Celebrating the year that was 2020
While many people want to put 2020 behind them, we had a lot of good things going on this year at ROOTS Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
On Sunday 6 December, we celebrated our 20-year anniversary of ROOTS Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This was a day for all members of our team to celebrate and be celebrated. We had a number of belts given on the day, but here we would like to acknowledge our new black belts:
Aleks Stojkovski, ROOTS Milperra
David Chow, ROOTS Hurstville
Denis Angelkovski, ROOTS Milperra
Bruno Giordano, ROOTS Warringah
Stoyan Koteski, ROOTS St George
Arash Shafiezadeh, ROOTS St George
We welcomed Mihail to the ROOTS St George Dojo. Congratulations Rob and Maja on your beautiful baby boy!
We had new dojos open in Matraville, Botany, and Avalon. Looking forward to the open mats at Avalon when we can get to the Northern Northern Beaches, or we can just stop in and visit Brad at Paterson's Pies.
The Erskineville dojo moved locations. The dojo is looking great, Trefon!
We got sponsored by a surfboard company! Yugen Surfboards sponsors some of our events and provides a discount to all ROOTS BJJ team members. We even have two Yugen ROOTS BJJ team riders! Contact Federico at Yugen (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
We also made the brave move to open our online ROOTS apparel shop. It has only taken us a decade and a lot of frustration, but we got there in the end.
We all had a go at online teaching! As awkward as it was to do jiu-jitsu and even yoga in our garages, loungerooms, and home offices, it was great to see you all!
Looking Ahead to 2021
As we move in to 2021, we are looking forward to getting back to competitions! We have all missed competing. Looking forward to getting back on top of the podium and winning loads of gold medals as is our tradition.
We are also looking forward to seeing our team grow with a number of new gyms on the horizon.
We have a new app coming this year that will provide ROOTS members with access to fitness, diet, and training programs; online courses; kids' programs; and lots more.
Keep training hard! Set your goals high! See you on the mats.
BJJ4Life Women's Workshop - ROOTS BJJ Charity Event
Paulo is running a charity self-defence workshop at our ROOTS BJJ Warringah Mall Gym on Saturday 5 December.
Tell your wives, girlfriends, mums, sisters, aunties, friends, and daughters to come along an learn the basics of self-defence. All welcome!
BJJ4Life is a fun and non-intimidating self-defence charity workshop for women only (ages 13 and up). Our goal is to teach our most effective and practical Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu moves to women of all ages and fitness levels. During the workshop, we aim to give participants the necessary tools to safely counter and escape from common types of attacks that are typically targeted at women. Our aim is to teach you how to keep safe.
This is a charity event run by ROOTS BJJ Warringah Mall, 100% of ticket sales will go to Gotcha4Life. Gotcha4Life is a non-for-profit foundation dedicated to taking action and having a positive outcome on mental health.
COVID-19: ROOTS BJJ is a COVID-19 safe gym. Maximum of 20 people are welcome to attend the event. Thanks for your understanding!
LOCATION: ROOTS BJJ Warringah Mall is located in Warringah Mall on the ground floor near Woolworths in the Blue Carpark. There is 3 hours free parking at the Mall.
WHAT TO WEAR: Please wear gym or yoga gear. Something that is easy to move in.
WHAT TO BRING: A big smile and a water bottle!
WHO ARE THE INSTRUCTORS: Professor Paulo Guimaraes is the Head Instructor at ROOTS BJJ. He is the highest black-belt in Australia. Henrique Clave is a purple-belt instructor who teaches at ROOTS BJJ Warringah Mall.
CONTACT: Please contact Shannon at email@example.com if you have any questions.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Find us on Instagram @rootsbjjwarringahmall or @rootsbjj.
Tickets are $25 plus booking fee. They are available on Eventbrite or through our Facebook Page. All ticket sales (yes,100% of ticket sales) are going to Gotcha4Life. Limited number of places due to COVID-19.
A big shout out to all of our sponsors for making this charity event happen! Yugen Surfboards, Sub Apparel, oOh!Media, M.Barber, Amazon Power, and Four Seasons Landscaping and Horticultural Services.
The History of the Gi
As we start to think about training again, getting out our gis, and giving them a wash so that they are all fresh for training, it is worthwhile spending a minute or two to ponder where our gis come from. The word gi comes from the longer Japanese word - Keikogi. Many martial arts use a gi, and these become the karate-gi, the judo-gi, and the jiu-jitsu-gi depending on the martial art being practiced.
In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, as with other martial arts, there are set requirements for the gis if you plan to compete. While they do come in a range of colours, the traditional gi is still white.
The Okinawa Story
The humble martial arts gi originally comes from Okinawa, Japan, and is similar to the typical clothing that the fishermen and farmers wore at the time, a strong heavy unbleached white cotton jacket, pants, and a belt. It was designed for functionality and ease of movement. Karate originated in Okinawa and developed from the indigenous martial art, Tode or Te, under the influence of Kung Fu as there was a community of Chinese living in Okinawa at the time. While we often think of karate as a striking martial art, historically, as well as in some modern styles, grappling, throws, joint locks, restraints, and vital-point strikes were also taught.
So, the men that trained karate wore their normal clothes to train rather than a uniform. As such, while it was just everyday gear, the gi, it can be argued, was first used in karate in Okinawa.
Pyjamas or GI
Where does the white colour of the gi come from? Is it from purity of the mind? Purity of the soul? Or is there another story that can be told here. Well, another part of the story of the origin of the gi was that gi may have served a dual purpose.
In 13th Century Okinawa (1477 to be precise), the use of weapons was outlawed, and so the training of martial arts was done in secrecy at nighttime. This is probably where the meaning of “empty hand” in reference to the martial art was derived as the men were training without weapons, this term further developed at a later stage, but we are discussing gis and not karate.
The story goes that the gi not only provided fluidity of movement for training, but it could quickly double as the white sleeping garment that was commonly worn by men at the time in case authorities intruded upon a training session. It is around here that the history of the gi in Okinawa seems to fade. Men still trained karate, but they trained in their normal everyday clothes of a jacket, pants, and belt.
The modern gi
The modernisation of karate in Japan during the 20th Century also included the widespread adoption of the white uniform that consisted of the jacket, pants, and the colored belt that showed the wearer’s rank. This uniform was called a Keikogi. The keikogi was developed and popularised by Jigoro Kano, who was the founder of modern judo. It is evident in the literature that karate schools adopted the use of the keikogi in order to attract more people to the martial art and to lift its prestige from an Okinawan martial art to a Japanese martial art.
So, in a way, the history of the gi starts with karate in Okinawa in the 13th Century, was popularised by judo in the late 19th Century, and has been adapted and modified for a range of martial arts ever since. As an aside, in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, the gi is often referred to as a kimono.
Today there are all kinds and colours of gis. However, there are strict regulations in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, competition colors may be black, white or blue, and no combined colors (white kimono with blue pants, etc.). There are also strict rules regarding sleeves, legs, and lapels. For example, the jacket lapel must be 5 cm wide; there must be at least 7 cm of room from the bottom of the competitor's wrist to the bottom of the sleeve; and the jacket lapel must not be thicker than 1.3 cm. We will leave you all here at the end of this short story about the gi, and, hopefully, we will all be back in the gyms in the next few weeks!
And don't forget to wash your gis!
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