll H sizes.

The Arnold Schwarzenegger
Maybe you've been spending a little extra time in the gym getting pumped up, or you're a recovering American-style wrestler. Either way you are probably a little thicker in the frame, arms, and chest than the traditional jiu-jitsu sizing chart thinks you should be. Lucky for you, a few brands seem to fit more muscular stocky fighters better. Look towards Koral, Vulcan, or Ground Control as all these brands tend to be cut just a little more generous but without extra long legs or sleeves.

The Keanu Reeves
If you can pull off wearing an ankle length black trench coat à la the Matrix, then chances are you need a gi longer and slimmer than most. These gis tend toward longer arms and legs and less room in the shoulders, chest, and waist. Check out Keiko, Shoyoroll Slim, Lucky, and OTM.

The Woody Harrelson
Are you just an everyday average guy with normally proportioned arms, legs, and chest? Of all the people I train with I can only think of a few who are actually right in the middle. I mean who wears a medium anything anymore? For you I would recommend looking at Atama. Classic sizing and very tight tolerance from batch to batch, Atama fits regular guys perfectly.

Like I said before, there are plenty of brands and models that I didn't mention, I am only going from my personal experience so please chime in with your thoughts on gis and body types. If we get some good feedback I will revisit this topic in a later issue and publish an update for all those strange shaped people out there struggling to figure out how they can best fit into the A1-A5 gi sizing chart.

 - Richard Webber