Hello, Everyone! Not long ago we wrote a blog on the importance of the belt lineage of ASR. Everyone enjoyed it so much we decided to once again do a blog on some more martial arts history specifically in Jiu-Jitsu.
This time, however, our topic will be on the traditional martial arts uniform known as the ‘GI’. The gi you will commonly see on students wearing while training to master an art such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. These Gi’s are tools of great importance for the students in order to roll and train in through the techniques, throws, and submissions that make up Jiu-Jitsu.
The Gi’s were specifically made to be grabbed, pulled, and twisted at the lapels, sleeves, and pant legs. These lead into submissions and holds in order to get your opponent to tap out and submit to you. The Gi had to be built strong, comfortable, and unique to serve this purpose.
Traditionally Gi was a lot like a simple pair of white pants and a white jacket you secured around your waist with a white belt. Gi literally means dress or clothes but can also mean uniform. The white nature of the cloth the Gi was made from turned white over time after being washed so many times, or so the legends of old say. All belts were white at one time that each student wore. There was no other significance to the color, unlike today’s martial arts hierarchies, than to keep their jackets closed. There are also some stories that say they never washed their white belts hence the most advanced student’s belt always being completely black.(EEWW!)
By the 1920’s the original Judo Master, Kano Jigoro had adopted the Gi as the official uniform ofJudo which we all know Master Kano would be the foundation of today’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by the Gracie Family. From there other fighting arts around the world would adopt a version of the gi for their own uniform and use.
When you look at the history’s and developments of martial arts you are able to see how they are all connected. So open a book once in awhile and read up on your history you might learn something.