Making sure your gi is in top condition should be a top priority to anyone regularly and seriously taking part in martial arts where a gi is necessary.
Grappling martial arts especially, such as BJJ and Judo rely heavily on your gi being gripped. With this in mind, making sure that it’s both comfortable and able to withstand the hours being spent on the mat should always be on your mind.
Through our guide on how to take care of your gi, we’re going to go over some top tips that you can implement now, to make sure you gi is in tip top condition.
Buy A Good Gi From The Get Go
First things first, make sure you’ve got yourself a decent gi. A high quality, durable gi is going to much easier to look after than a cheap gi that’s going to start falling apart after a couple of months.
Good news is that there’s a tonne of high quality gi’s out there for you to choose from. In fact, there may be too many. Fortunately, we’re here to help with that and have reviewed and listed some of the best gi’s out there, so you should be able to find one to your liking fairly easily.
I'd recommend checking out our list of the best BJJ gi's for some great options.
Cold Wash Only + Hang Dry
There’s a couple of reasons as to why you want to cold wash your gi. Firstly, is to prevent it from shrinking.
Unfortunately, gi’s have a nasty habit of shrinking whenever their put in a hot wash. Despite most brands claiming that they come ‘pre-shrunk’, the chances are they’re going to shrink again.
The same goes for drying – if you put it in the dryer, the gi’s going to end up shrinking down to the point where it won’t even fit anymore. I know a few people that have done this and ended up giving their gi away to a kid at their club, just to give you an idea as to how much they can shrink.
To stop this, just hang your gi up after it’s been washed and let it dry naturally. This will take much, much longer, however you’ll still have a nice fitting gi once it’s ready to go.
The second reason for this is that washing your gi in hot or warm water can help to set stains into the material. You don’t really want to be turning up with your gi stained in blood, unless it’s some kind of intimidation tactic, then go for it! (Just kidding).
Air Dry Your Gi After Every Training Session
After a pretty intense training session it can be pretty hard to muster the effort to do anything. But trust me, the last thing you want to do is leave your smelly and sweaty gi in your gym bag.
This will cause it to smell even worse and can accumulate some nasty germs and remain damp for your next training session.
When you get home, hang both the kimono and pants on separate hangers and let them air dry. This may not completely eradicate the smell, but it’s the best way to go about drying your gi, especially if you’re training the next day,
Don’t Loan Your Gi To Other People
This is more of a personal preference than a practical tip, however I'll explain my reasoning for this.
Firstly, it's just not that nice wearing your gi with someone else's sweat in it, especially if it hasn't been cleaned, it's pretty unhygienic.
Secondly, the person you leant your gi to will most likely take it home and wash it. As I mentioned earlier, washing your gi can ending up rendering it useless if you don't do it properly.
Loaning your gi is a nice thing to do and if you're brining a friend down to their first class, go for it. I would just recommend not making it a regular thing, as I've learnt the hard way it can end up badly.
If you do want to lend a friend a gi, perhaps give them an old one or the one you wore when you were a beginner. That way if anything does go wrong, it won't matter too much.
Rotate Between Different Gis
If you're training regularly, perhaps 4 or more times a week. It can be a good idea to own more than one gi and rotate between them.
If you're training that regularly, you'll need to wash your gi pretty damn often, which as I mentioned earlier, can take ages to dry.
By having more than one gi, you'll allow yourself time to correctly wash and dry them. Plus, you'll need to wash each one less regularly, as you'll be using a different gi each time.
How To Wash A Gi: Top Tips
How To Wash A Gi Video
Taking Care Of Your Gi: Round Up
I think it's safe to say it's pretty darn important to take care of your gi.
Gi's can end up costing a fair amount of money, so making sure you don't throw that money down the drain is always a good idea.
Plus, it'll mean your gi will last longer and you won't be that guy down the gym that no one wants to roll with because they're letting off a nasty smell.
Follow the tips that we've laid our in our taking care of your gi article and you'll be rocking your favourite gi for years to come.