Choosing a Karate Uniform

Choosing a Karate Uniform

What's in a Karate Uniform?

If you are going to do karate for a long time, good quality is a good investment. However, how do you define "good quality"? There are a surprising number of variables when choosing a karate uniform that can affect whether it's good for you. Most of them probably will not think the average person twice. There's nothing wrong with going to the nearest sports store, finding the right one for you and wearing it for a while to see what it feels like, but if you want it for a while, you're in a hurry Worth the effort to weigh a few things.

Terms Gi, karategi, karateogi or uniform can be used. Dogi refers to Gis in general and not necessarily used exclusively for karate.


The most fundamental aspect of Gi-dimensioning is the height in cm (used for European Gis), although sorting is also dependent on weight and other deviant dimensions. Gis in Japan gets a number instead of a height measurement; The figures correspond to the corresponding height in the table below. These numbers may be important when ordering a Japanese source. Note that these sizes are also dependent on the manufacturer! Also be careful because the Gi can shrink, especially after hot or repeated laundry, and Gis from different manufacturers shrink to different degrees. It is common to buy a slightly larger Gi to provide shrinkage. Shureido shrinks the size because they shrink the material itself to make the customer easier, although a small percentage of additional shrinkage may still be possible. It is worth checking that the size of the manufacturer relates to pre or post shrinkage for that specific Gi and or someone else you know, or on the internet you can tell what degree of shrinkage can be expected.

Here is

The following list is in the format:

Japanese Gi Size = Suitable for Approximate Height (eg Cm) = equivalent height (feet / Inch)

000 = 110 = 3ft 7in

00 = 120 = 3ft 11in

0 = 130 = 4ft 3ins

1 = 140 = 4ft 7in

1.5 = 145 = 4ft 9in

2 = 150 = 4ft 11in

2.5 = 155 = 5ft 1ins

3 = 160 = 5ft 3ins

3.5 = 165 = 5ft 5ins

4 = 170 = 5ft 7in

] 4.5 = 1 75 = 5ft 9ins

5 = 180 = 5ft 11ins

5.5 = 185 = 6ft 1ins

6 = 190 = 6ft 3ins

6.5 = 195 = 6ft 5ins

7 = 200 = 6ft 7ins

7.5 = 205 = 6ft 9ins

8 = 210 = 6ft 11ins

For people with non-standard Body sizes, jackets and pants can be bought separately. Many of the top manufacturers offer customized customization, with many different customizable dimensions that can be specified when ordering. For the pants you can have length, waist circumference, diameter / perimeter at the top and bottom of the leg and the distance between the top of the pants and where they divide on the legs. For the jacket, the length, length of arms, length of the central part of the jacket and the circumference / diameter of the arm piece may be varied near the shoulder and wrists. Adjustment adds, of course, to the cost of the Gi.


Cheaper Gis often uses cheap polyester / cotton blends. More expensive Gis is made of traditional pure cotton, which is likely to shrink in the wax and is more likely to rise than a cheap mixed material, but absorbs more sweat is stiffer, holding the body to be more breathable. Some Gis use brushed cotton for softness / comfort. There are high-end polyester cotton blends such as the Shureido New-Wave line of Gis designed to reduce the positive properties of both less, shrink, wipe away sweat because it is absorbent and breathable by keeping away

The weight of a Gi is given in or in a gram or as a number of the "numbered duck" cloth (it is more common for this to be used in Japan and will be Confronted with the order of a Japanese manufacturer). "Canvas" and "duck" are often used interchangeably; "Duck" is derived from the Dutch cloth, which refers to a cloth used for sail clothes.

The use of us as a weight indicator stems from the industrial weights assigned to duck cotton. It refers to the weight of the cloth per square site and does not matter as much as the quality of the material as the duck number. A 10 ounce canvas is not the same as a # 10 cloth. When given in ounces, it usually refers to "single fill" canvas – some fibers used in the weights of the horizontal axis of the weave, which are thicker fibers than those used in a # 10 canvas.

A Gi often has duck # 10 or # 11 (although in industry # 11 is rarely used today). To understand what the numbers mean, you should give a detailed explanation. As a piece of cloth of 36 inches x 22 inches weighs less than 19 grams, it's called the numbered duckling. The duck count is calculated by subtracting the weight of the 36 x 22 inch piece, in ounces, of 19. Hence the numbers are inversely proportional to the weight – a heavier piece of cloth has a lower number.

