The GB Method is comprised of many aspects – from the way we structure our classes to the teaching vocabulary we use with our students. All of the aspects of the GB Method are interconnected, each one building upon the next and supporting those that follow. Of the aspects, the GB uniform plays a unique role. It helps to define the Gracie Barra learning experience while promoting the core values of GB: brotherhood, expansion, and integrity. All this from essentially a piece of clothing? Yes! How? Let’s explore more!
Weaving the Foundation: The History of the GB Uniform
The Gi – the Japanese name for the formal and traditional uniform for Jiu-Jitsu – has a strong presence in the overarching world of martial arts, most notably karate. In fact, the Gi that we use today resembles very closely the style of Gi worn decades, even 100 years ago, in Jiu-Jitsu.
During his early years as a young athlete training Jiu-Jitsu in Rio de Janeiro, Prof. Marco Joca had a difficult time finding Gis. This was during the early 1990s, and although the popularity of Jiu-Jitsu tournaments was growing, accessibility to Gis was more limited. Finding a Gi was not the only challenge. It was almost impossible to find the coveted Gracie Barra patch for the Gi.
Prof. Marco Joca wanted a way to represent the school at which he trained – the methodology which supported his Jiu-Jitsu journey. The popularity of Jiu-Jitsu continued to grow, as did the popularity of competitions, which offered unique opportunities to display pride in particular schools and communities.
The realization also grew that a uniform was not just a want – it was a need. A unified Gi – complete with a GB patch – would help to provide for and do the following: