Everyone who has taken an interest in practicing karate, or pretty much any of the traditional martial arts, knows that they usually require you to wear a uniform, which consists of a gi, and a belt to show your rank. In the case of the Karate Gi Uniform, it is branded one of the most iconic parts of the art, as you can see multiple practitioners wearing their white dress Karate uniforms, along with different colored belts at waist-height, according to their proficiency and skill level.
Best Karate Gis: Editor’s top picks
|Product||Lightweight Student Karate Gi||Lightweight Karate Uniform||Heavyweight Karate Canvas Uniform|
|Model||Karate Gi||Karate Uniform||Professional Kimono|
|Material||100% Premium Cotton||Polycotton||100% Cotton|
|Weight||Not specified||0.66 kg||14 oz Canvas|
|Fit||Sized from 0000 to 8||Available in size 0||Available in sizes 3 to 7|
The Ronin Karate Gi is the perfect choice for those who want a best quality karate gi for training and competitions. Made from 100% premium cotton, this lightweight gi is designed by professionals and tested by experienced sportsmen to ensure the best performance. With sizes ranging from 0000 to 8, you can choose the perfect fit for you. The drawstring waist closure ensures a secure and comfortable fit. Easy to clean and fast drying, this gi is available in white or black. Trust in the Ronin Brand, a name trusted in the Karate world since 1980. Upgrade your Karate game with the best light gi option on the market.
The Hawk Sports Karate Uniform is designed for both training and competition, allowing you to move freely and comfortably with its Y-lapel and elastic waistband. Made from 220 GSM polycotton, this lightweight gi provides durability and reinforced stitching in key areas to prevent frays and tears. The karate pants also feature reinforced stitching from the ankle to the shin. This budget-friendly karate sparring gear is perfect for both beginner and advanced fighters. Launch powerful strikes and kicks confidently with the Hawk Sports Karate Uniform.
The MACS Professional Kimono is the perfect choice for karate enthusiasts of all levels. Made from high-quality 14 Oz 100% cotton canvas, it is durable and comfortable to wear. The uniform features a drawstring waist closure and is easy to care for. With 9 rows of stitching on the jacket hem, arm and pant openings, it’s made to last and withstand heavy wear and tear. The pants are roomy and allow for a full range of motion, making it perfect for intense training, competitions, and combats. Available in white and black, sizes range from 3 to 7.
We will focus on the dress uniform for this article, and let you know which options are the best Karate Gi Brands you should be looking into to get a high-quality one for your next competition, or to improve your comfort during any regular training session. As any other product, we will let you know everything you need about karate uniforms, their origin, how to find your perfect fit, differences between a Kata uniform and a kumite competition uniform, and any other details that will prepare you to buy the best option for you.
Be your interest in finding the best karate gi brand for you, or research into different karate gis to recommend high-quality uniform options to other karate practitioners, make sure to continue reading, as we will be guiding you through some excellent options when it comes to WKF approved gis, either on the Traditional cut, also known as the Japanese cut, or it’s counterpart, the European cut, so keep reading if you are interested.
The good old-fashioned White Karate Gi is something that I have grown accustomed to, as I went through many different options through my journey from white belt to my first Dan Black Belt. It took a lot of time to find my own preference on Karate uniforms, but due to personal experience, I can point out quick options to find best quality karate gi for you to wear on your path to becoming a Karate Master. Most companies in modern times offer nice karate gi uniform options that won’t break our bank like most traditional Gis, and I’ll be diving into those first, but keep in mind that not everyone favors the modern options, and would rather get traditional Gis, even if the cost is way higher.
Regarding the best modern options in the current market, I believe that the lightweight Ronin Karate Gi is an excellent option, and I easily consider it the best overall. This is due to the fact that they offer a high-performance uniform, that feels incredibly comfy while being able to handle tough sessions.
We will also touch on the best options in the Lightweight and Heavyweight Gis and break down some good things to consider about traditional gis and their advantages.
