If you have decided to participate in a contact sport, that’s great. You have picked up a lifestyle that teaches discipline, self-awareness, self-defense, and how to maintain your fitness.
Now the first thing you might have stumbled upon is the weight classes. And there are so many of them. These numbers complicate things for good, and you might feel very disgruntled.
But don’t be because we are here to assist you with that. In this post, we are going to explain what these weight categories are and how you can fit in them based on various characteristics.
What’s BJJ and its different weight classes?
Here is a thing about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). It is a contact sport where you can bring down the opponents twice your size with ease if you have enough skills and technique. BJJ teaches you a lot about discipline and dedication to learning the art. It’s not just about self-defense, but it also tells you how to take down your opponent.
However, the first thing that you will have to deal with will be weight classes and age divisions. The weight classes here are very different if you compare them with other contact sports. For the newcomers, there is GI and No GI. And then there are master and adult categories for men. Separate categories are in place for women as well as juveniles.
Things can get pretty tricky here. You are so confused about choosing your category that you even forget in which category you are allowed to compete in. So weight class eligibility is a must, and this post is going to help you with that.
See also: Best Cheap BJJ GIs
GI or No GI
Before you start weighing yourself, you need to understand that there are two different types of BJJ competitions in which you can participate. One is GI, and the other is No GI. In a BJJ GI competition, you will be fighting in the uniform.
You will wear this uniform when you weigh-in, and you will only get a single shot at it. If you don’t make it to your weight class that you are straight away disqualified, and there are no second chances or refunds. And of course, you cannot change your division either.
The other category is No GI, which doesn’t require you to wear any uniform for the weigh-in. But besides that, every other rule is applicable here.
See also: Best Rashguards for MMA and BJJ
Adults and Masters IBJJF Weight Classes
Below you will find the weight class for the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation. These classes are accurate for the year 2019-2021. Find Male, female, and juvenile weight divisions below.
|Weight||Male Adult||Female Adult|
|GI||No GI||GI||No GI|
|Rooster||127.5 lbs||123.5 lbs||107 lbs||103 lbs|
|Feather +||154 lbs||150 lbs||135 lbs||131 lbs|
|Light Middle||181 lbs||177 lbs||165 lbs||161 lbs|
|Light Heavy||207.5 lbs||203.5 lbs||> 180 lbs||> 161 lbs|
|Heavy +||> 207.5 lbs||> 203.5 lbs||–||–|
Adult & Masters Weight Classes (Males)
Nine different weight classes are there for males who are looking to take part in adult or master weight class divisions.
- Rooster weight class is below 126.5 lbs.
- Light feather is less than 141 lbs.
- Feather is less than 154 lbs.
- Middle is less than 181 lbs.
- Medium Heavy is less than 194.5 lbs.
- Heavy is under 207.5 lbs.
- Super Heavy is less than 221 lbs.
- Ultra Heavy is over 221 lbs without any upper limit.
- Open class in which you can compete with any fighter over Middleweight.
Adult & Masters Weight Classes (Females)
There are only six weight classes for women, and these are,
- Light feather is less than 118 lbs.
- Featherweight is less than 128 lbs.
- Lightweight is under 141 lbs.
- Middleweight is less than 152 lbs.
- Medium Heavy is less than 163 lbs.
- Anything over 163 lbs falls in the Heavyweight class.
