Jiu-jitsu patches are a great way to customize your BJJ gi and express who you are.
If you want to sew on the patches yourself, I recommend the VelloStar Sewing Kit. It's inexpensive and has everything you need if you want to do it yourself. And if you're looking for cool jiu-jitsu patches, find my list here.
Or, if you're looking to have someone sow the patches on for you, I'll explain how you can get it done cheaply.
By the end of this post, you'll understand how to attach jiu-jitsu patches (so that they actually last), where to place them, and see my favorite patches.
Jiu-Jitsu Patches: Quick Links
Jiu-Jitsu Patches FAQ
Where do you put jiu-jitsu patches?
For placing jiu-jitsu patches, stick to the IBJFF placement rules.
- Upper arm
- Upper shoulders
- Lower back
- Next to lapels
- Upper leg (front and back)
- Lower leg (front and back)
- Side of legs
Basically, you can't have patches where your opponents can grip: your lapels, lower arms, knees, belt area, etc.
How do you attach patches to a jiu-jitsu gi?
There are three primary ways to attach patches to your gi: taking it to a tailor to do it for you, sewing it on yourself, or using a heat press.
The easiest, quickest, and cheapest way to attach a jiu-jitsu gi is by taking your gi and your patch to a local tailor. Ask them to sew the patch on with heavy-duty stitching. Explain that your gi will get grabbed and pulled on, and that the seams should be strong enough to deal with the force. This should only cost you a few dollars.
Or, if you have an industrial sewing machine (or know somebody that does), you can use that to speed up the process.
You can also use a heat press to press your patch on your gi. It requires the use of a heat press, but generally, you'll get a faster application. You can also heat press your embroidered patch for a smoother finish.
How do you remove patches on a jiu-jitsu gi?
The easiest way to remove patches on a jiu-jitsu gi is by using a seam ripper. It's a small, sharp tool that you can use to pick out the stitches that attach your patch. It's easy to do, and won't damage your gi.
If you don't want to do it yourself, you take your gi to a local tailor or seamstress. They'll remove the patch for you for a couple of dollars.
What is the proper etiquette for jiu-jitsu patches?
The proper etiquette for jiu-jitsu patches depends on your gym and your head coach.
Some gyms are traditional. No patches on a plain gi. Or, your association's patch only.
Other gyms don't care at all. Your gi is yours, and you can customize it in any way you'd like.
The best way to find out is to…
- A) Ask your coach about the policy for jiu-jitsu patches at your gym.
- B) Observe what others are doing when it comes to patches for their gis.
Either way, a good rule of thumb is this: don't make your gi cooler than your jiu-jitsu.
Cool Jiu-Jitsu Patches
Where To Get Custom Jiu-Jitsu Patches
In addition to buying premade patches, you can also design your own jiu-jitsu patches.
If you want to design your own patch, you can work with a graphic designer (or tattoo artist) to create your design. They'll provide you with the proper graphic files so that you can reach out to a jiu-jitsu patch maker to build your patch.
Embroidery services in your area might also have a custom patch service, so check with them as well.
You can also work with a patch maker on Etsy. Send them your design and they'll make you your patches.
Here are a few of the recommended patch makers from r/BJJ:
When it comes to custom patch quality, here are some things to keep in mind:
"Consider how your patch is being made as well as price and quantity necessary. Printing a patch is easy and cheap but not always the best option. The quality is not as good as say an embroidered patch. I don’t do custom one-offs, but all the patches I produce are embroidered and have an iron-on ready backing which you can heat @ 160c to bind to the Gi. Printed patches are also less color stable when washed over and over so I’d opt for embroidered as the thread generally holds its color and looks cooler. Suppliers are abundant so focus rather on quality and reliability of the seller and knowing exactly what you want so you don’t end up with a cheap printed patch (unless price is a priority)" - u/Weapons-GradeBjj
Jiu-Jitsu Patches: Conclusion
So there you have it — everything you need to know about jiu-jitsu patches.
What's your favorite jiu-jitsu patch? How have you customized your gi?
Leave a comment in the section below
Happy rolling. 🤙
BJJ Equipment, an assistant BJJ instructor at InFighting, and a BJJ blue belt. He's a passionate hobbyist and BJJ gear/equipment aficionado. He launched BJJ Equipment in 2022 to make it easy for grapplers to find the best BJJ gear so they look, feel, and perform at their best on the mats.