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Snapping the Gi

Some students like to hear the sleeves of their gi (uniform) snap. This is a very bad habit and should be avoided. But as I'm sure you can guess, there are manufacturers that produce gis specially designed to make a nice snapping sound (just as they make black belts designed to fade or wear out more quickly)!

The problem with snapping the gi is that it shows bad timing. To snap, the punch must be stopped and pulled back (so the sleeve will snap forward). To make a really good sound, students tend to stop the punch too early and pull back with the forearm, rather than the lats. Nice sound -- bad technique.

We should not train to stop our punch and make noise. Instead, we should train to generate and transfer power.

I like to wear a light weight gi that does not snap (unless it is wet). I also like to train in a simple T-shirt. Heavy weight gis are too hot here in Hawaii. If I want to practice grappling, I will wear a Judo gi top.

Don't listen to or be distracted by the sound of your gi. Listen instead to the sound of your body as you execute techniques.


Charles C. Goodin