I’m traveling this week on vacation, down in Florida visiting family and friends. Though the week will be spent mostly poolside with a drink in hand, my daughter lives here and trains Jiu Jitsu locally, so I will be spending some time on the mats, working off my gluttony and catching up with her while bonding in the gentle art.
I didn’t want to fly here and be dependent on the school I was visiting to loan me a Gi for training. I wanted to bring my own, it fits better anyways. I tend to travel light, so I wasn’t too concerned with being able to fit my Gi into a travel bag, but I still researched the best way to fold a Gi. My usual method of balling up the pants and jacket and shoving it into a bag tends to take up a lot of space. I wanted to be able to get it to the smallest size possible so I wouldn’t run out of any room in my duffel bag.
Below I’ve listed the steps I took to fold my Gi. Hopefully this saves you some time trying to find the best way to fold a Gi, especially for traveling on an airplane.
- Lay your jacket on the ground, folding one lapel over the other
- Fold one sleeve over the jacket
- Fold that same sleeve back over itself so the width matches the jacket width
- Repeat for the other sleeve
- Fold the jacket in half lengthwise
- Grab the pants, and fold those in half lengthwise
- Lay the folded jacket on top of the folded pants
- Fold the combined jacket and pants up by one third
- Fold the top down by a third
- Now it’s in it’s final shape, so time to tie the belt. Begin by folding the belt in half
- Lay the belt over the Gi, placing the middle of the belt in the middle of the folded Gi
- Turn the Gi over and fold the belt over the other side
- The next part is the whole trick of making sure the belt is tied right, you have to criss-cross the belt to get the two ends to go 90 degrees from itself
- Turn the Gi over again, folding the belt around the other side and fold one end of the belt under the other making a simple knot
- In order to close the gap between the belt and the Gi, fold the ends of the belt around the horizontal line of the belt as seen in this picture
- Finally, make a knot with the two ends of the belt
That’s all there is to it. For my travel needs this was plenty small enough to fit in my duffel bag. I check my bags but you could easily fit this Gi into a carry on when it’s folded this way.
I got the idea for this from Mong Phu’s video: