Jiu-jitsu is a Japanese term for a particular version of close combat sports, and in English it rough means “gentle art”. It started as a way for warriors to fight unarmed against an enemy armed with a sword and protected by armor. Striking such a well-armed and well-armored opponent doesn’t make much sense, so a series of techniques involving pins and throws were devise to counter the opponent’s advantage. The underlying idea was to avoid direct opposition, but to use the attacker’s momentum against them instead.
Jiu-jitsu has evolved throughout the years, and today the Brazilian version of the discipline is perhaps the most widely known. But no matter the version you participate in, you will need a gi.
A gi is a martial arts uniform that resembles a kimono in some ways. You’d think that a specialized sport like jiu-jitsu would only have a handful of unknown niche companies making gi’s. But instead we offer well-known brands of apparel manufactures famed for the quality of their offerings.
When you’re buying a gi, the first thing you need to remember is that a gi for jiu-jitsu is different from a gi for tae kwon do, karate, and judo. Jiu-jitsu involves a lot of pulling and grabbing, and this means that the gi needed has to be made from sturdier materials. If you use a gi for a discipline that doesn’t involve grappling, the uniform is likely to tear.
The factors you need to consider are weight, thickness, and durability. Lightweight gi uniforms are ideal when training in warm weather, and you may want a lightweight one if you are close to the weight limit in your division. Thickness is crucial as well, because the thicker a gi is, the harder it is to grab firmly. The importance of durability also cannot be overstated, especially if your rain and compete often.
Finally, the color is important as well. For training purposes, you can pick just about any color you want. A gi can in come in a wide variety of colors. It depends on your fashion sense as to what color you choose, and if you’re in the military you may even consider something in camouflage. For women, it can also come in pink or yellow.
But you may want to stick to the basic black, white, and blue. Many gyms consider these three colors to be the only ones that are appropriate. That’s because in in competition, these three colors are the only ones allowed. The other colors will not be permitted.