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How to Shrink BJJ Gi

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The art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is arguably the most popular Martial Art in the modern era. The BJJ system uses a series of highly dynamic transitions which includes takedowns, guard passing, sweeps, positional control, submission maneuvers, positional and submission escapes. The object in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is for two combatants to start in a standing position, and attempt to take each other down to the mat. Once the fight is grounded the pair will battle, as each competitor will attempt to neutralise their opponent by securing dominant control positions. Furthermore they will transition past their opponent's guard into a more advantageous attacking position, and finish their opponent with a submission maneuver. The art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a battle of strategy, as this very real game of human chess is becoming a mainstream icon.

What this article covers:

In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu there are two different styles of the art that students can train in; these are the traditional Gi, and the more modernised game of No Gi, or submission grappling. The evolution of the Gi has seen many world class athletes take the centre stage, as they have showcased their submission ferocity. Learning how to train in Gi Jiu Jitsu is increasingly harder than the stylings of No Gi. New students must learn how to wear a jiu jitsu gi before they can become systematic within the art. There are many factors that go into becoming a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt, and students must incorporate all of the knowledge they learn along the way. BJJ is an extremely long journey, as students will have many ups, and downs during their years of progression. 

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how to shrink the bjj gi

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THE IMPORTANCE OF WEARING THE GI

There is an extremely important aspect about wearing a traditional Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gi. The Gi actually dates back centuries to ancient Japan, where the Samurai, and other masters of Martial Arts used the Gi as a weapon against their opponents. As the art evolved throughout many centuries, the Samurai passed down their knowledge from generation to generation. In the more recent history, the Gi dates back to the early 20th century when Carlos Gracie, and Helio Gracie began teaching their systematic form of Gracie Jiu Jitsu. From this point on students began wearing the Gi, as the artform became extremely popular throughout the United States of America. The Gi became extremely significant, thanks to Royce Gracie who spearheaded its inception in the inaugural Ultimate Fighting Championship event in the early 1990's. As a result of Royce Gracie's dominance inside of the cage, many interested parties began training in the Brazilian art. The Gi became a symbol of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, as many world class athletes would wear the Gi during their walk-ins to different Mixed Martial Arts events. What was once a fancy karate kimono, and was almost laughed at by many fighters in the Martial Arts community, was now being made extremely famous for its diversity, and its complicated form of weaponry.

THE COMPARISON BETWEEN GI AND NO GI

There are many dissimilarities between the disciplines of Gi, and No Gi. The traditional Gi uses a series of grips, where a student can hold onto their opponent's Gi, as they attempt to neutralise, and submit their opponents. In comparison the discipline of No Gi grappling does not utilise grips on their opponents clothing, as this is deemed illegal in all competitive forms. In the No Gi discipline a student is forced to neutralise their opponent with a different set of grips like wrist controls, under hooks, over hooks, body locks, and neckties. The No Gi discipline has an element of freedom attached to it, as the uniform is very light due to students wearing nothing but a rash guard, compression pants, and fight shorts. In the Gi discipline athletes will wear the traditional Gi uniform, which is similar to a Karate kimono but more specialised towards grip fighting. Athletes are more likely to be stifled whilst they are wearing a Gi, this is because an opponent can hold them down while wrapping lapels around their opponents limbs. In comparison the No Gi discipline utilises a much more slippery approach, as the athlete can quite easily worm their way out of most control positions, or submission holds.

There has been a significant difference in how both forms of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu have settled into their competitive aspects. The Gi discipline has always ruled the roost, as high profile IBJJF competitions like the European Championships, the Brazilian Nationals, the Pan American Championships, and the World Championships have been heavily dominated by high level black belts like Marcelo Garcia, Marcus Almeida, Roger Gracie, and Gabrielle Garcia. In the Gi discipline athletes have a few different rule changes, as they cannot utilise submissions like neck cranks, or heel hooks, due to the dangerous nature of the submissions. The No Gi discipline has had a significant rise in international competitions. The ADCC has become one of the most prolific Brazilian Jiu Jitsu events in the modern era. Other tournaments like Fight 2 Win, Submission Underground, and Who's Number One have also showcased many talented athletes like Gordon Ryan, Andre Galvao, Felipe Pena, and Kaynan Duarte. The No Gi style has become synonymous with more advanced rulesets, with many competitions allowing dangerous submissions like heel hooks, toe holds, calf and bicep slicers. There is also a difference in the points system, as the IBJJF have the traditional points system where they score a mount, and back control as four points. In No Gi the ADDC will allow their competitors to score three points for back control with a body triangle, as athletes will continually switch their body triangle from side to side, and rack up a high number of points. 

