Best BJJ Gi Patches: Placement, Etiquette, Where to Find

The BJJ gi outfit differs from outfits in other martial arts like Aikido, Karate, and even Judo. Yes, fundamentally it is the same – they all have the gi. The difference make the BJJ gi patches. Let’s talk about them today.

But let’s start from the basics.

What is BJJ gi and what does gi mean in jiu jitsu?

The jiu jitsu uniform that consists of a jacket, belt, and pants is called gi. Very often in Japanese martial arts gi means only the jacket. It can be explained, as formally the jacket plays the main role by being involved in the fight the most.

The origin history of the gi goes to keikogi – “clothing for practicing” – developed by Judo founder Kani Jigoro in the 19th century.

Can you do BJJ without a gi?

There is also the BJJ no gi outfit in Brazilian jiu jitsu representing training and fighting in shorts and rash guard. You can’t put patches on the no gi, so we will talk here only about the gi uniform.

What are gi patches?

The same as with the military or other uniforms, patches are applications with the purpose of decoration, putch up, or identity. But compared to the military velcro marks you can’t use velcro patches on the gi for safety reasons.

BJJ patches can:

  • have different shapes, colors, and sizes
  • be sew on or iron on
  • be embroidered or printed
pics of sewn on brazilian jiu jitsu patches
Pics of sewn on Brazilian jiu jitsu patches. Left top – Drill to Kill back patch by Gi Store; Right top – Shoyoroll gi with patches

Best BJJ Gi Patches to find

We made a selection of the top-ranked and best BJJ gi patches chosen by customers on the internet. There is not a huge, but a quiet enough assortment of patches for Brazilian jiu jitsu specifically. And it pleases.

Firstly, we have to say, that some of these patches we know, because we are seeing them for a couple of years already on different marketplaces and online stores. And they have positive customer reviews.

Secondly, we are not only been BJJ practitioners but produce also cool jiu jitsu patches for years already. We have our own BJJ online store, so we know what is a BJJ patch from the athlete’s and manufacturer’s perspectives.

The 10 best jiu jitsu gi patches for your gi

The next part of patches for jiu jitsu gi are the best sellers from our Gi Store.

Let’s expand the BJJ gi patch ideas with this high-rated punk designs. With punk patch ideas one can create a unique custom BJJ gi for everyday jiu jitsu training and competition.

How can you tell if a patch is iron on?

If the backing of the patch is like a transparent rubber surface, then this is an iron on patch. This rubber surface is the adhesive that gets sticky by heating it.

The sew on patches don’t have an adhesive surface. Instead, the backing is covered by fabric material, usually polyester.

How can you tell if a patch is iron on
BJJ sew-on patches backing (left) and iron-on (right) patches for BJJ gi

How do you iron a patch on Jiu Jitsu gi?

We recommend sewing on the BJJ patches for gi as iron-on patches usually don’t stick for long on the martial arts uniform. Sewing on the patch guarantees you the patch will always stay in its place.

So, it’s not necessary to look for specifically iron on jiu jitsu patches.

How to sew a patch on the gi uniform?

It depends.

If you have an access to a sewing machine, you are lucky and it will look for you something like this:

But how do you sew on a martial arts patch without access to a sewing machine?

If you don’t have a sewing machine, you have to deal with it with your bare hands armed with a needle.

The process will be quite meditative.

Why do BJJ gis have patches?

There is no other martial art that has a gi with as many patches as the BJJ gi has. There are patches on jiu jitsu pants, shoulders, the front side of the gi, BJJ gi back patches, etc.

Judo gi vs BJJ gi

Judo gi vs BJJ gi
Gi in Brazilian jiu jitsu vs judo gi

The early history of the gi in martial arts, at least that we know, shows us blank fabrics and neutral colors.

Jigoro Kano judo founder
Judo master Kyuzo Mifune (left) and Judo founder Kano Jigoro (right) in white cotton judo gis. The photo was taken prior to 1938.

But what are the roots and meaning of the “patch culture” in BJJ?

