Free karate tips

The Karate Gi Sparring Trick

A trick that is occasionally observed in Karate sparring tournaments (Kumite) is to remove the ties on both sides of the Karate jacket which normally stop the jacket from coming open. The advantage of removing the ties is that if the opponent grabs your jacket (which usually signals impeding bodily harm or at least a devastating technique), he will merely pull the jacket out from inside your belt and thus, probably to his surprise, he’s left holding onto your jacket and nothing else.

In contrast, if your Gi is tied in the normal fashion and someone pulls at it, you tend to get pulled toward them with your jacket, which usually means you’re in trouble.

grab jacket grab jacket

28 comments about “Karate gi sparring trick”

  1. Russell said:

    Thats a great tip!!!!!

  2. Ak.Arvin said:

    Im karate master in malaysia Perak Parit buntar.Im looking forward to get some kumite spparing method in video so that i can disply it to my student.We are very much intersted.If possiable please mail me some of the video clips you have thatnk you.

  3. Karl said:

    Another problem with tying the gi during a match is that if it is pulled violently, the ties have a tendency to get ripped off.

  4. Manjunath said:

    From my experience in class for the past 3 years, my sensei has never even talked about (i.e. encouraged) pulling anyone’s gi. When teaching self-defence though, he said “grab anything. An opponent’s hair is easy to catch.” Any thoughts?

  5. Gab said:

    Your Sensei perhaps tried to seperate the purity of karate and street fighting hence catching hair or even pinching or biting. The question ideally should be put forward to your Sensei.
    On a diferrent note – why do karate-ka feel the need to address themselves as Master this and Master that? Haven’t we all been taught ‘be humble’ from day one of our karate journey?

  6. Elyssa said:

    Yes i know that my shihan and sensei have already told me we have 3 gee’s one for training with ties one with no ties for grappeling and one with ties for grading

  7. Daniel said:

    That tip is great.I will have to tell my karate instructor Larry Fields about this sight.

  8. james strauch said:

    I have never heard of not tying your gi sides, personally coming from a strict shotokan background.

    if my sensei saw us un tying our gi’s he would have slapped us around the back of the head and would have said ‘dont let them grab you then’

    so no i think its a stupid idea, it takes away the traditional aspects of the martial arts.

  9. Zach Salling said:

    Dear Karate Man,
    I Would not find that as a tip i would find it as RISKY BUSINESS OF WHICH SHOULD NEVER BE SPOKEN OF AGAIN ON THE MAT OF THE ARTS OF MARTIAL OR AS I CALL IT>>> MARTIAL ARTS! even though i perfer to fight with mys silkinT robe i usaly remove 30 seconds into mortal kombat. i am more of an old school brawler, i perferbly like to grab a pole shove it up a hole that is my motto. i fight dirty even though my sense is like stop it grasshoper and im like no cricket go and chirp to the moon while i go to chuckie cheese and get some frikkin tickets i hope ant eats him youknow just give me some space and let me get the poles and shove in some holes sensiahy.

  10. kieron 1st dan said:

    he he another little trick if ur sparing against some one who kicks alot but do it sneaakerly because its not good style tread on the other persons toes when they go to kick trust me it works if u delive a punch at the same time, try it

  11. Keon said:

    I took my gi and rapped it around my ass.

  12. lampard08 said:

    the gi trick (explained above) is quite frankly a mockery of kumite. YOU should learn how to evade, its part of being a karateka!

    Wadoryu rules!! Eire

  13. amanda88z said:

    Personally, as a new student to Kumite, I thought the whole idea was to give you understanding in sudden circumstances to protect yourself if need be? Learning about you function in Kumite, and how the opponent works is stradegy. I think you’re trick would be cheating and doesn’t teach anything but a useless technique.