Best Karate Gi Complete list
- Ronin Karate Gi (Best Light Gi Option)
- Hawk Sports Karate Uniform Karate Gi
- MACS Professional Kimono
- Ronin Brand – Super Heavyweight Gi
- G4 Karate Suit GI
- Twister Karate Professional Kumite Master
- ProForce 6oz Traditional Karate Uniform
- NAMAZU Karate Uniform
- Ultimate Fight Gear- Light Weight Karate Uniform Gi
- JUST YEARN Karate Gi for Kids & Adults
1. Best Karate Light Gi
Ronin Karate Gi (Best Light Gi Option)
The Ronin Karate Gi is the perfect choice for those who want only the best quality karate gi for training and competitions. Made from 100% premium cotton, this lightweight gi is designed by professionals and tested by experienced sportsmen to ensure the best performance. With sizes ranging from 0000 to 8, you can choose the perfect fit. The drawstring waist closure ensures a secure and comfortable fit. Easy to clean and fast drying, this gi is available in white or black. Trust in the Ronin Brand, a name trusted in the Karate world since 1980. Upgrade your Karate game with the best light gi option on the market.
The Ronin Karate Gi – Lightweight Student Karate Uniform has decent quality, which isn’t like a traditional hand-made Japanese gi but will hold its ground for possibly years to come.
It is reasonably priced, with the price being around the 50 USD mark, depending on the size and color you choose. As a Lightweight Gi, this is the type of uniform that you are likely to wear through regular training sessions, and in some cases, the one you’ll be favoring on Kumite competition, so it is incredibly important to get the best quality option, and there are a lot of small details that make this one the best in my opinion.
An authentic Japanese gi will always be my go-to option, but Ronin took a lot of effort in making this line of Gis, as it is crafted from 100% premium cotton, which allows for excellent air ventilation, and also allows it to be both hand and machine-washable. The range of motion is not limited, so it doesn’t interfere with my high kicks, and my size (Sizes 3 to 8, actually) comes equipped with the traditional drawstring pants, while sizes 2 and smaller come with elastic waist pants.
This is definitely one of the best options for those that are looking into the best quality karate gis that they can rely on, without spending as much as they would do for any traditional karate gi brand, but having a uniform that will still get approved by the World Karate Federation without any issues.
2. Best Karate Gi Budget Pick
Hawk Sports Karate Uniform – Budget Pick
The Hawk Sports Karate Uniform is designed for training and competition, allowing you to move freely and comfortably with its Y-lapel and elastic waistband. Made from 220 GSM polycotton, this lightweight gi provides durability and reinforced stitching in key areas to prevent frays and tears. The karate pants also feature reinforced stitching from the ankle to the shin. This budget-friendly karate sparring gear is perfect for both beginner and advanced fighters. Launch powerful strikes and kicks confidently with the Hawk Sports Karate Uniform.
This option is for those that are trying to see if they might be into Karate or Not, but do not want to risk spending way too much on their first Karate uniform. Hawk may not be known as one of the most popular karate gi brands out there, but they are indeed making a push by providing good options for uniforms in multiple martial arts for those who need to keep things on a budget.
At 26 USD, this cheap karate uniform does still offer high-quality material, but it does bring both ups and downs. The first is that it has shorter sleeves than you’d expect on the top of the uniform, but the pants end up being a little too long, which can be inconvenient depending on the body type.
It does land on the lighter weight options so it is perfect for people starting as they figure out their long-term plans with Karate training, and before they jump into other uniforms for self-improvement during their journey through the Karate Belts.
I am personally not a huge fan of the Hawk brand, but their martial arts uniforms do offer good quality for a pretty low cost and their Karate uniform managed to get World Karate Federation approval for official competitions, so you do not have to spend too much in order to be able to compete, and I’d recommend this one specific Gi to anybody who isn’t fully convinced of training Karate long term and wants to test things out first.
3. Best Heavy Karate Gi
Pick MACS Professional Kimono
The MACS Professional Kimono is the perfect choice for karate enthusiasts of all levels. Made from high-quality 14 Oz 100% cotton canvas, it is durable and comfortable to wear. The uniform features a drawstring waist closure and is easy to care for. With 9 rows of stitching on the jacket hem, arm, and pant openings, it’s made to last and withstand heavy wear and tear. The pants are roomy and allow for a full range of motion, making them perfect for intense training, competitions, and combats. Available in white and black, sizes range from 3 to 7. Get the ultimate karate experience with the MACS Professional Kimono.
