Finding a perfect Gi can be a real struggle for beginners. Even after years of experience, I found it incredibly challenging to get hold of the right variant of a Gi that perfectly suits me.
Gi is essential for BJJ and Judo, and you simply cannot afford to mess with its perfection. The increasingly vast number of features determining the Gi’s compatibility with the wearer is another primary concern.
It is almost like being lost in a maze, where you solve one issue only to figure out the other is overwhelming.
Well, if you have been in this constant state of confusion regarding the choice of a perfect Gi for yourself, this article is all you need.
Let’s get started with the top 5 steps that are concerned with choosing the perfect Gi.
Step 1: Analyse the Comfort
This is the prime aspect of choosing an appropriate Gi. You will indulge in one of the most challenging physical activities while you are wrapped in the armor of your Gi.
Hence, you must feel comfortable when you wear the Gi. Anything that is not breathable or very thick material will lead to sweat accumulation and substantially diminish the performance level. Here are a few things that you must certainly know about.
Gi jackets feature four types of weaves namely Single weave, double weave, gold weave, and pearl weave. Each of these has its characteristics.
If you choose a Gi for training and regular competitions, it is better to go with a single weave because they are lightweight and breathable. So, your comfort is ensured.
Double weave and gold weave are not much comfortable; however, they are best suited for competitions. Pearl weave is the new trend of the market because it intertwines lightweight, soothing fabric with durability.
I choose the single weave Gi for my regular training sessions, and the Peral weave Gi for my intense competitions. Cotton, viscose, ripstop are the common materials that are used to manufacture Gi.
You should go with the one that suits you the best. For me, it is always viscose, which wins.
Also, make sure the material you choose has a sweat evaporation characteristic to improve your performance. The weather in which you are performing will also largely determine your Gi material.
Step 2: Check the Strength and Durability
You do not want to invest in a Gi, which will not last long or demand frequent replacement and mending. Hence, it is of utmost importance that you have a reasonably close look at the Gi’s durability or shelf-life quotient before purchasing it.
Over the years, I have seen that people confuse the ideas of strength and weight.
If you think that the massive Gi are the ones that last long or are strong enough to serve you well, you may not be correct. It is quite the opposite in reality.
Through their Gi products, various brands have proven time and again that lightweight Gi can be much more resistant and durable than the traditional heavy ones, which were popular once upon a time.
The pearl weave, which is lightly woven and is much more breathable, is a better choice for both strength and durability. Many of you might think that how lightweight Gi could be more durable or more robust.
But it is the new technology which emphasizes the innovation of such materials which are easier to handle and at the same time last longer.
However, the thicker kimonos can be better during competition because your opponent will not grab you by the Gi if the material is thick.
This was the particular reason that Gold weave was the most famous Gi material until a certain point.
Later on, the dense material’s discomfort proved to be a significant drawback of this type and led to the new age pearl weave evolution.
Step 3: Know Your Size
I have closely witnessed one thing during my training sessions and my competitions, that a wrongly sized Gi can be your worst companion. It can prove to be a traitor and can even make you lose a relatively easy battle.
To avoid such mishaps from ruining your career in Jitsu, know your size correctly before buying the Gi.
At the same time, I also give a spoiler alert that choosing the perfect Gi size for yourself can be an exceedingly excruciating task and has the full possibility of failing.
You can actually study more about Gi sizes, which will help to save a bit of devastation.
Gi size charts usually have denotations in something like A0, A1, A2, A3, A4, A5. Every brand in their size chart puts up a fair dimensional representation of heights, width, and other variants’ parameters.
You need to measure yourself and tally those figures with the one given in the size chart.
Now, the ravishing problem arises if you are like me, well I should say, unfortunate enough to have the height corresponding to a specific size and the chest or hips corresponding to another.
So, you are in this whirl of confusion about which size is the one meant for me? But, the brands have even become cleverer. Many well-known brands have now put up subcategories for each size.
For example, size A1 has A1L, A1H, A1F for people all having the actual size A1 yet differing in various aspects. For instance, the size A1L for those of you who possess longer limbs.
Whereas, the size A1F has a slim fit for people who want their Gi to be tight and body-hugging.
Let me tell you a small trick, make sure that you always measure one of your best fitting apparel in addition to measuring your body diameters to end up choosing the best size for yourself.
Step 4: Take the Budget into Consideration
The budget often plays the role of a restraining factor in buying Gi. I still remember those days when I was about to buy my first BJJ Gi.
At that time, I was unsure whether purchasing an expensive one would be wise or purchasing an affordable variant, and replenishing the Gi every year would be a good strategy until I realized it is none of them.
I am sure most of you can relate to this dilemma.
The best process as far as budget is concerned is to go with something that lies in the intermediate zone, especially if you are a novice.
As an amateur, it is complicated to figure out which one is the best brand or which variety of Gi suits you the best.
If you invest too much money in buying your first ever kimono and realize that it was a waste, you will be heartbroken.
So, go for a reasonably good BJJ brand and a mediocre variety of Gi from the same. Use the stuff and understand the nature of it.
Pay particular importance to realize which factors in the Gi affect your performance mostly or whether you like the brand you purchased.
To be honest, you will have to be the scapegoat for the first time till the dawn of enlightenment strikes you. It is also not wise to compromise with the quality for a few bucks.
It is always better to go with a pearl or gold weave variety for the matches as they have been specially designed for the same.
Step 5: Assess the Aesthetic Features
I can suggest you overlook factors like design, print, trend while buying a Gi. But, that would be sheer hypocrisy. Every Jitsu player is driven by the market trend, especially in the younger days.
The look of your kimono influences your psychology to a greater extent than you can probably think.
If you are freshers, then I strongly recommend you go with beautiful theme kimonos, which will elevate your will to perform better. Make sure you choose such color and prints that do not fade away easily only to make your Gi seem unattractive to you.
Many of us often neglect a critical feature in the Gi jacket, and it is nothing other than the belt. Seasoned champions and coaches often attribute the belt as the soul of your Gi.
These days many brands sell the belts along with the Gi. But, still there exist many brands for which you have to buy yourself a belt separately. Try to buy a broad belt according to your body dimensions.
That was all.
I hope this article was helpful to all those who are still struggling to find their perfect Gi. Finally, you must keep in mind the rules of the Jiu-Jitsu Championship competitions regarding the Kimonos.
Mostly all the brands prepare, Gi, which complies with these rules, but it is always wise to scrutinize them before buying.
A perfect Gi can largely influence your status of winning in the competition, and this single factor makes it so very important to get hold of the ideal kimono for yourself.