How to choose the best quality karate uniform or Gi
Updated: May 28, 2019
This blog is about the origins of Karategi and how to choose a quality Karate uniform.
Origins of Karate Gi
Karategi is the formal Japanese name given to the traditional Karate uniform worn by Karateka during Karate practice and or competition.
The original Karategi where very similar to Judogi or Judo uniform, in fact Gichin Funakoshi wore a traditional Judogi when he demonstrated Karate at the Kodokan in Tokyo, Japan. Very early Okinawan Karateka often wore nothing more than loin cloth or shorts during practice, although this was possibly due to the climate.
The materials used for Karategi are much lighter and usually looser fitting due to the nature of striking and kicking technique used in karate training; although it should be noted that some throws are also taught within karate dojo; - the emphasis is not on throwing or grappling but on striking.
The heaviest Karategi uniforms are made using smooth cotton canvas fabrics weighing 16oz brushed or ribbed, offering greater freedom of movement and comfort. The lightest inferior quality being just 6oz, usually poly/cotton fabric.
Choosing a Karategi / uniform - Quality
When choosing a Karategi it is important to understand not all Karate uniforms are the same when it comes to quality, durability and wearability.
The lightest 6/7oz poly/cotton fabrics, (usually 65% polyester 35% cotton) are very poor quality, which cling to the Karateka’s skin after any perspiration and are easily torn. While they may be appealing due to the low initial purchase price for people beginning their Karate training, they are never smart and have a very limited durability, so in reality you will be looking for a better quality Karate uniform very soon.
White Tiger Gi offer very durable 10oz cotton Karategi for new students of Karate, which are vastly superior when it comes to wearability. They offer true value money when considering durability over poor quality poly/cotton uniforms, so although the initial price is higher, they are much cheaper long term.
Quality Karategi are produced using 14oz or 16oz cotton canvas with reinforced stitching at all the stress points so offering great durability in the most rigorous training. Most serious Karateka consider nothing less than these Karate uniforms for regular practice.
The weight of the fabric helps Karateka determine which Karate uniform to choose, both 14oz and 16oz (offered by very few producers now) stand up to considerable amounts of rigorous application training, without restricting movement. Being more rigid these offer greater ventilation, while being cut from heavier, superior quality cotton canvas they have the ability to draw away perspiration. Despite the heavier weight, most practitioners prefer them over cheap poly/cotton uniforms because of there wearability (comfort) and durability.
White Tiger Gi offer both 14oz Karategi (Elite) and 16oz Karategi (Master) from stock. 14oz karate uniform is available as both White Karategi and Black Karategi. 16oz karategi uniform is available in White.