Home Japanese warriors Way of the Warrior – Telegraph India

Way of the Warrior – Telegraph India


Gi combines the spirit of martial arts with perfect design, say our fitness and fashion experts

Mayukh Banerjee, Sanika Kakirde


Posted 07.10.21, 04:05 AM

Gi is a Japanese term used for the uniform worn by martial artists during training and competition. Each martial art has its own unique Gi. It might seem uncomfortable for a beginner, but it’s a second skin for seasoned martial artists.

Some reasons why a martial arts student always wears a Gi during practice:

A matter of pride:

A Gi for a martial artist is what a uniform is for a soldier. It instills in the student a sense of pride. It brings concentration and attention back to the class and emphasizes the seriousness of the training.

Equality and humility:

Martial artists are people with special skills. But what is taught early in the classroom is to be humble in their use or display. A Gi teaches you that no matter who you are outside of the Dojo, your seniority within it depends on your level of expertise and skill and nothing else. The colored belt worn around the Gi normally denotes seniority, something which is acquired through experience and examination and which is not given easily.


Although a Gi may seem bulky at first, it is more suitable for combat training. A Gi is able to withstand the tugs, pull-ups, and grips that would normally rip a gym t-shirt in no time quite easily.

Be special:

Yes! Wearing a Gi makes you feel special. Not everyone has the will to follow the path of the warrior. A Gi is only presented to a few who show up regularly to class and go through the grind that will eventually help them master the art and on their own.

The writer, martial arts and fitness trainer, is the founder of Mike’s Martial Arts, an advanced martial arts and fitness center based in Calcutta.


The Gi is inspired by the kimono. The cross design is typical of Japan. Three parts make up the Gi: jacket – uwagi, pants – zubon and belt – obi.

The jacket has two lapels. The left side comes above the right. The obi is related in two styles, the traditional and the “Hollywood”.

Wearing the Gi correctly and fastening the belt is one of the first lessons a student learns. The color of the belt depends on the rank of the Karateka. Made from strong fabrics like heavy cotton, sometimes polyester or canvas, the Gi is designed to withstand quick and quick movements, high kicks and sometimes combat or “Kumite”.

Freedom of movement is the key. In such scenarios, it is often said, the dirtier the Gi, the better the student, indicating the level of practice.

Fabrics should be good for ventilation and sweat absorption.

Most Dojos encourage a white Gi, but a black Gi may be allowed. In many cases, it is only the Sensei who wears a black Gi. There are three styles of Karate Gi:

European, Japanese and Kata. The difference is between the length of pants, sleeves and jackets.

The Gi is a powerful yet humble garment. It represents the wearer’s potential to develop great inner strength and the ability to use power responsibly.

With great power comes great responsibility.

The columnist, personal stylist, expresses herself on everything related to fashion


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