  14. Mal Hinson said:

    Amanda, you are correct. But apples and oranges. They talking about sport kumite. You are probably studying traditional Karate-do. Good move! Sport see karate as a competing sport or game. The goal is very different from traditional or the real thing . In my 37 years of Karate-do practice I have seen many things and admit for several years I participated in the silly game part. Sport people have many tricks (techniques) from gi slapping as a feint to gi twisting the cuffs after a block to detain. I actually sprayed pan on the arms and legs of my gi. I know many tricks. Never mind about “game” Karate.

    You should understand there is a deference in traditional kumite and self defense techniques. Both are vital but kumite exist only to support self defense techniques. Sport people only do free kumite as win or lose. Free style kumite (jiyu) done right is a partnership with your classmate, not win or lose, you sharing a common goal. You develop movement, footwork, distance, timing, and speed skills. Learn to read the other person’s mind and head them off. Learn to feel, focus on nothing. All these skills are applied to your self defense techniques. Remember traditional training is much harder than sport, but it pays off much more. I don’t let students jiyu kumite below 5 kyu rank and then it’s very controlled. I want them to learn not street fight with gi’s on.

    As for the gi tie pulling trick that started this line of conversation. There is how to deal with it for both sport and traditional full contact. *When pulled push, when pushed pull.* If your opponent pulls you? RUSH him at a 45 degree angle to his side. Step out left or right. Go with the flow. Do not go at his center line. Hit him from the side twice then sweep his leg. If he pushes? Go with the flow, step to side 90 degree, and strike. Your opponent must now change his direction which means his balance is affected. Strike quickly. Always strike when he is off balance or moving.
    Thank you for reading this.
    Mal Hinson

  15. Ninia said:

    I’ve learned this recently, to scare your opponent, step on their foot or stomp loudly with your back foot, they’ll look down and in that split second, you can get an opening.

  16. Andre said:

    Haha, nice one. I’m attending the United Martial Arts Acadamy which focuses on differant styles, and not just one. My Sensei is awesome, and he’s really good at practical self-defense, and he always teaches us to walk away before you anger your opponent. This trick isn’t somthing I’d do personally, but for those who are timid about being grabbed like that, I say do it.

    ~ Andre

  17. Charles said:

    You have got to be kidding me. When someone grabs my karate shitogi and pulls I use that to get inside and destroy them.

  18. cory taylor said:

    Sir. i had never thought of thi but now that i have i realize i have been caught by the gi jacket more than once and not known what to do. this trick of yours seems to be a good idea and ill be sure to try it out next chance i get. thank you sir

  19. Harry High-Pants said:

    THIS TIP ISN’T TURE, CAUSE I’M A KARATE STUDENT AND I TRIED IT OUT AND IT DIDN’T WORK AT ALL, TELL ME WHERE I WENT WRONG.

  20. Jeff "the blue belt" said:

    Oooh i can’t wait to try it :D

  21. opticaljoe said:

    hi there nice tip . but it have its limites many people competeing in kumite,compete in point sparring or koshiki style events which don’t allow much or any grabbing of clothing so this tip can only be used in some events . but i will use it in class from time to time

  22. 1st geup said:

    Actually if someone grabs your Gi or any shirt for that matter either put a lock on their arm (they’ve given you the thing) or strike to the face while you know they can’t possibly defend it (you know exactly where their hands are)

  23. Pr0z1n4t0r said:

    maybe your belt was too tight?

  24. KarateManAdam said:

    I’ve been sparring for many years in many styles and a few competitions from full contact to points and let me say whether you tie, don’t tie, or it doesn’t come with a tie an experienced Martial Artist is not going to be surprised by the gi pulling free in fact I have used the grab expecting it to pull free so I can tangle them, choke the. submit, or throw. This isn’t a tip that will work in most situations under most rules. In Karate especially where the judge will stop the fight and MAKE you re-tie.

  25. ... said:

    it wont work tha arms will prevent t from pulling off unless you turn just right and you also are lucky enough to have your opponent grab one side of the gi this trick could allthough work if it is grabbed from behind but it is highly unlikely that one would turn you around or pull you past them without smashing your face etc. so unless you turn around for no good reasonthis “trick” will do you almost no good

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