How Should a BJJ Gi Fit
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has been around for over a century now, as the combat sport has developed a cult like following. The evolution of BJJ has inspired a new generation of innovative thinkers, as the art is moving into bold new territory. Nowadays there are multiple avenues for athletes to become world class competitors, like the ADCC, Who's Number One, and the IBJJF platforms. Even though the rise of the international No Gi scene has become quite significant, the age old tradition of Gi Jiu Jitsu has always been a highly prolific discipline within the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The Gi is widely known for its grip fighting, as students of the art will firstly learn how to wear a bjj gi. Once a student has become familiar with how Gi fighting operates, students will forge a pathway towards becoming highly proficient, and successful within the technical aspects of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
What this article covers:
- What Students Should Expect from a BJJ Academy
- How to Wear a Gi with Honour
- Maximising the Tools Within a Gi
- Understanding the Different Gi Cuts
- The Top Three Most Popular Gi's of 2022
WHAT STUDENTS SHOULD EXPECT FROM A BJJ ACADEMY
Walking into a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academy can be extremely daunting for new students, and the hardest part is actually making the decision to walk through the door. Once a prospective student makes the call and finds themself signing a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu waiver form, they know their journey is about to begin. Students can expect a number of different aspects, with the most important one being respect. A BJJ academy is a place where all students will feel safe, and are treated as equals. Respect is huge in a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academy, and students can expect nothing less. BJJ academies are also highly integral, as all members, especially the coaching staff are there to help develop all students into becoming great fighters, and even greater people. Starting Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for the very first time can be quite embarrassing for a new student, as they will be unfit, uncoordinated, and may struggle to grasp even the most basic concepts of BJJ. One thing that is for sure, instructors and training partners are there to help, as each one of them started in the same position as a new student, before building their way up to becoming highly adapted to the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Training for the first time, students may not know what is acceptable to wear in a class. Unless a student has already researched what bjj attire to wear, they are basically walking in blind. What a student can expect is that all academies have loan Gi's that students can borrow, and even if they are not sure of how to wear them, an instructor is very forthcoming in showing a student how to wear the Gi, and how to tie a belt. The Gi should always fit nice and tight, because if it is too loose then it becomes easy for an opponent to secure strong grips. The Gi jacket is secured by pulling the left side over the right side, and then the belt is tied around the waist to hold everything in place. BJJ academies are extremely nurturing, and all members are there to help those new students through the initial process, as it can be quite difficult for beginners at the start.
In terms of exercise students can expect an extremely demanding, and rigorous training process. BJJ is a dynamic Martial Art that incorporates systematic movements, and most of them done at a fast pace. The art has a high percentage of impact, as many of the movements involve takedowns, pressure, and fast transitions. New students will wonder should you wear a cup for bjj, and in the beginning some might, and this is due to the fear of injury, but after a while they realise it's not necessary. BJJ academies will offer students a chance to get fit, increase their strength, improve their flexibility, all while learning extremely valuable strategic skills in defense, and offense. Students can expect to practise movements they may have never seen before, and all of these movement drills directly relate to specific movements that a student will need to execute within the art.
HOW TO WEAR A GI WITH HONOUR
Wearing a Gi is a traditional part of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and students that suit up wearing a Gi must wear it with honour. The Gi dates back centuries to when the Samurai were heavily entrenched in battle during the wars in feudal Japan. Nowadays athletes put on the Gi like a suit of armour, as they embody the spirit of the warrior. Students may wonder about the jiu jitsu gi colour meaning, as IBJJF competition only allows traditional colours like white, black, and royal blue. Wearing a traditional Gi colour just adds more significance to the honour that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu bestows on its students. BJJ is all about respect, and honour, as most students that understand the tradition will bow at their opponents before every competition match. Many higher level students will also bow at the mats, this is a sign of respect towards the art of Jiu Jitsu, and even though it is not mandatory, the honour, and respect that it represents is highly traditional, and inspiring.
MAXIMISING THE TOOLS WITHIN A GI
Understanding how to wear a Gi is one aspect of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, the other is utilising the advantages the Gi offers. Students should invest in how much does a bjj gi weigh, so they can use the advantages of either a lightweight, or a thicker, and more durable Gi. There are many aspects of a Gi that can be extremely deadly towards an opponent, and students will learn how to maximise many of these weapons. Using Gi grips is a great way to stifle an opponent, or set up transitional movements. There are many different grips like pistol grips, pocket grips, four fingers in the collar grips, one thumb in the collar grips, pant grips, and lapel grips. Understanding how to use these kinds of grips are crucial to the make up of offensive BJJ, but are even more important for knowing how to break these grips.
