What are the Jiu Jitsu Weight Classes?
If you have decided you wish to try your luck in a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament, you deserve a pat on the back for taking the initiative to give competition a try. For those wondering how the playing field is leveled out in these tournaments – both Gi and No Gi — the answer is divisions are broken down by experience and weight class. Most people have a clear understanding of how experience works. People enter tournaments based on their belt ranks. However, a few questions may arise regarding the Jiu Jitsu weight classes there are.
The primary sanctioning body for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the IBJJF. Since this is the premiere sanctioning body which promotes the two main championship events – The Pan Am Games and the Worlds Championships — it is worthwhile to list the jiu jitsu weight classes this organization officially uses for its events. You could consider the weight classes found in the IBJJF to be ballpark figures of what type of Jiu Jitsu weight classes to expect when you enter.
For Male Adults, Masters, and Seniors:
- Rooster 125.5
- Light Feather 141.0
- Featherweight 154.0
- Lightweight 167.5
- Middle 181.0
- Medium Heavy 194.5
- Heavyweight 207.5
- Super Heavy 221.0
- Ultra Heavy None
For Female Adults, Masters, and Seniors:
- Light Feather 118.0
- Featherweight 129.0
- Lightweight 141.0
- Middle 152.0
- Medium Heavy 163.0
There are also Jiu Jitsu weight classes for juvenile males and females. Obviously, the weight classes for juniors will be decidedly less than what would be the minimum in the adult divisions.
Once, these are the official weight classes of the IBJJF and they may not reflect the weight classes of other tournaments or sanctioning bodies. Frequently, the weight classes used by a tournament may also reflect the number of competitors the promoters of the tournament expect to draw. For example, if you see a tournament offering Jiu Jitsu weight classes of 140.0 – 149.9, 150.0 to 159.9, and 160.0 to 169.9 and so on, the odds are this is a tournament which will draw a lot of competitors. If the weight classes are 149.9 to 157.9 then it seems they are consolidating division due to a smaller expected turnout.
Interestingly, some tournaments will have you weigh in with the Gi and others will allow you to weigh in without it. This can make a huge difference as far as being able to make a weight class is concerned. The Gi can add anywhere from 4lbs to 12lbs depending upon the particular uniform you have purchased.
Pick the right Jiu Jitsu Class
Either way, you do want to sign up for the right weight class appropriate for your size and strength levels since this will increase your chances of victory and decrease your potential for losing. So, if you are overweight you need to take the proper time and effort to get into the best shape possible. Doing so will make your tournament experience a lot more fun.