Everyone who has practiced Brazilian Jiu Jitsu must be aware of what a BJJ-Gi is. It’s a cotton uniform which you wear during your training. They are available in various colors of various brands, & of different qualities, however in the end it’s the uniform.
BJJ-Gi is more than 100 years old, mainly used by japanese people. It has evolved over time & minor changes were made in overall attire. It was designed for showing unity among practitioners who train Judo. It was designed by keeping the fact in mind that a BJJ uniform should be durable and sustainable enough that it would take constant pinning, throwing, & choking techniques. It’s founder was Jigoro Kano, he took his inspiration from kimono, & different Japanese garments for designing a gi. Originally Gi was crafted from off-unbleached white heavy cotton which would take all the abuse exposed to you during the training. Then the art of Judo began to expand to different areas of the world. And it reached Mitsuyo Maeda from brazil.
Mitsuyo Maeda would get different students enrolled who are from the infamous Gracie family. That family shifted the focus from standing grappling tricks to ground focused techniques. Likewise the combat art they modified the Gi. Before that Judo gi-jacket used to be baggier, it was particularly known for throwing the techniques & sleeve grabs, but then Jiu-Jitsu gi changed. Sleeves started becoming shorter & narrow, the skirt tended to get shorter & eventually the whole uniform got the tighter cut. Next time while you head towards training for hitting BJJ-gi gym bags, do a thinking blink about its history. Starting from Japan, then Brazil & then the whole world. BJJ-Gi is an important aspect of combat art.
Studying the Gi based Jiu-Jitsu
Being a BJJ practitioner you must be aware of BJJ-gi and no -Gi BJJ game. Plenty of proponents are based upon both of the systems. Both of the game types are technical and there’s no ground on which you can prove which one is better. A lot of techniques allow the transference of combat skills in both of the systems. By training in the Gi-jiu jitsu game, one develops the recognition & ability for properly using someone else’s clothing for bringing them down. It’s actually good equipment that helps with self-defense for dealing with real world scenarios & No-Gi proponents. However, no-Gi BJJ is more realistic from the self defense perspective.
A prime thing that you should know before wearing a BJJ-Gi is learning the difference between Jiu-Jitsu Gis & Gis rest of the martial arts. BJJ-Gis are way more durable as they have to undergo constant grabbing & pulling. Rest of the martial art Gis are made up of thinner Thinner materials they are more likely to get torn apart. Most people have the miss-conceptoin that different martial arts Gis can be used for BJJ. Even if the Material is durable enough different Gis are manufactured differently it’s a wise choice if you do not mix and use one in the place of another.
How to choose a BJJ-gi?
Weave of the Gi is it’s most significant attribute. Gi weave helps in determining the amount of material which has been used for sewing together. It determines BJJ-gi’s thickness, weight & durability.
Weight: Lightweight gis are very good when it comes to training in the hot surroundings.
Thickness: Thick-Gi are harder for the opponent to be grabbed with the stronger grip. The tighter the fist is closed the more control you will get over your opponent.
Durability: this is of course important for the life of your jiu jitsu gi – especially for training where you will be using it multiple times per week.Regarding single & double weave & gold weave there are some strong standardizations.
How to wear a BJJ-gi correctly?
Unlike most of the clothes that you buy directly from the rack, BJJ-Gis are sized specific uniforms that utilize a standard numbering system. These Gi sizes correspond to different height ranges. We will suggest even if you are 100% sure about your height, trying on your Gi and reviewing the size chart that the manufacturer provides is a good idea. Make sure you are confident that it fits you properly. The cuffs of shitabaki must come down not below your ankles, and the sleeves must fall short at your wrists. You can also go to a size for keeping yourself more relaxed and trying on a comfortable fit.
- Start by stepping into your pants & pull them to the level of your waist. Then pull drawstrings for cinching the waistband hanging against the waistline, tie the knot for securing your pants. Make sure the gi pants snug, but are not too tight. They are not supposed to fall in the middle of the fight. And also they should suffocate your waist. It will be too suffocating.
- Pull the top & cross to the left side. Then the next step in slipping into the Uwagi should be done in the same way as you would put up your ordinary button-up jacket or shirt. Once you are done putting it on, draw it’s right lapel crossing the body, then wrap the left lapel crossing the right, & use your one hand for pinning the upper lapel closer to the body till you are completely ready for tying the belt on.
- After that tie your BJJ belt at your front by wrapping it around your body. Make sure you place it’s center against the midline, below the navel area. Then pull both of the ends at your back. Cross both ends at the back, with it’s left side overcoming the right one, and before you bring it back on your front make sure you cross right end over left & guide it underneath the layered material on your waist. Then the loop ends emerging at the top of your belt surrounding the opposite end so that the knot can be completed. However there are many different ways of tying obi & practitioners use different approaches to do that. If you aren’t sure you are doing it correctly or not you can ask your instructor for help. If the belt has other design elements such as, colored stripes or school name embroidered over it, start it on the left side so it will end up coming on the ring one.
- After you are done, the adjustment of the uwagi will ensure that your Gi isn’t restricting your movement. Then take the hold of the belt by using the left hand & extending the right arm overhead straight up, after that consider leaning towards your left slightly. Doing this will help in creating the little slack in that material. Now that you have to let go of your belt & repeat the entire process at the left side. You should hold the belt by using your right hand & stretch your left arm while you are leaning towards your right.
- Making this simple adjustment will make sure that you are capable of performing an easy and full series of punches by staying in your complete range of motion and can easily execute other techniques. But be careful not to lean too much in either direction. Doing that can make you end up in a sloppy, bunched look, or can cause you to bottom hem. Then gently untuck your Gi material at your front & back by using your hands. Whatever you prefer. After that take a rest moment and make sure each section of the uniform is symmetrical, neat & properly tied before entering the fighting ring.