Every Gi has a lapel, which is an extremely hardened collar that spans from the bottom corner of the Gi up around the neck, and back down to the opposite corner of the jacket. The lapel can be an extremely dangerous weapon, as it is used to wrap around the neck, or limbs of an opponent in an attempt to sweep, or submit them. Students can also use their own lapel in the same manner by wrapping it around their opponent's neck, and using it like a rope to choke their opponent. Using Gi grips, and lapel wraps are a great way to control an opponent, and practitioners will commonly use this method from passing the guard on their way through to various control positions. Utilising lapel wraps are great for submissions, but they can also be an important weapon in setting an opponent up for a series of different sweeping options. Another important tip for using Gi grips is in the stand up game, as BJJ uses a lot of similar Judo throws like the seoi nagi, the uchi mata, the osoto gari and the ashi guruma. There are also different grips that are incorporated into wrestling style takedowns like the ankle pick, variations of the single leg takedown, and collar drags.
UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENT GI CUTS
In the modern era of grappling Gi manufacturers have outstanding technology that is incorporated into their apparel. There are different styles of Gi's that range from really lightweight, to the more high end, and durable options. Single weave Gi's are the most affordable option, especially for beginners, as the weave is extremely lightweight, making it really cost effective. The downside to the single weave is that these Gi's are usually easy to stretch, or rip. The double weave is a much stronger weave, meaning the Gi is extremely durable. The thicker style of Gi is used by higher level athletes, as it can be harder for their opponents to secure grips on a more durable Gi. The downside to a double weave Gi is that it can be a much heavier Gi compared to a lightweight single weave. The double weave is also more expensive due to the extra cotton that is weaved throughout the garment. Gi manufacturers use a measurement called GSM, which stands for grams per square metre, this is a good indicator for athletes to know which Gi they should be searching for.
The pearl weave is a more common weave seen these days in many different types of Gi's. The pearl weave combines elements of the single, and the double weave Gi, which makes the pearl weave extremely durable, while still offering the comfort of a lightweight option. There are other weaves like the gold weave, the pearl plus weave, the aero weave, and the ripstop weave that also offer comfortable, and lightweight Gi's. These types of weaves are all extremely durable, with reinforced stitching, and greater air flow through the fabric. There are also added features like antimicrobial, and antifungal tested Gi's, which enable a resistance to the build up of bacteria that can grow. These Gi's are extremely breathable, which makes them more comfortable in the hotter months, or a more humid climate. With all the added technology built into Gi apparel these days, practitioners have their work cut out just choosing the right option.
THE TOP THREE MOST POPULAR GI'S OF 2022
Senso are a popular Gi manufacturer that has brought out one of this years most exciting Gi's. The Senso Yuki Gi is rated as the third best Gi in 2022, and is made from 100% cotton pearl weave, with a lightweight 450 GSM. The slim fit jacket also includes coolmax technology in the fabric lining for a cooler, and more comfortable fit. The collar is also ahead of its time, as it is made from EVA foam, which is considerably harder to grip. The pants are made from 10 oz ripstop fabric, which is extremely durable. The pants also have reinforced stitching embedded into the knee pads, so the grind of BJJ won't wear the knees out. There is also taping bound around the cuffs of the pant legs, giving the Gi a stronger, more durable consistency. There is also an elastic rope drawstring that will make tying up these pants an easy feat. The material of the Yuki is made with an extremely soft, and comfortable feel, which makes this Gi one of the most sought after in 2022. Many students will wear a rashguard underneath their Gi, and this new Gi from Senso is comfortable whether a student wears one or not. The downside is this Gi only comes in white, but in saying that it is IBJJF legal.
The Kingz Balistico 2.0 is another outstanding choice of Gi for practitioners of the modern era. The Kingz brand have proven to be quality Gi apparel, with many high level grapplers wearing the Kingz label. This Gi is rated as the second best Gi of 2022. The jacket is made from 100 % cotton, and is proven to be one of the most comfortable BJJ Gi's on the market. This Gi also comes pre shrunk, meaning it won't shrink after students learn how to wash bjj gi for the first time. The pearl weave Gi is a lightweight 480 GSM, and features coolmax lining throughout the Gi jacket. All of the embroidery on the jacket is made with an extremely durable high stitch method. The pants have the added feature of an 8 oz ripstop weave pattern with a cotton, and polyester blend, as well as double stitching covering the knee pads. The Gi also features triple stitching that comes reinforced for extra durability. The Gi is also available in three different colors, white, royal blue and black, which are the three IBJJF legal Gi's.
Coming in at the number one Gi of 2022 is the Tatami Estilo 6.0. This high quality Gi is the latest generation of the Tatami Estilo, which is an extremely durable pearl weave garment. This Gi will shock the wearer with its extremely lightweight feel, for such a durable material. It is the perfect fit for students that are aspiring to compete, as it fits all competition standards, including IBJJF legal. This Gi has a longer lasting lifespan than any of its competitors on the current market. The Estilo comes with strategically placed reinforced stitching, which will make life extremely hard for an opponent when they try to secure grips. The Gi is made from 100% cotton, and is slightly heavier with its pearl weave 550 GSM jacket. The jacket also features Y-Jacket vents, which enables a better air flow giving the wearer a much more comfortable, and cooler fit. This Gi is one of the most prolific competition Gi's worn by a multitude of world class BJJ practitioners.
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