Friday, August 12, 2016

This Is How I Roll

This week I attended several extended training sessions offered by Trident Martial Arts. One of the sessions included Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu-styled grappling, with a focus on extracting elements for combatives situations.

It sounded like I needed a BJJ gi. The last time I wore anything like that was my sophomore year at the Air Force Academy, when I took a judo class for one of my physical education requirements.

I turned to online vendors with a very clear mission: buy a gi that was of decent quality, and was as plain and white as possible. I had read about the "plain white gi" requirement in several articles.

Basically, when visiting another school, you don't want to be an advertisement for your home school. Now, I don't train BJJ at my home school, but I still didn't want my gi to look like the inside of a MMA octagon. Therefore, I searched for plain white gis.

I bought the Your Jiu Jitsu Gear Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Uniform White with FREE BJJ White Belt pictured above, from I was a little worried about buying a product sold by a company called "Your Jiu Jitsu Gear," but the reviews were strong and the plain white color was right. I am 5'9", 155 lbs, so I ordered size A2.

I immediately like the gi when I unpackaged it. It felt solid and well-constructed. It also fit me perfectly. I thought it might have interior ties like a karate gi, but I was wrong. The belt would keep it closed.

Speaking of the belt -- it initially confused me. I was not familiar with the concept of a "grading stripe." This is the black end of the belt, and its use is described in this IBJFF page. Originally I planned to just use one of my white belts from another martial arts style, but I was glad the YJJ company shipped a proper BJJ belt with the gi.

In class, the gi held up well -- much better than my right toe. You can see me in the gi in the picture above. I enjoyed the session and thought that Jordan, Jim, and Ben were great instructors. I described my experience to a friend who is a BJJ black belt as "learning to speak a new language, but at least recognizing a few words."

After class, I washed the gi in my washing machine. However, I only dried it for a few minutes on low heat. Then I hung it to air dry. I wanted to minimize any shrinkage. It seems to have weathered the washing process well.

My verdict? If you are looking for a reasonably price beginner BJJ gi for visiting other schools, I recommend the Your Jiu Jitsu Gear Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Uniform White with FREE BJJ White Belt. It met my needs and I hope you have a good experience as well!

What else can you share about what sorts of gis people wear for BJJ?

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