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HOW TO PROPERLY CARE FOR A BJJ UNIFORM

Learning how to wear a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gi is one of the first lessons that new students will learn, but soon after they must learn how to wash a bjj gi. The Gi can be a feasting ground for germs, and bacteria, as students will comprehensively sweat into their Gi uniforms. This is how students will pass on germs to other members in their academy. The risk of infection like staph, and ringworm have been a constant threat to the livelihood of many Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academies. This is why it becomes extremely important for students of all ranks to wash their Gi's after every single training session. Washing a Gi is as simple as putting it in a washing machine, adding laundry detergent or powder, and letting the machine do its job. Students can add fabric softener to the load if they wish, and this is to make their Gi feel softer, and retain a nicer fragrance. Gi's are then hung out to dry so that they can be reused in a student's next training session.

Caring for a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gi is more than just washing it, and keeping it clean, as students need to have a proper way to store, and transport their Gi from home to training, or to competitive tournaments. This is where students will learn how to fold bjj gi, as there is a significant importance of keeping a nice, and crisp Gi stored on a students shelf. Students can look to hang their Gi's on a clothes rack, and this is a good way to store a Gi too, as it will give the Gi a chance to breathe more freely. The other solution is to have a nicely folded Gi left on the shelf, and this is one of the best ways, because students will need to pack a folded Gi into their sports bag when they want to go to training, or competition. All students need to know is how many bjj gi's should i own, as another way to take care of a Gi is to have a proper rotation of Gi's they can wear, during their busy week of training. Having one Gi will just not suffice, as most students will need more than one Gi to train with, this is so they can keep up with the rigorous demand of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

THE COMMON WAYS STUDENTS CAN DESTROY THEIR GI

There are many different ways that a student can destroy their Gi apparel, and one of the most common ways is over using it. This is why it is important to have several Gi's in a student's closet, because if they only have one, then they will run the risk of wearing it out, or damaging it during a training period. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is all about dynamic movements, and systematic grip fighting, which by design will ultimately cause wear and tear within the Gi fabric. Many competitor's Gi's will take a beating, as they can be stretched, twisted, pulled, and ripped, all while trying to neutralise their opponents. The Gi can also turn quite brittle if it is left out in the sun for too long, as the Gi uniform was not designed for long periods out in the weather. 

All students that train comprehensively in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu know exactly how important it is to wash their gear after every single training session, this includes the Gi, rash guards, mouth guards, and any injury guards. One of the biggest problems that students encounter is buying a new Gi, and then watching it shrink. This will completely destroy a Gi, as it will become unwearable to the student. There are two main ways that Gi's uniforms can shrink, the first is when a student washes their Gi in hot water. A Gi will shrink if it is washed in water that is above 100 degrees, so making sure their washing machine is running on cold water is crucial. The other way that a Gi can shrink is by putting it in a dryer. The best way to dry a Gi after it has been washed, is by hanging it out, and letting it dry naturally. Some students may be in a rush so they may choose to use a dryer, but essentially this is a bad idea, as they will soon see how quickly their Gi uniform will shrink. If a student is short of time, and needs to dry their Gi quickly, then as long as they turn off the heat, they can use a dryer. Using a dryer can be risky, but as long as it is for only a short period of time then it should be okay. 

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how to shrink a bjj gi

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HOW TO COMBAT GI SHRINKAGE 

There is nothing worse than buying a Gi uniform, and watching it shrink the first time it is washed. Some Gi's can fetch up to four hundred dollars, so the thought of wearing it once and having it shrink is definitely far from ideal. There are different ways that students can combat shrinkage problems, and it just takes a little bit of forward thinking from a student. The first concept to consider is that students need to know how should a bjj gi fit, this is how they can tell if their Gi uniform has actually shrunk at all. Students may not be aware of this, but hot water will most definitely shrink a Gi, so washing it in cold water is the obvious solution. If hot water shrinks a Gi then just imagine what high levels of intense heat will also do to the Gi uniform. This should make a student understand how to keep their Gi out of a dryer. One of the smartest moves that a student can make in preventing a Gi from shrinking, is to buy a pre shrunk Gi uniform. Nowadays Gi manufacturers have outstanding technology, where they pre shrink their Gi uniforms, this will enable students to buy a Gi, and wear it without the fear of it shrinking. This is the kind of forward thinking that a student needs if they want a quality Gi to stay comfortable, and last for longer.

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