This is, for us, the best option when it comes to the heavier-weight Gis out there, and for those that do not know why you should always have a heavyweight karate Gi at hand, let me explain it quickly:
Though most karate practice, sparring, and tournaments (when we talk about Kumite) require a lightweight gi, the Kata direction, or the “form” direction is one in which heavyweight gis are usually used, as a high-quality karate heavy gi will make a distinctive sound when you are doing your form, and it just adds a little extra to your performance. And if you are looking for a top-quality heavyweight gi, the MACS Professional Kimono is your best bet available on Amazon.
Made from high-quality materials, including it being 100% cotton, the weight gives it that serious feel which adds to the atmosphere of a Kata demonstration, and the build is just right if one wants to practice the Katas without being interrupted by their gi while having reinforced seams in order to withstand heavy wear and tear.
Multiple stitches are a common thing in Karate Jackets, and other martial arts uniforms, but this specific Gi offers their Jacket hem with 9 rows of stitching and comfortable fitting around arm and pant openings.
As we mentioned before, with this Gi being mostly focused for Kata work, remember that it may limit you on the agile movements you would be going for during Kumite, but it will make your Kata performance a lot more eye-catching, especially with a wrinkle-free finish and that fresh look that the high quality materials give, all while keeping the cost at 75 USD
4. Best Karate Premium Heavy Gi
Ronin Brand – Super Heavyweight Gi
The Ronin Brand Super Heavyweight Gi is the perfect karate uniform for those looking for a quality kimono that resists over time. Made with 100% high-quality cotton duck canvas, this gi comes in full black or white colors and offers comfort and softness without patches. Sizes range from 3 to 7, and the drawstring pants ensure a perfect fit. Designed and tested by top professionals, this karate gi is ready to help you kill the competition.
Going back to Ronin for their second product on this list, they also offer a Heavyweight Karate uniform for those looking to improve their Kata performances and want a reliable brand. And once again, they offer a 100% high-quality cotton product for you to be both comfortable and make the most out of your buy; they actually would have been our top Heavyweight pick, as their quality is right on par with the MACs Professional Kimono, but going out between 108 and 127 USD send it to the second spot on the heavy side.
This 16oz Gi is a great option for the Kata focused competitors, and it is even heavier than the previous option, which explains the difference in cost. This karate uniform does offer a great mix between excellent performance and being comfortable, as it has a slightly longer jacket that will fit perfectly and its thickness will showcase in kata demonstration.
You can basically see this Super heavy gi as the equivalent of wearing a tuxedo to an event instead of a t-shirt, mostly for formal reasons, so, if you are looking for the best super heavyweight option, we recommend the Ronin Brand Karate Gi. They are offered in sized 3 to 7, and unlike the smaller sizes in their light gi, there are no elastic waistband options, only the traditional drawstring pants that can’t go wrong.
If you give it the chance, expect this Gi to make a ton of improvements to your kata demonstrations from the very first time you wear it to the mats, as it is pretty well worth the money.
5. Best Karate Gi for Beginners
G4 Karate Suit GI
The G4 Karate Suit GI is the perfect choice for beginners and intermediate practitioners. The suit includes a free white belt, jacket, and pants made from 100% pure 8 oz cotton fabric that is super flexible and lightweight. The double-stitched flat seams provide extra strength and durability. The elastic waistband and drawstring on the pants ensure a comfortable and flexible fit. The G4 Vision Karate Gi comes in 10 different sizes, each graded according to height, with a simple size chart for an exact fit. This is an imported product that should be hand washed only.
The G4 brand has an approach pretty close to what Hawk does, offering a lot of budget options for martial art practitioners, including this uniform which hits right there with the Hawk uniform at 27 USD mark.
It is a pretty neat option to start with, as it comes in a nice package, and just like the Hawk option, offers a free white belt in the package, which means that you’ll be ready for your first class right off the bat. As it should be expected, this Gi goes on the lighter options and it shows, as this 8oz gi feels comfortable and should make it through your kumite rounds and your class sessions with ease
It was surprising to see that this Karate gi had double-stitched flat seams, which add some extra durability and strenght that you wouldn’t really expect in a cheap karate gi option. As much credit as I can give to G4 for offering a decent Gi at such a low price, I can only recomend the budget options in this list to those who are not really sure if they will stick with Karate for a long term.