In addition to the weight of the canvas per square yard, the numbers are also indicative of the likely thread count of that piece of material (more wires in the warp or vertical axis of the cloth and more threads in the " Fill "or horizontal axis of the cloth). The thread count is the number of wires used per square inch. Higher numbered cloths have a higher thread count. More and finer threads per square inch because the wires are closer together means you have less chance of feeling against the skin. The comfort, the flexibility and durability of the material. The larger wire count is achieved by using finer fibers.

Finally, the garment count is also roughly indicated by the canvas number. Garent counting in real terms is the number of wires extending 840 meters to give 1 English weight. For English cotton – if the yarn count is 1, a wire string with a length of 840 meters is 1 kg in weight. If the yarn count is 2, two yarns stretching 840 meters should have 1 kg of weight – therefore the yarns / yarns must be finer; The higher the number, the more fibers stretching 840 meters would be necessary to give 1 kg weight.

It is an indicator of thickness of single wires. Higher yarn counting delivers finer threads and fewer fibers are wound together to form a single wire.

The numbers of the yarn are listed as x / y.

X is a number that indicates how well each fiber is of the material. A higher number means that a fine fiber was used.

Y is the number of individual fibers wound / joined. 2 fibers are brought together a single yarn, the yarn would be twice as thick, but for 1 pound of the new yarn you would only need half the length.

Note that the first number, X, refers to the individual fibers in the yarn and not the resulting yarn laid, eg 100/2 is 2 fibers with a garment 100 which are laid together, resulting in A 50 degree wire.

Note the length of the unit (ie 840 meters for English cotton) varies for different fibers and spinning systems.

Thus, a higher number means a lighter piece of clothing per square meter, a higher thread count and finer threads.

Duck # 11 = 8oz for a 36 x 22 inch piece = 13.09oz per square meter, Used for some karate Gis

Duck # 10 = 9oz for a 36 x 22 inch piece = 14 , 73 oz per square meter, used for some karate gis. Other examples of cloth use with this duck are bags, luggage, shoe tops and shower curtains.

Lightweight Gis

Maybe 6oz or 8oz, these are often the least expensive ones (although not always – the type of material, the design etc. Also has a role – For example, the Shureido Mugen-Fighter is a very lightweight and thin Gi used for kumite and is one of the most expensive uniforms of the Shureido brand. It is not uncommon to have some karate Gis and lightweight are often chosen for kumite competition for freedom of movement. Other examples of lightweight high quality kumite Gis are Tokaido NST and Hirota Pinack.

This will not take as long as the heavier Gis, the carrier speed depends on the amount and content of the training – especially physical contact and grappling They lubricate easier and carry on long-term use.

In terms of heat, the cheaper polyester / cotton blends that get little sweat and despite the lighter weight you feel hot, uncomfortable (like the Gi Stuck on the body) and dripping with sweat. More expensive Gis are often pure cotton or more advanced polyester / cotton blends that breathe well (ie stay away from the body) and allow sweat to evaporate quickly. On the plus side, they are easier to iron and better fibers than pure cotton.

Cheap lightweight uniforms are ideal for beginners or for people who are not sure how long they will continue with karate; The more expensive are suitable for kumite competition.

Medium Weight Gis

Maybe 10oz or 12oz, these are more resistant to use than a lightweight glue and tend to last longer. Even if they are worn when they stand still, they would be somewhat warmer due to the thicker material. During training, they can get more sweat and make you feel cooler.

Heavyweight Gis

] Maybe 14oz, 16oz or even higher, these are often sold as "Ultimate" karate uniforms (as an example) for The devoted / serious karate cow. They are more expensive and this transparent marketingtrick is intended to appeal to in vain karate students who, unknowingly or otherwise, believe that the uniform will make them perform better. Having said that, a good heavyweight Gi can take a long time and it is worthwhile to choose carefully. They absorb a lot of sweat, and because of the stiffness of the cloth, they hide from the skin over larger parts of the body than lighter uniforms – but their greater absorption means that when they touch the skin, they can "wick" away "beads sweat And absorb them in the cloth. The disadvantage of heavier uniforms is that they can take longer to dry and harder to iron. A possible exception is the Shureido New Wave Gis Advertise None Ironing and a quick drying time through the polyester / cotton blend. Aesthetically, this Gis looks very good.

