DOES BJJ KIMONO HAVE ANY SPECIFICATIONS? CAN I USE KIMONO FROM JUDO OR KARATE?
Short answer: no!
Some get to the BJJ after training of other martial arts / sports, where they also wear a kimono, such as judo or karate. A common question then is whether they can use their actuall kimonos on BJJ. Probably no one will talk to you about it and no one will kick you out of the gym because of that, but using such a kimono for BJJ will not be a real deal. BJJ gi are designed by BJJ athletes for BJJ athletes at least from good manufacturers. Only those who practice (or teach) BJJ can understand all the details and help create a kimono suitable for grappling o "pulling". As well as a company that specializes in BJJ kimonos and has some history, he will have his kimono really fancy. That's just logic :-)
Kimonos for different martial arts are specific. Kimonos for BJJ are very strong - they have to be. Almost all the time, someone will hold you by the kimono, pull you or use its lapels to strangle you. Such a kimono must be tough. Not only must it not tear, but it must not deform or lose its shape in any way. This guarantees the material used and its knit, as well as the design, including the final processing - such as triple stitching, high weight, etc. That's why BJJ kimonos are good for ... BJJ! :-)
If you use a kimono from sports where there are no such demands, or where they need a completely different characteristic of the kimono (eg karate), sooner or later you will have a problem and someone will destroy your kimono (even if you inadvertently). Plus, you might feel like a idiot with such a thin cloth on you :-) When you see a kimono on karate and a good BJJ gi, you will understand it :-) Karate kimonos and Gis for similar martial arts are just too thin to use for BJJ.
If you want to use kimonos from judo, which are also tough (solid and rough), it will certainly be a better choice than the mentioned karate (otherwise nothing against karate, only there are other equipment requirements and now we are dealing with jiu-jitsu). Judo kimono Nobody will tear you apart with one movement. However, they have a different cut, which is not ideal for BJJ. They are looser and since BJJ is also about grappling, you could be slightly disadvantaged, especially with the sleeves. Catching a judo kimono is easier. The sleeves of the BJJ gi are narrower and the whole kimono has a tighter fit, for a worse grip by the opponent. Gi for BJJ is longer because it also chokes the tip of the kimono. For example, the collar is thicker and wider, as a defense against strangulation by the collar.
If you already have a judo kimono, you can start training BJJ with it, but if you are passionate about BJJ, you will still get a real BJJ kimono.
A specific case is larger competitions according to strict rules. E.g. The IBJJF rules also specify Gi and what such a "competition uniform" must have. It is therefore necessary to have a suitable BJJ kimono for events under these rules. But this applies more to semi-pro fighters and not to those who buy their first gi :-)
WHAT SIZE OF GI?
Short answer: use size table, or ask us!
The size designation is (almost) standardized for BJJ gi, but as with other clothing, there may be differences not only between the manufacturers, but also between the individual model lines. Of course, it's best to try a kimono, but if you're shopping online, a solid retailer should have a size chart to follow. If you are not exactly at the size border, thanks to the table you can determine the size of the kimono quickly and right.
To choose the right size according to the size table, you need to know your weight and height. According to that, you fit into size chart that will tell out the right size for you :-)
By the way, at FIGHTexpert.eu we not only advise you, but we also have a free size exchange, which means that if you don't hit the size, you have almost 30 days to think and if you decide on another size by then, we will send it to you for free, without postage, at our expense. More info.
Sizes are not marked with the recommended height, such as for karate kimonos (160cm, 170cm, ...), or ready-made sizes such as T-shirts or rashguards (M, L, ...), but have their own size markings - I'll explain this below.
GI SIZES FOR MEN / UNIVERSAL
Men's sizes are referred to as A0, A1, A2, A3, A4, A5 and A6. The larger the number behind the "A", the larger the size is. I haven't met a larger or smaller kimono. Men's sizes are to pretty universal, of course they can also be used by women. The "A" actually means (for) Adult.
Some manufacturers also have "between sizes", such as Tatami fightwear. For some of its kimonos, for example, the size is A2L, which "L" means "Long" and is for long ones, or for very slim figures at a given height. Likewise, the A2XL is not for fat people, as it might seem, but for even slimmer fighters :-) This sizes are great if you have "specific" body and normal sizes do not suit you completely. Not all kimonos are available in them, and many manufacturers do not deal with them at all. But of course it can be a big difference for someone to have a gi basically tailored.
GI SIZES FOR WOMEN
Women's sizes are referred to as F0, F1, F2, F3, F4 and maybe F5. Ladies vary in proportions, this should be taken into account in the cut of the kimono, which then does a lot.
For some kimonos, the aforementioned Tatami also has more gi cuts for women, so I recommend studying the available sizes and size charts.
GI SIZES FOR CHILDREN
It is a bit easier for children, the sizes of children's BJJ gi are referred to as M0000, M000, M00, M0, M1, M2, M3, M4 and their weight is not addressed, the size is determined only by the child's height.