My final words on this specific Gi, is that it simply feels as if you were barely wearing anything at all, and it is either because they were really taking the “Light weight” to heart, or because both Hawk and G4 make the budget options as simple and easy to produce as they can, thankfully, offering good quality for what they offer.
6. Best Karate Gi for Kumite
Twister Karate Professional Kumite Master
The Twister Karate Professional Kumite Master is the ultimate karate uniform for ambitious Kumite competitors. Imported and made in Pakistan, this athletic gi features innovative cutting and design, including a waisted coat with “Smart Shoulder” and slim sleeves and pant legs. The extra wide and soft elastic band in the pants provides high wearing comfort without painful pressure points, while the elastic waistband adds flexibility. Made of 100% polyester, this karate gi stays shape stable even after continued washing. Hand wash only. Get ready to dominate the competition with the Kumite Master Athletic karate gi by Twister.
This Twister Gi is the first option on this list that is 100% percent polyester and it helps keep the whole uniform in the light weight spectrum, as it is focused on Kumite practice.
Twister is another brand that goes around making budget options for different martial arts, and even though their option for Karate goes on a little higher cost than that of G4 and Hawk, it is hard to say that it tops them quality wise, however, it is pretty close to them.
First of all, they focus too much on the pants’ elastic band, and even though I do not have a problem with Karate pants having the elastic band, but I am not comfortable if there is no drawstring on it at the very least.
I do think that their approach to using polyester instead of cotton in order to keep the gi’s shape stable, making sure that it doesn’t shivel from washing it. Again, even with all this little points that Twister went for, this is one low budget option that I would recomend to those that are just testing to see if Karate is for them or not.
I have nothing against Twister, and I actually appreciate their Brazilian Jiu Jitsu line, but they are not quite there yet with their Karate uniforms just yet, and I’d want to see a few more improvements before considering being any closer to the best budget option, however, they are not really all that far from there
7. Best Karate Gi Lightest Option
ProForce 6oz Traditional Karate Uniform
The ProForce 6oz Traditional Karate Uniform is a lightweight and durable Gi (uniform set) designed for both novice and experienced martial artists. The permanent press fabric blend of 55% cotton and 45% polyester makes it easy to care for and comfortable to wear. The pants feature enhanced stitching at stress points for added durability, a large gusset for freedom of movement, and cuffed bottoms to prevent fraying. The jacket has double-line stitching around the collar to prevent sagging during sparring. This uniform includes a white belt and is available in size 0 (4’5″/135 cm) for students weighing up to 70 lbs (32 kg). Upgrade your training gear with the ProForce 6oz Traditional Karate Uniform.
This ProForce is one of the lightest options in this list, as it is a 6oz uniform made differently as it blends a 55% / 45 % Cotton-Polyester Blend for easy care and durability. The one thing to keep in mind is that this option is a dry clean only uniform; it does however, offer a white belt like most of the others in this list.
ProForce seems to offer a lot of different styles and fabrics, but I personally believe that their lightweight uniforms are the better choice over their heavir tournament gi, as it allows for the extra flexibility necessary on quick sparring sessions and training.
ProForce uniforms are well-respected for a High-quality fabric and the permanent press fabric of this 55 percent cotton and 45 percent polyester blend can be taken care of a little easier than full cotton uniforms and could be considered more comfortable and durable.
The enhanced stitching at stress points allows for more durability, as well as a large gusset that offers freedom of movement when kicking. The cuffing at the bottom of the pants helps prevent fraying. There is double-line stitching woven around the jacket collar to prevent sagging after being pulled and twisted during sparring, which helps any school that does grappling exchanges.
It does offer good protection, and it is in the middle point between the best budget options and our top pick of the list. For those who are willing to give it a chance, it is quite a good option to try out and test in the mats.
