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Gi Before Folding
Before

How to Fold Your Gi

- and Other Gi Related Tips -
by Robert Walsh

Gi After Folding
After

Many believe that there is a ancient ritual of gi folding. However, the gi was introduced to karate by Gichin Funakoshi. Therefore, gi folding cannot be traced back to ancient times. Nonetheless, there are good ways to fold a gi. Most formal methods of gi folding are identical with only small differences. The method described in this article is arguably the best. It transforms a gi into a small, dense and easily carried brick with smooth, clean edges. Perfect for efficient transport and good looks!


Wash Your Gi

Some people believe that a gi should display their years of training. They think that blood, grass, dirt, sweat or other stains are like merit badges. However, that is not true. In fact, many people will avoid training with someone whose gi indicates disease. Further, an unlaundered gi suggests a lack of respect or discipline outside the dojo. Do you get home from class, throw your gear in the corner, and forget about it until the next class? A gi can look experienced and clean. Wash your gi.


How to Wash a Gi

A gi should be washed whenever contaminated by dirt or sweat. You can hand or machine wash your gi. All it takes is hot water and soap. Do not use bleach. It will weaken the cotton fibers of your gi. And, do not machine dry your gi either. It will shrink and become stiff.


Tips

1. Wearing a t-shirt under your gi will filter a lot of stain producing bacteria.
2. You can 'shrink fit' your gi by machnine drying it. The heavier the gi the more it will shrink and the stiffer it will gets.
3. Hydrogen peroxide removes blood stains. Nothing removes sweat stains.


Gi folding

1. Begin by laying your gi jacket on the floor or large table. Spread the jacket so that the arms are pointing straight out to the sides in a 'T' like fashion.

Gi folding

2. Fold your gi pants in half lengthwise and place them on top of your jacket. The center line of the folded pants should line up with the center line of the jacket. The top of your pants should be placed in line the jacket's collar.

Gi folding

3. My gi pants extend past the bottom of my jacket. So, I need to fold the pant legs up so that they are the same height as the jacket.

Gi folding

4. Fold the left side over to the right side. Then, fold the left arm back to the left. I customized my gi by hemming the sleeves at the elbow. If your gi has long sleeves, you will need a third fold back to the right.

Gi folding

5. Repeat the previous step for the other side. If everything went well, your gi should be a flat strip with smooth edges and about as wide as your pant legs.

Gi folding

6. Fold the bottom up towards the middle. If you have a thin gi, you can fold it up to the center line. However, do not fold a thick gi all the way to the center line. If you do, you will not be able to make the final fold.

Gi folding

7. Fold the top down towards the middle. If you have a thin gi, you can fold it down to the center line. However, do not fold a thick gi all the way to the center line. I have a 14oz gi. Note how much space I needed to leave in the middle.

Gi folding

8. Fold the Bottom to the top or the top to the bottom. Either way, you'll end up with this nice compact gi brick!

Gi folding

9. Now that your gi is neatly folded into a brick you can easily tie your obi around it.

Gi folding

Done! Tie your obi to your gi exactly how you tie an obi to your waist. Here I wrapped the obi around the gi twice and cinched it with the classic obi knot. When done, you should have a good looking gi package like shown!

Copyright © 2005, Robert Walsh, All Rights reserved.