A Few Practical Ways To Fold And Carry Your BJJ Gi

How To Fold A BJJ Gi
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The BJJ Gi is a true source of pride for grapplers that train in it. It’s the proverbial armor of warriors, the most important tool in a Jiu-Jitsu practitioner’s toolbox. That, and they’re expensive as hell! No wonder people really look after their BJJ Gis, each one costs a small fortune and nobody has just one. However, once training is done, there’s no trace of that shining warrior armor you walked in with. Instead, you’re left with a pile of smelly rags, carrying the sweat contribution of several human beings. Try just throwing that in your trunk and you’ll be in for a stinky surprise! So, what are some great transportation options for your BJJ Gi?

In an attempt to maximize mobility and keep the BJJ Gi safe, people look for all kinds of transport variations. The most usual one is a regular gym bag or backpack. Most gym bags will fit a Gi perfectly, but they’ll also keep the smell of a post-open mat Gi. In terms of specific bags, there are backpacks and bags designed for the needs of grapples. They tend to take most variables into account and have ways to allow your Gi to dry without spreading odor. The downside is that they’re not on the cheap side. An alternative is using a drawstring bag that usually comes with the Gi. They’re simple and practical but they’re small and won’t fit much more than your Gi.

Why You Need To Fold Your BJJ Gi

Whatever your transportation choice is, remember that you need to find a way to practically insert your Gi and keep it safe until getting home. Furthermore, you could just fold up your Gi and take it around like that. How might you wonder? Well, after you check out our BJJ Gi folding options, you’ll be able to easily transport your Gi with or without a bag everywhere you go.

The Jiu-Jitsu Gi (and any other Gi for that matter) can be folded perfectly and properly if you know how to do it. It really is very easy, about as easy as folding regular pajamas. All it takes is just a little bit of practice and it can be done quickly and efficiently.  There’s one very important thing, though, that you need to consider before folding. You have to make sure that your Gi is clean and bacteria-free.

The trick is to know approximately when to fold from the bottom up for a perfect, tight fit. Afterward, you can store the BJJ GI in your bag or any other place for an extended period of time. It’s also useful if you travel frequently and wish to fold a BJJ Gi tight to fit into your bags. Check out our folding options to make your life easier and more comfortable.

Here is how you fold your BJJ Gi:

The Basic Tight-Fit Fold

Before we begin, remember that this method of folding is not recommended after you wear the Gi. The sweat will cause the fabric to swell making it difficult to fold.  Even if you manage to fold it while it is sweaty, it will most likely promote bacteria growth. So, make sure you only fold your Gi like this when it is clean.

First, layout the Gi top flat and across an equally flat surface like a table or even the floor. Try and brush the wrinkles off and keep the sleeves flat. Fold the pants in, away from the belt loops, and tuck the drawstring to the inside towards the Gi top. This keeps them away, making further folding easier.

The next step is to fold the lapels. Aim them towards the pants and make it as flat as possible. Fold the lapels, one at a time starting with the left sleeve and lapel towards the inside. Look to fold the sleeve onto itself so as to keep the fabric tight. Do the same with the right sleeve and lapel.

With the pants, you’re going to start from the bottom. First, roll the pants and Gi towards the top. This is where spacing is crucial. Try and keep the folding about 6 inches each, eyeballing the folds as you roll up towards the Gi top. As you fold up, keep an eye on the way the Gi is getting folded. If it feels uneven, unfold and start over changing the size of the fold for optimum tightness.

Once you get the top and pants folded tight, it’s time for the belt. Feel free to wrap your belt around your Gi if you would like. This step is optional as you’ll likely be stuffing the Gi into a bag.

The Backpack BJJ Gi Fold

If you want to have your Gi folded and wrapped around your belt in a carry-on backpack style we have the right option for you. Once again, this is not the best post-workout option. It is, however, slightly better than just stuffing in your bag unless you’re going straight home. The backpack fold allows the Gi to be in touch with air, which helps dry it off and reduce the smell.

When fashioning a bag out of your own Gi, you have a couple of options. The first is a true backpack, with straps for both shoulders. The second is more of a “handbag” model, that hangs on one of your shoulders.

For the backpack fold, you start by spreading your Gi wide open on the floor or a table. next, fold the pants lengthwise once and put them inside your BJJ Gi top and fold the bottom inwards, so that it fits the top. Then you proceed to flap the lapels over, just like when wearing the Gi. Both sleeves then get bent at the elbow and folded over one another. Follow up by folding the Gi top lengthwise, right over the pants that are inside. For the finish, just fold the Gi in half and you’ve got a square-shaped tightly packed Gi.

Now, for the tricky part. Place your Gi, open side up, in the middle of your belt. Next, tie your belt with a regular knot, just like in class. To form the backpack, thread the part of the belt through the Gi, all the way to the other side. Then, make another knot, and hide it inside the GI. You’re done and all set to go!

You can take this even further and place your Rashguard and/or shaker bottle inside the Gi backpack for maximum functionality!

The Handbag Variation

If you prefer to have your Gi hanging by your side, all you need is a simple variation of the backpack fold. This time you do not fold the pants lengthwise after placing them in your Gi. Instead, you just fold the top third so that you shorten them enough to fit inside the top. Close the lapels and skip the sleeve folding, and instead, fold one side all the way to the edge of the pants inside. Next, fold the sleeve, lengthwise, over the part you just folded. Repeat on the other side. Fold once more lengthwise and you’re done.

Now, do a loop with your belt crossing it over the middle of the folded-up Gi. Fold once more, this time over the belt and make sure you leave a large part of it for a handle. Create an “X” with the belt and tie it in a knot on the other side and you’re done.

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