8. Best Karate Gi Middle Weight Option
NAMAZU Karate Uniform
The NAMAZU Karate Uniform is a top-quality, durable Gi made of 55% cotton and 45% polyester. It is sweat-absorbent and comfortable to wear, designed for maximum kick motions and flexible play. Meticulously sewn by professional tailors, this traditional uniform is perfect for martial arts fighting. It comes complete with a white jacket, pants, and belt, and a sizing chart is available to ensure the perfect fit. With 12 years of experience in making martial arts clothing, NAMAZU Karate Uniform has a good reputation in the field.
This is the second option in the list that offers a blend in the materials they are made of, offering a mix of 55% Cotton and 45% Polyester, allowing for good materials, while keeping the uniform lightweight, and comfortable. The mix between the materials also allows for a breathable fabric when worn, offering both nice durability and protecting it from gathering odors.
The pants offer a drawstring waist closure, which is something I appreciate, and it competes with the other budget options in the list, falling just shortly behind, as it should be able to withstand tough training sessions just like the others.
To be honest, there is little difference between the regular brands that you can find in amazon, but for those that are picky and have been through multiple options, there is just some details that you can identify just by feeling the uniforms as you wear them.
The Namazu uniform option is in the budget range at 26 USD, and it will allow for good performance on the mats, while keeping it lightweight at a 12oz build for your jacket’s cloth weight, however, the reviews have mentioned that there are some issues with the stitching, as many of the seams tend to have crooked stitches, and there usually are extra strings hanging off. This uniform also tends to feel more like wearing plastic than fabric.
9. Best Karate Gi for Color Selection
Ultimate Fight Gear – Light Weight Karate Uniform Gii
Experience the ultimate comfort and durability with our Ultimate Fight Gear Lightweight Karate Uniform. Made from a cotton and polyester blend, this uniform is designed to minimize shrinkage and wrinkles. The reinforced stitches and panels ensure maximum comfort and long-lasting durability. Its elastic and drawstring waist pants provide a perfect fit for all body types. This lightweight uniform is the preferred choice of practitioners due to its durability and ease of movement. Tested and coach certified, it comes with a free white belt.
The lightweight karate uniform offered by UFG is an 8oz blend of 45% Poly & 55% Cotton for their fabric materials, in order to minimize shrinkage. The blend is nothing new for the list at this point, but it is prefered due to durability while also keeping things lightweight. UFC also offers reinforced stitching in their line in order to compensate for the stress the fabric goes by and to withstand large amounts of wear and tear.
They focused their time on overlapping seams in order to make a heavy-duty double-stitch construction, while offering less wrinkles and minimum shrinkage. The UFG brand also pride themselves on declaring that their uniforms improve with wear and washing too, so according to them, the older your karate uniform gets, the more comfortable it becomes.
The elastic waist pants with a drawstring provide a good fit for all body types, and I’m thankful, as I can’t stand behind only elastic pants. Besides all the other details when it comes to the stitching and the fabric, just like most other options in the list, the belt comes in the package along with the uniform.
Another detail to consider is that UFG not only offers the regular white dress uniform, but they also have it in Black, and oddly enough, they do have it in Blue and Red for those looking for something different. That could explain why so many of the reviews mention having used these as costumes on Halloween, (still a bargain at 40 USD though).
10. Best Karate Gi for Kids
JUST YEARN Karate Gi for Kids & Adults
The JUST YEARN Karate Gi is a great value for its quality and price. Made of 55% cotton and 45% polyester, it is lightweight, breathable, and durable. The elastic waistband with drawstring ensures a comfortable fit, while the strong stitching at pressure points adds to its durability. Designed for maximum flexibility and unrestricted movement, it is suitable for kids and adults of all sizes. Complete with a white jacket, pants, and belt, it is perfect for class training or daily practice and competitions. Get ready to start your karate training with JUST YEARN.
The last brand to make it into the list is Just Yearn, which offers the lowest price in the entire shopping platform, but offer a fabric made of 55% Cotton and 45% Polyester, with a strong elastic band plus drawstring for the pants, and like other models with this blend, offering a lightweight, comfortable and breathable option for you to wear, while being easy to take care in the matter of cleaning.
It is a pretty lightweight offer that allows for all the mobility that you would require, with an assured unrestricted range of movement in all planes of motion. What I could see from the reviews is that some people praise the quality of the uniform at the low cost it is offered with, but they also complain about the color, as they assure that the white uniforms have a pink cast/tint to them.