Juvenile Weight Classes
The following table is going to list down the numbers for the juvenile weight classes in IBJJF tournaments. And they are subject to change after the year 2021.
|Weight Class||Adult/Master (Male)||Juvenile (Male)||Adult/Master (Female)||Juvenile (Female)|
|Rooster||127 lbs||118 lbs||107 lbs||98 lbs|
|Lightweight||141.5 lbs||129 bs||118 lbs||106.5 lbs|
|Feather||154.5 lbs||141.5 lbs||129 lbs||116 lbs|
|Light||168 lbs||152.5 lbs||141.5 lbs||125 lbs|
|Middle||181.5 lbs||163.5 lbs||152.5 lbs||133.5 lbs|
|Medium Heavy||195 lbs||175 lbs||163.5 lbs||143.5 lbs|
|Heavy||208 lbs||186 lbs||175 lbs||152 lbs|
|Super Heavy||222 lbs||197 lbs||No max||No max|
Juvenile Weight Classes (Boys)
In Juvenile weight class for boys, there are again nine different weight classes, just like in the category of adults or masters. However, this category has reduced weight limits.
- Rooster is less than 118 lbs.
- Light feather is less than 129 lbs.
- Feather is less than 141 lbs.
- Middle is less than 152 lbs.
- Medium Heavy is less than 174.5 lbs.
- Heavy is under 185.5 lbs.
- Super Heavy is less than 196 lbs.
The individuals who are Middleweight or above can also opt for competition in Open division.
Juvenile Weight Classes (Girls)
There are six different weight categories here as well as in the case of adults and masters for females. However, these also have reduced weight limits.
- Light feather is less than 106.5 lbs.
- Feather is less than 116 lbs.
- Light is under 125 lbs.
- Middle is less than 133.5 lbs.
- Medium Heavy is less than 144 lbs.
- And there are no upper limits for the Heavyweight category with anything over 144 lbs.
Choosing the Weight Class – Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu uniform weigh?
Of course, the weight classes are separated by including GI (uniform) or not. Therefore the question that comes to mind is what the weight of this BJJ GI is. The answer is something that you must know if you are serious about competing in IBJJF competitions.
Most of these BJJ uniforms weigh around 4 to 5 pounds. The best uniforms in terms of quality and everything else will weigh around 4 pounds. It is because they are built for training as well as competition.
Which competition should I prefer: GI or No GI?
If you are a fresher than you need to train in both the competitions, you shouldn’t limit yourself to one type of competition. It is important that you gain as much experience in this sport as possible. But if you are looking to go for the top IBJJF competitions, then it is better for you to train with your GI. And the reason is that the top guys in this sport only prefer to compete in their uniform.
Should I reduce weight to get into a lower category?
Most of the beginners and some top professionals come across this question. Will reducing weight allow you to beat your opponents and prevail in that category! Well, the simple answer to this question is yes, it will. Lighter weight categories are less challenging, and there is nothing ambiguous about it.
But you must think about the fact that when reducing weight, would you be able to maintain your stamina and strength? Losing weight might weaken you, and you might end up not being able to compete. The matter is to cut enough weight to dominate the lower weight class. But don’t cut too much weight, or you will be sidelined due to your physical condition.
What food or drink should I go for before my bout?
Make sure that you go for clean food and you can use water as well as other sports drinks in this regard. Don’t drink anything caffeinated or too sugary. Focus on complex carbs because they are slow to digest, and they can provide you with long-lasting energy.
So you can nibble on these throughout the day but don’t over-eat them. Simple carbs can break down quickly, and they are good for quick energy bursts. Fats and proteins are great for long-lasting energy.
When taking supplements, only focus on the ones that your body likes. Don’t over an experiment on the day of your bout and time you supplement consumption. If you think that you’re going to be on the mat in the next 20 minutes and consume your supplement. But in reality, your turn comes in after an hour, then that support it’ll consume that energy in you.
If you are serious about competing in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, then there are some precursors you have to deal with. One is GI, and the other is No GI. GI BJJ competitions have uniforms while No GI BJJ bouts don’t involve any uniforms.
But if you are looking to reach new heights in this combat sport, then you need to choose GI and train in these competitions.
Some people come across an idea to reduce their weight and dominate the lighter weight category, and you can do so the one you’re skilled enough in your art.
Heavier weight categories are more challenging, and cutting your weight for domination is a smart move. But don’t overdo it, or you will be disqualified from competing in your category.