We are often asked questions concerning how to care for your karate-gi. So here is a suggestion on how to fold your gi. Washing it is another story entirely.
There are several ways to fold your gi and we are not talking about rolling it up and throwing it into your gi bag at the end of each class!
In some organizations, a student must show proper care for their gi to pass their first belt. They must demonstrate both how to properly tie their belt and fold the uniform in a traditional manner.
Traditionally known as a dogi, the karate gi was adopted from Judo’s judogi by Gichin Funakoshi. The judogi is a little heavier material and made in a weaved pattern for durability. Funakoshi changed the gi so it would be lighter and removed the weave pattern. The uniform includes the uwagi(jacket), zubon (pants) and obi (belt).
Folding your gi not only makes it easier to put away but it also helps eliminate wrinkles without having to iron it. With each fold you smooth out the material with your hands removing wrinkles and helping to compact the material.
Much like any activity that is taken by a culture, there is some ritualistic method to the folding of the uniform. Everything that is worth doing in Japan seems to have a beauty to it. That includes the folding of the karate gi.
Many of us have our own method of folding our gi. So we looked online at several methods and decided to share this one. This method was chosen because it was artistic, beautiful and utilized all parts of the gi.
Several methods show the components rolled up into a cylindrical shaped log of cloth and tied with the belt. This method was eliminated for two reasons: 1. Rolling your gi does not seem artistic, and 2. It is not FOLDED!!! The key element in traditional gi FOLDING!!!
The following images were taken of a gi in the 2013 IKD Canada Cup program. There is a video following the photos.