PURCHASING A BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU UNIFROM. PRECISION MARTIAL ARTS PROVIDES A FREE BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU UNIFORM TO NEW MEMBERS!!
Other than the money you will pay for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instruction, a significant expense can be the uniform – gi – that you will eventually need to purchase. If you are a new student to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, your instructor will most likely allow you to train for a session or two in gym shorts and T-shirt. At some point you will need to purchase a ‘gi’. When I started training in a ‘gi’, I was fortunate to have Professor Tom Dinklage of Precision Martial Arts guide me in how to choose a ‘gi’ that was affordable – and most importantly – a ‘gi’ that would fit properly.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT TO SPEND ON A BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU GI.
The cost of ‘gi’s’ vary from around 50 dollars to more than 200 dollars. Unless you really are interested in a top dollar ‘gi’, a less expensive but yet good quality ‘gi” is the way to go. Your instructor or school manager should have proper information to help you in purchasing a ‘gi’ that fits your budget and needs. Some Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools will require you to purchase a ‘gi’ specific to the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu affiliation they may have. You may also be asked to purchase a specific rash guard. Not all schools will require you to wear a rash guard (personally I do not like them) but they do serve a purpose in minimizing abrasive contact between the ‘gi’ and your skin.
HAVING A BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU GI THAT FITS PROPERLY IS CRITICAL.
Obtaining a ‘gi’ that is the right size is critical. The size appropriate for you is determined by height and weight – however the unique build of each Brazilian Jiu Jitsu student may dictate a modification in size. This is why it is so important to have someone knowledgeable help in getting the correct size. The following table (taken from Lucky Gi) is fairly general in terms of gi size.
A0 5’2” – 5’6” 130lbs
* A1 5’6” – 5”8 155lbs
* A2 5’8” – 5’11” 185 lbs
* A3 5’11” – 6’1” 210lbs
* A4 6’1” – 6’5” 250lbs
* A5 6’5” – 6’10” 290lbs
* A6 6’10” – 7′ 300lbs
* A7 7′+ – 310lbs+
TAKING PROPER CARE OF YOUR GI.
Taking proper care of your “gi” is extremely important so that it will last through grueling training and sparring sessions. It is important to know if the ‘gi’ you have purchased is “preshrunk”. Not all ‘gi’s’ are which can be a problem if you improperly wash your ‘gi’.
• Always hang up you gi immediately after you get home from training to stop mold and mildew from growing on it as it will be very hot and wet.
• Wash you gi’s and rash guards separately from your other clothes.
• Always check whether or not your gi is pre-shrunk before you dry it. If your gi is NOT pre-shrunk and it already fits correctly, do not put it in the dryer as it can shrink significantly! Instead hang dry it.
• If you put a colored patch on a white gi, make sure you wash the patch first. A red patch might bleed through and instead of a white gi – you now have on that is pink.
• Use a mild detergent on your gi (Woolite is good) as strong detergents can eventually degrade the fabric in your gi. However, if you have a serious stain (blood stain for example) on your gi, you may need to do some spot cleaning before you attempt washing your gi.
• Many BJJ players now purchase colored gi’s. If you have a concern as to whether the gi is “color set” you might want to try something that was recommended to me by another Brazilian Jiu Jitsu student. Add a cup or two of vinegar to the wash water the first time you wash your gi. This will supposedly “color set” the gi. I have never tried this and caution you to do this only at your own risk. It might not be the best thing to show up at class smelling like a vinaigrette dressing on a salad!!!!!
In my next blog, I will address the issue of a Judo gi vs a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gi. There will also be information regarding the various types of weaves found on gi’s. Also of interest for those who plan on competing is that some Brazilian Jiu Jitsu organizations have strict rules on where patches can and can not be placed on a competition gi.