The judo gi
The dojo recommends that students purchase a judo style gi (single weave or optional double weave) to wear to class. Although a traditional karate style uniform or Brazilian jujitsu uniform would suffice, a judo gi is thicker than a karate gi and resists tearing, the sleeves are looser to allow the easier practice of certain techniques, and the uniform is very affordable. New students understandably may not have a judo gi and may show up with a sweat shirt and loose fitting sweatpants for their initial classes. If you have practiced other martial arts before, please don’t let that stop you from wearing what you have until you can get a new judo gi.
Sizing and cleaning
Typically a judo gi costs from $40-$60 dollars and will include pants and a white belt. They are 100% cotton and will shrink 1-2 inches after washing with hot water and drying on high heat. It’s recommended to shrink your gi to the desired size when you first get it. One can pull the jacket out of the dryer every 15 minutes and check the sizing. A properly sized gi (after shrinking) should not be any further than 2 inches from the bony part of your wrist and should not cover your hand. The salesman at a martial arts store should be able to help you select an appropriate size to purchase before shrinking.
When you finally shrink your gi to the correct size, you should then wash it only in cold water thereafter (and hopefully after every class). If you wash on a delicate cleaning cycle and hang dry (or tumble low) it will last for many years to come. To prevent stains there are many tricks out there such as using vinegar or a detergent booster, but bleach should definitely be avoided.
There are often a variety of gi colors. Most students will be wearing a white gi. Blue gis are usually used during competition to help distinguish from your opponent during competition. Other colors are traditionally the privilege of those who have achieved their black belt.
Here are two martial arts supply stores in the area:
Kiyota Co. Inc.
2326 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21218
1228 Light St, Baltimore, MD 21230
- Kodokan Judo: The Essential Guide to Judo by Jigoro Kano
- Jujitsu: Expanded Edition by George Kirby
- Jujitsu: Intermediate Techniques of the Gentle Art by George Kirby
Youtube videos are also highly recommended. Just go to YouTube and key in the things you’re interested in seeing. You could start with “Japanese jujitsu” or key in the name of the jujitsu technique you want to see demonstrated — for example, “kote gaeshi” (wrist reversal) or “o goshi” (big hip throw). You can find a list of the jujitsu techniques we practice in the syllabus link above.