Due to the nature of the cloth they do not delete as easy as lightweight Gis and therefore more care Required when transporting them – they take more space in your bag or need a separate bag! Examples of high-quality heavyweight Gis are the Hirota # 163, the Tokaido Ultimate (SAW) and the Shureido NW-3.

Some prefer a lighter Weight Gives for training and a heavier GI for more formal occasions such as rating and competition. In a perfect world, a Gi would be versatile and fit in both circumstances.

Traditional / Standard Cut vs Tournament Cut

Traditional cut uniforms have full length sleeves and legs, while Tournament cut uniforms have shorter sleeves and legs, maybe 80% of the full length. Citing the reasoning behind the tournament is that it is easier to see the poor contact with an opponent in kumite, making it easier for the referee to score and more likely to score the point; It can also give a greater sense of freedom to the limbs and it is harder for the opponent to catch the Gi. Which cut to choose depends on what you most likely use for the Gi for.

Tension Strips or Elastic Waist

Trousers come with different types of waist attachment. Some are elastic – which are easier to remove (handy to go to the toilet or to take care of!) But if it is too tight, breathing can affect – although this is debatable. The effect can be insignificant. Some use the more traditional drawing rings that can be customized, but are more time consuming to confirm and resolve; They have less chance of breathing, and can reduce the risk of pant reduction, especially important during the killing / kumite. Some pants have both elastic and waistband on the waist, which means they are time consuming to confirm and breathe, but the density can be adjusted as desired. The uniform of the uniform refers to the confirmation so that this is not visible to others and just a preference.

Specific Brands

It would be hard to dispute that the top 3 brands are Hirota, Shureido and Tokaido (in no order). These are the most popular brands, especially high level instructors and provide good quality and consistency of manufacturing. Other popular brands are Kamikaze (now known as Tokon in the US and Kaiten in the United Kingdom), Ronin, Century, Blitz and Adidas.

Color, markings and embroidery

] The traditional color is pure white without markings; White is the most available. Some white Japanese cottons give a bluish shade / tint to the canvas, which varies over time depending on the wash.

Color and markings are in some sense a taste preference, although some clubs have one color over another request that their students wear the same. It helps to fit in with a particular club and can serve as an identification as with a uniform to indicate that that person is a member of a particular club. One could say that one should be careful about the importance of an instructor on color and markings. Special styles are sometimes synonymous with false instructors and rare / invented / hybrid karate styles.

The second most popular color after White is black, although Gis is available in many different colors and with many different markings; Of course, the color does not affect the ability.

Embroidery can often be made upon request when ordering the Gi; The name of the karateka or the name of their club in Japanese letters are popular choices. This can also be done independently, but it is worth choosing a reliable company to do this because it is quite expensive and changes to your Gi's appearance; Japanese lettering would also be much more difficult to order independently.


When a Gi is purchased for a club or competitor by a company, it is common for the Company to advertise some of the Gi. Some may feel that this is detrimental to the appearance of the Gi and is non-traditional, but it does not affect the skill and is quite common in competition.

Badges are often worn (which can be sewn to the Gi) When a karateka represents a club or organization.

All manufacturers generally put a small label somewhere on the outside of the jacket and / or pants – this is only for advertising when the Gi is viewed so close Snap

This is an aesthetic feature of a Gi that is unnecessary when karate is considered as an instrument of self defense against use only if necessary. It appeals to the vanity of some karateka, but it has a useful purpose; While the presence of the snap does not indicate that the technique is performed correctly, a well-executed technique often causes the snap as a result, which provides a form of confirmation of success. It is thus a popular feature of a uniform in performing kata / demonstrations of basics – well-executed techniques accompanied by a blow noise can contribute to the overall impression given to the judge.

Snap is achieved by multiple rows of stitching at the ends of the uniform, stiff / heavy canvas and sometimes starch (which increases the stiffness of the material and adds its weight). It's really no substitute for a good technique.


The amount of washing your Gi will need depends on the intensity of the training and how much sweat you are! The sleeves and especially the collar and cuffs collect dirt from your skin fairly fast and regular washing helps reduce it. Yellow sweat marks can also be removed by washing. To reduce shrinkage, especially with pure cotton Gis, a low temperature setting must be used; The Gi should of course be washed with other pure white crops to avoid color transfer.

