As part of your martial arts training, you should take proper care of your martial arts uniform.
Known as the gi, your uniform is a reflection upon you, your instructor and the martial arts style you are learning.
Not only is proper care of your gi a matter of self-respect, but it is also a matter of discipline.
While your instructor will provide you with more detailed information regarding the proper care of your gi, here are some of the basics that you need to keep in mind when engaging your martial arts training.
Wash Your Gi Often
It is important for you to wash it often. Not only should you wash the gi on a regular basis, you should definitely wash it immediately after a class where it is soaked with sweat. If you allow your gi to sit out overnight without washing it, bacteria can build-up in the material. As a result, it will be difficult to get your gi properly cleaned.
Presoak Before You Wash
Before you wash your gi, it is a good idea to prewash it in the washing machine. When prewashing, you should first allow the washer to fill with water. Then, place detergent in the water and allow it to dissolve. Once the machine has filled almost to the top, you can add your uniform and allow it to soak.
Hand Wash with Mild Soap
When washing your gi, you should never use chlorine bleach to help get it clean. While bleach will help get it clean, it will also damage the material and cause the stitching to come apart. Rather than using bleach to clean your gi, you should hand wash your gi with mild soap. If you choose to wash the gi with other clothes, it is actually best to wash with other items, such as towels. This way, the friction created from modern day washing machines will be reduced. After allowing the machine to wash the gi for about 20 minutes, you might also want to turn off the machine in order to allow it to soak for 20 minutes before starting it back up again and allowing it to complete the cycle.
Avoid Mechanical Dryers
While you can wash your gi in washing machine if necessary, it is best to avoid drying it in a mechanical dryer at all costs. Instead, you should hang your gi to dry immediately after it has been washed. Keep in mind that it may take a couple days for your gi to dry if you hang it in a humid environment. Therefore, depending on how often you train, you may need to purchase two or three uniforms in order to always have a clean one on hand.