The History of the Gi
When you walk into a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gym and you want to take a class and like it, you’ll most likely start in the gi. Everyone who’s trained knows all about the heavy pajamas we were when we train, but most don’t know about the origin of the gi. The gi’s creation was over 100 years ago in Japan. The creator of Judo, Jigoro Kano, thought it would be a good idea to create something that would show a standardization of those who train in judo, but could also take a beating from the constant throws and chokes judo provides. He took inspiration from the Karate Kimono but made them from a much heavier cotton to withstand the rigorous training. The gi was then implemented throughout Japan’s martial art scene. Eventually, thanks to Kano’s student, Mitsuyo Maeda, the art would come to Brazil and the gi with it. After Maeda taught the Gracie’s and they moved more toward techniques on the ground, they made more changes to the gi. The Judo jacket was baggy allowing for throws, so the Gracie’s decided to narrow the sleeves and trim up the jacket to make it tighter. This made it easier for the art they were trying to teach. Next time you throw on your gi, think about the history of the uniform you wear day in and day out. The gi is important to our art, wear it proudly and keep training.