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Chance are, if you are asking the question, “what is a Gi in BJJ?” you are very new to the world of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. On behalf of the community, we would like to send you a warm welcome from Grapplers Graveyard! My name is Cameron, founder of this website and I am on a mission to create a one-stop resource for all things related to grappling, fitness, health, and recovery. In this article, we will be talking about an essential article of clothing that you will get very familiar with, the gi.
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What is a Gi in BJJ?
A Brazilian jiu-jitsu gi, or better known as a kimono, is the gear that you will be wearing when you are training jiu-jitsu. In other martial arts like karate and judo, you will also wear a gi jacket but there are a few differences between the three of them.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu gi’s are typically made with cotton and are more heavy when compared to karate kimonos or judo kimonos. Due to the physical nature of jiu-jitsu, the gi has to be sturdy and reinforced well enough so that it does not easily tear.
Gi jiu-jitsu is said to emulate a real fight if someone was wearing a heavy jacket and pants. While many may argue that Gi jiu-jitsu is “less realistic” than no-gi jiu-jitsu, you ae still getting great combat experience when you decide to train in either method.
The BJJ Gi and Its Significance
Everyone who trains Brazilian jiu-jitsu will have one, two, or possibly even three gis at their disposal. It is common to have a lot of Gis because over time they get worn out, they may tear, or you may just need a rotation so you always have something clean to roll in.
Jiu-jitsu was created using the Gi and has slowly evolved over time to become more and more accepting of its no-gi counterpart. The future of the sport is in no-gi, you can see it just by the attendance number at tournaments across the country like ADCC. People just love seeing the athletic nature of no-gi jiu-jitsu.
The significance that gi jiu-jitsu has played in the martial art should not go unnoticed. Before no-gi jiu-jitsu could run it had gi jiu-jitsu practitioners leading the way to set the foundation.
When you decide to train a martial art you are going to need gear. We only like to bring up high quality products for people to be aware of because, well, bad quality is not worth it. here is a list of articles we have where you can find good gear:
Where are BJJ Gis made?
Really, there are two places in which BJJ Gis are made in, either China or Pakistan. The majority of what we have seen in the industry it is very common to see the gear that yo are wearing coming out of Pakistan.
What Exactly is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a grappling martial art that has grown significantly over the past decade due to the rise in popularity of the UFC and the increasing amount of BJJ gyms that continue to pop up as more people get their black belts. In Brazilian jiu-jitsu, the objective is to have control over your opponent’s movement regardless of how much bigger or stronger the opponent is than you.
BJJ was made for a smaller person to be able to control and manhandle a bigger and stronger untrained person. Due to this, it has been deemed as one of the best self-defense martial arts on the planet.
We believe that Brazilian jiu-jitsu will become the world’s most widely practiced martial art due to these trends. Over time, more people will spread the positive word of jiu-jitsu especially as they get their black belt and decide that opening a gym is something they want to pursue.
It also helps that most MMA fighters have a background in BJJ and that the UFC is on its way to becoming the world’s largest sports organization.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Jiu Jitsu Gi
We have a complete breakdown of what should be considered when choosing a jiu-jitsu gi in our article “Best Jiu Jitsu Gi Brands” but to summarize here you go:
What to Look For in a BJJ Gi:
Fit’s well: the majority of companies will have a size chart directly on their site, be sure to buy a gi that matches your height and weight and you will be okay finding something that fits well.
Material: Not all material is made equally, some are cheaper than others and some will end up being more lightweight than others. This is why most practitioners have more than one gi, they all have their own purposes. Our personal favorite has been the gi from Future Kimonos. We have never trained in a gi that felt so good and was this light.
Design: Dion Sanders said “Look good, feel good, feel good play good” for a reason. We believe that design plays a huge role in whether we are going to buy a gi or not.
Price: Some people are more sensitive to price than others. Gi’s can add up if you are not careful so just be aware when checking out new products.
What is the Difference Between Gi and No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu?
The main difference in Gi and no-gi jiu-jitsu is the attire that you will be wearing and the style of play. I like to think that in gi, you have more options that can present themselves because there is more to grab onto and use to your advantage. No-gi is a slippery mess, it is much harder to get grips on opponents and have that friction that could be created in the Gi.
one thing that no-gi does make you feel is more athletic. You feel freer in no-gi because there is not a jacket there to hold you down. Many people who train will echo the same thing.
Is No-Gi Harder Than Gi?
Depends on how you look at it in our opinion. I find no-gi to be harder than gi because of the lack of gripping that can be done on a sweaty person. Gi jiu-jitsu gives you way more options to play around with in terms of grips and chokes because you just have more to grab onto, so if you look at it from that perspective I would say that gi is easier than no-gi.
What do you think though? Leave a comment if you think otherwise!