Don’t expect to hear here a legendary story coming to us from centuries ago. The story behind is very vital and even pragmatic.

Every martial art style has its own historical way to go and at some point in BJJ history appeared patches because they were not forbidden. That’s all.

But we must admit, there is a place for some historical evidence about the patches in jiu jitsu.

Wallid Ismail vs Royce Gracie Match

It happened in the legendary fight between Wallid Ismail and Royce Gracie in 1998 when Ismail appeared in a densely patched-up gi with his sponsors’ marks. It is said, Ismail was the first pro BJJ fighter who wore so many BJJ gi patches at one time.

wallid ismail vs royce gracie
Wallid Ismail (left) and Royce Gracie (right)

Wallid Ismail made the start and other jiu jitsu athletes started to follow this idea.

Another example is about Enson Inoue gi.

Enson Inoue gi
Enson Inoue and his gi with patches
The types of jiu jitsu patches according their purpose:

- school or academy identity
- self-identity to express your mood or character
- sponsorship marking
- patch-up and reinforcement function

Jiu jitsu patches placement as a culture belongs definitely to the benefits of BJJ. Meanwhile, the usage of patches is strictly regulated in other grappling and martial arts styles, in Brazilian jiu jitsu the athletes have the freedom of expression and identity.

Even though, the placement etiquette and some sense of style should be followed.

Patches as academy identity

Examples of BJJ gi with team patches

gracie barra patches, renzo gracie patch, gracie jiu jitsu patches, alliance jiu jitsu patch
Gracie Barra patches, Renzo Gracie patch, Gracie jiu jitsu patches, Alliance jiu jitsu patch

Patches are here to save your gi

But in fact, patches can have also a very practical and useful patch-up function.

If your favorite BJJ kimono got “tired” and ripped, there can be a chance to save it by decorating the damaged place with a patch.

Can I put patches on my BJJ gi?

Yes, of course.

According to the BJJ belt ranking system, it is allowed for every belt rank to put patches on BJJ gi, no matter if you are a BJJ black belt or white belt beginner. But pay attention to where you put the patches on your jiu jitsu competition gi.

BJJ patches etiquette: IBJJF rules for BJJ gi patch placement

When we talk about the competitions, there is a BJJ patches etiquette regulated by their organizers, or simply official rules. This applies to all martial arts and fighting tournaments.

Where to put Brazilian jiu jitsu patches on the BJJ competition gi?

The uniform requirements and BJJ patch placement regulations of IBJJF can be found on the official website.

For instance, there is a BJJ gi colors etiquette that says:

“The following colors are permissible: white, royal blue or black.

Patches may only be affixed in authorized regions of the GI, as depicted in the IBJJF Rules Book. They should be of cotton fabric and properly seamed.

All patches unseamed or in unauthorized regions of the GI will be removed by the GI inspectors.”

IBJJF patch placement

IBJJF patch rules for competition BJJ gi
IBJJF patch rules for a competition BJJ gi

What is the best jiu jitsu gi to put patches on?

The best BJJ gi doesn’t need to be patched from the neck to the toes. And the BJJ athletes and competitors do not necessarily need to have a BJJ gi with patches. But they may have them, for instance, if they got a BJJ sponsorship for their tournaments.

But if a jiu jitsu practitioner decided to change his or her gi style, there are two main options to implement it:

  • to buy a BJJ gi with patches or embroidery that was designed by the gi brand
  • to get a relatively blank BJJ gi, with no patches, and sew on your own custom patches or like in the collection presented here above

Here are some well-known BJJ gi brands that have black gis in their assortment. We accomplish the list also with a cheap BJJ gi brand but affordable quality:


The Brazilian jiu jitsu gi patches will not help you to comprehend the best BJJ submissions or best jiu jitsu moves, but you definitely will enjoy your gi uniform during these events.

Check other BJJ news and articles about Brazilian jiu jitsu fighters and MMA athletes. For instance, Female Jiu Jitsu Black Belt Fights against White Belt.

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