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Variants of Martial Arts Uniforms

Updated on March 29, 2019

Martial Arts is a well-known form of diversified, rigorous training but there are many aspects of it that people are not aware of, including the uniform that martial artists wear. There is so much more to martial arts uniforms than what meets the eye–essentially, simple white clothing combined with a colored belt that trainees wear on their waist. The intricate detail behind this garb is exactly what we aim to discuss in this article. There are dozens of types of martial arts uniforms out there, however, we are going to address only four of the most commonly used ones. Without further ado, let’s get right into it.

martial arts clothing
martial arts clothing | Source

KEIKOGI

Keikogi is a combination of two words; Keiko and gi. Keiko means ‘practice’ and gi means ‘dress’ which plainly refers to the fact that this is a suit meant for judo practice. The suit itself was designed by judo founder Kano Jigoro for his students. There are reports of the modern day keikogi being worn back in the early 1920s.

Keikogi is also made using a variety of different materials. The most one is a single-weave which is a lightweight material. It’s usually used in summertime. Then, there’s the double-weave, this material is the exact opposite to the single-weave and is most commonly used in the winter. Gold weave was introduced by the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation. The Brazilians needed a material somewhere between single and double so they can up with the gold weave. Finally, there’s the platinum weave which is slightly lighter than the gold weave.

BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU GI

The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Gi is a uniform that’s more preferred in modern day Japanese martial arts. The gi is a heavy cotton jacket with belts that are used to communicate the rank of the person in training.

The gi is much more than just a uniform. The International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation has a long list of regulations that need to be strictly met before the gi can be worn in a professional competition. Those regulations are quite extensive and we won’t be getting to them in this article.

The fabrics for the jacket include cotton and denim. These materials make up heavy pants that are fit to be worn in colder weather. The jacket materials are similar to the keikogi; single weave, double weave, and gold weave. Apart from these materials, a ripstop fabric which is a combination between several different materials like cotton, silk, polyester, and nylon and weaved together to create a lightweight, but extremely strong material. This material is near impossible to rip and lasts years without signs of wear and tear.

JUDOGI

A judogi is a Japanese sparring suit that’s quite similar to the karategi, a uniform that we’ll discuss next. Both of these uniforms come from the same origin. The Judogi was the very first modern martial arts uniform which has changed a lot over the past few years.

Just like the Brazilian gi, judogi also has a strict set of rules and the referee holds the right to disqualify a competitor just for a wearing a loosely fit judogi.

Judogis usually have just two thicknesses; single weave and double weave. The single weave fabrics are usually 300-550 g/m2. But the fabric can even be lighter. Extremely light judogi is used by practitioners since they spend extended hours training at one time. Double weaves are thicker at 1050 g/m2. These uniforms are heavier but they give a competitive advantage since they’re harder to grab.

KARATEGI

The karategi belongs to the same family as the judogi, but the only difference is that the karategi is designed to be much more lightweight. The heaviest variant of these uniforms weighs only half a kilogram compared to the judogi that goes over one kilogram. Karate gi’s specialty is that it’s a uniform that can be bought at every price range. From cheap gi’s to the more expensive, high-quality ones; you’ll find them all.

The gi is slightly more lenient when it comes to the size and shape of jacket, sleeves, and pants. Trainees change the length of different parts of their gi’s depending on what part of the training they’re currently on. Apart from that, dojo’s prefer that young practitioners use cheap versions of the karate gi since they’ll eventually outgrow them. This is a cost-effective solution for many people. However, these uniforms are really low quality when bought cheap and it won’t take much to rip through them.

Despite this being a brief introduction, we hope it will provide you with the essential information needed to make a decision regarding your next martial arts uniform. We would be happy to share more with you so please don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email for further details.

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