What exactly is a Gi?

My friends are such sweethearts.  They have been reading along through my posts and when they come over, they see my Gi (pronounced Gee ) on the drying rack, the list of techniques on my fridge door and they smile.  “You have really taken to Jiu Jitsu, haven’t you Yolanda?”
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My soul brightens up a little more….responding with a very calm and serene…Yes.

My students, my friends – they have noticed a change in me.  Some have gone so far as to say that they have noticed a small weight loss (my scale says otherwise unfortunately) but most have told me the same thing.  How much calmer I am these days.

So now my friends are curious showing additional support in my journey and they want to learn more.  Hence the current question and one that inspired me to write an entire post on…what exactly is a Gi?

I know I had no idea the first time I heard that I had to wear one if I wanted to get into Jiu Jitsu more seriously.

My first thought was whether or not they had a size big enough for me – would it even fit in all the right places?!?

I remember how nervous with excitement I was when I purchased it.  I was actually shaking.  There were some men in the room, all wearing theirs, they looked like they had just finished a training session.

Professor PJ handed mine from the back room, I didn’t even get to choose my own.  Coach Joel told me to quickly try it on, you can read about that whole experience if you wish.

Not having had a chance to wash it prior to training, I put it on right out of the bag.  BIG MISTAKE!  I couldn’t stand the smell of it.  I felt sooooo uncomfortable, it was stiff, the belt would not keep looped….all in all, I hated it.

But I had to wear it…3 weeks later, I love it.  It has become a garment that makes me feel empowered.

Strong.

Protected.

Safe.

But what is it about this garment that we have to wear them? Let’s see what my research brings up:

According to Wikipedia: Brazilian jiu-jitsu gi I can wear a patch so long as it is in the designated areas – just not sure if it can be a cancer ribbon or if it must be something directly related to BJJ.

Why is it called a Gi and not a Kimono?  – “The word “gi” derives from “keikogi” which means training gear.”

The JiuJitsuBrotherhood web site offers this article to help you choose your next Gi.

A Gi is not cheap – they range anywhere from $100 -$200 depending on the fabric type and the quality of the material.  So be sure to take care of your Gi.

A beginners guide is offered by BJJSports.  I learned by experience why you need to wear a Gi and/or rash gear – when I ended up with about a 3-inch bruise on my arm.  I didn’t even get hit, it simply happened because I was sweating and my opponent’s finger slide off my arm.  Gotta say though, I was pretty proud of my very first bruise.  I think I showed every one of my friends thereby solidifying their thoughts that I may be entering senility.  

I have learned that there is a training etiquette – which I see in play on the mat but I didn’t quite understand.

The holy grail!!!  I think I have just come across one extremely informative website for White Belts!!

Hands with teacupOk…I see I have a lot of reading ahead of me now….

Hopefully I have provided at least one thing that you can learn from, if I did, then it was worth waking up this morning.  If not, read on – I’m sure you will find something.

PREV:  I am a Bad Mom!                                        NEXT: Women empowering women…


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