Why Are Gi’s White?

Have you found yourself wondering why Gi’s are white? Maybe you have heard that there are other color Gi’s and you want to know what the difference is between them? No matter the question that brought you here today, we have the answers for you! 

When it comes to Gi’s, many of us see the white uniforms and think nothing of it.

Why Are Gi’s White?

But as soon as someone asks why they are white or what other colors mean, the question takes root in our mind, and no matter what we do, we can’t seem to shift it! We start searching, determined to find the answer, but never seem to get the answers that we need. 

Instead, we are met with conflicting information and further debates that leave us feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and unsure where to turn or who to trust.

But no more! Today, we are here with the answers that you need. Stick with us as we walk you through why Gi’s are white and everything else that you need to know about them!

What Is A Gi?

Before we dive into today’s article, let’s take a step back and have a quick recap for those in the room that need it! A Gi is a uniform worn in a range of martial arts, such as Judo, Karate, Taekwondo, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. 

The uniform typically features a loose-fitting jacket that is tied with a belt around the waist and cotton trousers that are reinforced to ensure they are durable and last through your fights.

The traditional uniform is still used today in fights and classes so that students learn how to fight in the correct clothing and how to use it when grappling with their opponent. 

Gi’s tend to be made of cotton so that they are breathable when students are training or fighting in warm conditions.

Gi’s can come in a range of thickness and cotton blends now, allowing you to find the best thickness and durability for you. 

The price of Gi’s varies too, depending on the quality of the material used and the brand you are purchasing from.

Thankfully, there is plenty of choice on the market at the moment, so you are sure to find a Gi that suits your budget. 

Now that we have established what a Gi is, let’s move on to why you came here today and find out why Gi’s are white! 

Why Are Gi’s White? 

Gi’s are white because traditionally, that is the color they have always been! It is standard for students and trainers alike to wear a white Gi, with the color of the belt changing to reflect the level of the fighter, with white belts being the lowest level and black belts the highest level. 

Gi’s originated in Japan, where the color white traditionally signifies truth or purity. It is probably for this reason that white was adopted for the color of the Gi, as most of the martial arts that use Gis have an element of spirituality to them.

As Gi’s have been used for centuries, it is hard to pinpoint what the reason for them being white is, but these days, it is the standard color for Gis across a range of martial arts. 

To take part in most fights and competitions, you will need a white Gi. It is important that you are wearing the correct color Gi and that your uniform is on correctly, especially the belt.

Not only does it mean that your jacket won’t come undone during the fight, but it is part of the dedication, commitment, and discipline that the martial art teaches you. 

Don’t worry, your trainer will show you how to correctly tie the belt and wear the uniform in your first few classes! There are also plenty of tutorials that you can check out online for reminders or step-by-step tutorials if you need them! 

What Do Other Color Gi’s Mean?

What Do Other Color Gi’s Mean?

Although white is the traditional color used for Gi’s, there are other colors of Gi’s out there.

It is not uncommon these days to see blue, green, gray, or even black Gi’s worn by fighters or advertised for sale! So what do these colors mean? 

Well, not a lot! Blue Gi’s were introduced in Judo to help differentiate between competitors when they were fighting.

This was then adopted by Jiu-Jitsu too for the same reason. In Judo competitions, you can now wear a blue Gi as well as a white one, but no other colors are allowed.

These rules are made clear to all fighters before the competition starts, so make sure you check the rules before taking part in any fight, just in case! 

The rules change depending on the martial art too. Jiu-jitsu for example also allows black Gi’s in competitions.

But in major events like the IBJJF World Championships, you can only wear a blue Gi if you are a black belt competitor.

Outside of these events, the rules are more relaxed and you can wear the color Gi that you want. 

Of course, this does vary, so be sure to check with your instructor what their rules are before you purchase a new Gi.

There is no point purchasing a Gi in a funky color if you can’t wear it! Although the different colors don’t have a meaning, they can be a good way to show your personality while you are training and fighting, plus they can be easier to keep clean than a white Gi!

Final Thoughts 

And there you have it, Gi’s have always been white, with the color being associated with purity and truth in Japanese culture.

Wearing the white Gi uniform is an important part of martial art training, with the use of different color belts to differentiate between the level of fighters. 

Although you can now purchase Gi’s in a variety of colors, the white Gi’s are still the most popular ones that you are likely to see on sale everywhere! 

Christopher Anderson
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