The Colorful Gi Phenomenon

So as I understand it from my illustrious instructors (who are totally great people, I just wanted to use the word ‘illustrious’ today; next up will be the term ‘proliferate’) once upon a time the only gi was a white gi. Nothing camouflage shaded, no bright red or green or yellow.

Just white.

Then they decided to throw tradition out the window, get a little crazy and have blue gi’s (I think it was suppose to be a summer thing, from what I recall)(and I would totally not be surprised if alcohol had some sort of influence in this decision).

Nowadays there are gi’s every color of the rainbow, and some most certainly outside the rainbow as well. There are some schools out there fine with their students wearing all different kinds of gi’s (personally my favorite is when someone wears the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle green), and there are some academies that want their students to wear the more traditional white, and a blue uniform when they are more of a regular competitor, since the colors are restricted at more of the bigger tournaments around the country.

Honestly, I’m not sure what to think. As fun as it is to see some of the different colors gi’s come in (and who doesn’t want a traffic cone orange gi, really) I kind of like the idea of holding the tradition, especially the lower ranked belts. When you’re a black belt you can show up in a gi with the outline of a woman in a bikini, or a design reminiscent of the dick towel and no one will really stop you, because hey, there’s a good chance that it’s your academy and you’ll do whatever you want.

But I digress.

I would never hold it against someone if they chose one of the more unusual styles, but call me dull and uninteresting, but I wouldn’t want to purchase something that I would never be able to wear in competition (gi’s for IBJJF must be all white, all blue, and I think just this year or last they allowed all black).

What kind of gi’s do you guys wear when training? Did you buy one of those neon colored gi’s? Are they comfortable to train in? I’m curious.


Filed under Training, women's bjj

3 responses to “The Colorful Gi Phenomenon

  1. I have a blue gi, which was bought before I really knew anything about bjj, and my sensei said, blue cheap, or white expensive–and I had two major reasons for choosing blue–1. Price of options offerred to me, and 2. I didn’t want to be responsible for trying to keep a white gi WHITE.

    I wish gi’s came with less…i dunno…blocky annoying patches. I don’t mind the patches, it’s just sometimes…well they seem so GUY oriented (add that onto our running list of bjj wear gender issues!)

    I haven’t ever seen a “non-traditional” gi color that i liked (other then black, cause I like everything in black), so I’d have to say that I probably wouldn’t buy a colored gi

  2. My coach doesn’t care, though I’ve only seen guys with white, blue, black, and navy. Black and white are the most common. (Our brown belt has a black gi that’s faded to a gorgeous worn-in gray. I would love to have a gi in that color. Maybe in a few years. :P) I’m not brave enough to wear a unique color — it feels too much like I have to “back up” wearing that color…

    @reginadabean: There are some companies that add less “bling” to their gis. (Fenom, Howard, Padilla & Sons.) And there are some styles even among the bigger-name companies that have less bling; you just have to look.

  3. Katie

    It’s funny that you mention about the keeping the white gi white; until I went to my first BIG tournament (Worlds) I only had white gi’s. I hated it when I first started, having a shiny white gi with the shiny white belt and I found myself a little jealous of the more experienced white belts with the dirty white outfits, and the experience that came with the dingy color.

    Now I primarily wear blue gi’s, but now when I see the new white gi’s, the reaction now is more “ooh, I wish I had a gi that new and clean for that nice bright white.”

    I’m a little weird, I know. It’s a part of my charm.

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