Damage can be caused by fast spinning cycles, chlorinated bleaching agents (which can damage fibers and white cotton starts to look gray – mild detergents should be used), dust cleaners (causing pores in the cotton, making it dirty Is kept) and tumble dry (Gis has to be dried from the sun, which proved to arise).

Sport Gis

Referring to Gis suitable for competition.

Generosity of Cut

More material in the right places is less likely to limit the movement.

Considering how long a good GI or belt will take for the duration of your karate career, the investment over time is small.

Other Facts

Each Gi has its own idiosyncrasies – for example, the closure of the jaskist. Others include width of the drawbar screw to make it easier for the cord to be repaired if necessary and for ease of coupling, presence and design of mobility, ventilation and reinforcement and presence of a double cut to avoid damage when the canvas vibrates.


One belt holds a karateka is his or her blackbelt. As soon as they are passed through the other colors, whatever they are, and the black belt is reached, it becomes indefinite for as long as that person continues to train. The only difference in the belt is the color: black belts are as cheap as any other. As a uniform, a good black belt will last for a long time; In fact, the degree of wear of the belt can be considered a rough indication of the experience and the training frequency (appeal to vanity?). Expensive straps are available in different materials, widths and lengths. The central core of most belts is cotton, but the outer material varies; But some belts use a Hessian / Burlap core, a coarse woven fabric made of jute or hemp; Other cheaper brands use a non-descript pellon (a non-woven interfacing designed to provide shape and support). Whether the outer core is silk, satin or cotton, there is not necessarily anything else in the inner cotton core, so the wear of this core will be very similar.



Cheap cotton belts go a good number of years for the average person. There are higher quality cotton belts (such as the Hirota belts that advertise high-quality cotton "Yohachi") that are of greater durability. These belts are completely colored so that a cotton black belt holds the color for the life of the belt but will fade on the washing; Drawings of wear are much less obvious than with a satin or silk band. Brushed cotton is also available.


Side tires, available from Tokaido, are more expensive than cotton and satin and appear to be better (not important for training purposes). They have a silk outer and a cotton core and tend to show much faster than cotton straps; Heavy-used belts on experienced instructors are often faded to white and cut. Initially, these are more difficult to bind than cotton belts due to their stiffness and lack of friction with the outer surface against themselves, making the knots easier to undo. But over time they become easier to tie once the belt is broken.


Similar price for cotton yet with a satin outer core. Like silk, let them wear it faster;

Cotton / Polyester Blend

Some cheaper belts use cotton / polyester blend.

Various widths are available – usually 1.5 to 3 inches in 0.25 inch increments.

The width is just preferred but the appearance, ease

Belt Lengths

Belts with a length between 280cm-350cm are easily available; Long straps can be ordered on request for those with a larger waistline. In general, the required length is 3 times around the waist. A small amount of shrinkage must be allowed.

Below is a useful conversion table between centimeters and inches; The strap must wrap twice around your waist and leave a lot of material to tie a knot.

280cm = 110in

285cm = 112in

290cm = 114in

295cm = 116in

300cm = 118in

] 305cm = 120in

310cm = 122in

315cm = 124in

320cm = 126in


325cm = 128in

330cm = 130in

335cm = 132in

340cm = 134in

345cm = 136in

350cm = 138in

It is appreciated that some manufacturers randomly Use dimensions to indicate the length of the belt.


Most belts have 8 stitches running along the length of the belt to stop the separation / sacking. Some cheaper just have 6. Black belts usually have 10 to 14 lines through the belt and can be wider to catch this.


Embroidery On a belt must be chosen wisely. A good belt is meant to stay with you for life – if you choose to designate your karate club name, you should change the belts if you have moved home or club.

And Drying

Hand wash / soak and dry the belt will prolong life. Quick sweeping for satin / silk belts may suffice and may occasionally wash. Cotton belts can wash machine wash at cold temperatures (to prevent color), but faster turning cycles can lead to faster wear. Washing the belt alone is preferred, although it can be placed with other similar colors.

Irregular washing is all that is necessary – depending on the local climate, the intensity of the training and the duration and how much you sweat as an individual. Use, like your Gi, mild non-chlorinated detergents to damage the fibers and avoid drying in the sun (causing bleaching). It is clear that many of these tips are common sense and apply to both the Gi and the belt to extend life.

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