One of the most common questions asked by Brazillian Jiu Jitsu beginners is: why do I need to wear a gi for jiu jitsu? Most other sports only require a “uniform” when the athlete is competing in a contest, or for safety reasons, like wearing a helmet for horse riding, for example. So why is a gi required for jiu jitsu practice?
If you’re wondering about the reasons behind wearing a gi, you’re in the right place. Today we are going to take a deep dive into the cultural meaning behind the gi, as well as practical reasons why we wear gis too!
The History Of The Jiu Jitsu Gi
The Jiu Jitsu gi actually dates back more than one hundred years, and existed before this as a kimono worn by Japanese Samurais. The modern gis we wear today are very different to those worn back in 1907, but the principals of this uniform remain the same.
As you may know, Brazillian Jiu Jitsu is a modified version of Judo, the original Japanese martial art that was taught in Brazil. With the birth of Brazillian Jiu Jitsu, came a modified version of the gis worn for Judo – one that allowed even more movement and subtle techniques to be performed.
There are still traditional standards applied to most Brazillian Jiu Jitsu dojos, including:
- Dirty or torn gis cannot be worn on the mat.
- Sponsorship logos or adornments can only be placed in certain areas of the gi uniform.
So you see, the rich history of the Japanese fighting kimono gave life to the modern gi we wear today. When you step onto the mat wearing your Habrok Sports gi, you are participating in a rich cultural tradition that spans centuries.
Practical Benefits Of Wearing A Gi For Jiu Jitsu
Alongside the historical reasons why we wear the gi for jiu jitsu, there are also practical benefits to wearing the gi. The gi was designed and modified over the years to make it the perfect martial arts uniform – and here’s how!
Firstly, the gi is loose, comfortable and breathable. A well-made gi like the ones you will find here will be loose enough to give your body room to bend, hold, twist and change direction quickly during BJJ practice. The belt you wear around your waist keeps your core muscles supported, while also holding the uniform in place throughout.
Secondly, the breathable materials used to make high quality jiu jitsu gis mean that your sweat will wick away, reducing the chance of you overheating. The long sleeves and full length legs of the gi uniform can protect your limbs from scraping or scuffing against your opponent’s skin, which is why the gi is much more suitable for jiu jitsu than your average activewear!
If you’ve always wondered why you need a jiu jitsu gi, now you know! Both practically and culturally, the jiu jitsu gi is a super important part of practicing BJJ and other martial arts.