This is the reason that they made it to the far back of our list. If they are having color issues, that represents a problem to everyone, as regularly, Karate schools ask for the uniforms to be White. Thankfully, it seems like it is not something that commonly shows up, so I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
At a 22 USD mark, they are indeed the cheapest option on our list by a little margin, but in the case of looking for a budget option, we’d still recomend some of the other options, even if it means spending a few more dollars in order to get your uniform.
Karate Gi Buying Guide
In order to find the best karate Gi option out there, you should definitely look into some of the details that we will quickly point out for you to easily spot the best brands and options for you to wear at class and/or competitions:
The fit and cut
There are a lot of details that plenty of people skip over, which include the different types of cuts used in Karate Gis. There are three tipes of cuts used in gis all over the world, and they include the Japanese Cut, the european cut, and the Kata Cut.
The difference between these cuts is basically on the lenght on the pants and the jacket sleeves; The Japanese cut has short sleeves and trousers for less restriction. This cut also has a longer lapel that prevents it from riding up over the belt (obi). The Kata cut is very rare, as it has even shorter sleeves and is chosen more for aesthetic appeal. The European version has longer sleeves and trousers, but the lapel is shorter. This cut again is chosen for aesthetic appeal over practicality.
- The gi should be easy to care for, with the ability to be washed and dried without losing its shape or shrinking.
- The fabric of the gi should be breathable, comfortable, and durable, with cotton or a cotton-polyester blend being the most common materials used.
- The stitching and construction of the gi should be high-quality and reinforced to withstand rigorous sessions.
As you can tell from the options listed above, most options cover the 55% Cotton and 45% Polyesther blend, while the top picks tend to go for a 100% Cotton apporach. And yes, we do remember there was a 100% Polyesther option in the list. You can tell the difference when you wear your uniform, as they tend to feel a little more “plastic” than fabric like they should.
The advantage that the mix between poly-cotton fabrics give is that they won’t shrink nearly as much as 100% cotton products do on their first wash.
- The top of a good karate gi, or the Jacket, as it goes by, should have a comfortable fit, with enough room to allow for unrestricted movement during any session, especially if you are looking for a light option.
- It should be able to close over and overlap so that it only shows a little bit of your chest, as the belt holds it in place. If your belly is showing through the front, you are running a size too tight for your body type.
- The top should have a V-neck style with reinforced stitching, which not only allows for easy movement of the neck and shoulders but also adds to the overall durability of the gi itself.
The length of the sleeves and pants of the gi should conform to your specific style and personal preference. Some prefer shorter sleeves, and shorter trousers on their pants which would be the ones used in Kata Cuts and traditional Japanese Kimonos.
There are always other practitioners who would rather have longer jackets and trousers, which means that they opt for the European style.
A breathable karate gi is important as it keeps the wearer cool, dry, and comfortable during prolongued sessions. It also prevents musty odors and distractions from discomfort, allowing the wearer to focus on their performance.
When it comes to this detail, it comes back down to the materials it is made from, and when it comes to breathability, cotton takes the victory over mixes that include polyesther, keeping you cool during sessions. You may be trading the possibility of shrinking for breathability but I believe it pays off in the long run.
- The materials that your Gis are made from will affect their performance, both in the short and long term run, so take the time to choose wisely.
- Double check the size charts to know what size will fit you better, especially after considering if the material will shrink after washing it for the first time.
- Most karate gis will get the job done when it comes to getting you through training, but if you are serious with your practice, you might as well look for the Best Karate Gi to fit your needs.
The reasons why Karate Gis are so important
The Karate Gi is a gardment that shows that a practitioner is commited to the art, it is the one thing that everyone pictures in their head whenever someone mentions that they do Karate. It is enforced as the uniform in most if not all Karate schools, and to keep it clean and ready for your class is an act of respect to the art, your school and obviously your teamates.
You are going to want to make sure that the fabric of your Gi is both top quality and easy to clean, as you will be having to clean it often between sessions during the weekdays. 100% Cotton Fabrics and 55% cotton 45% Polyester blends should be easy to clean and usually are machine and hand washable, so you can choose what works best according to your time frames.
There are some details to keep into consideration, and you might want to get a good clothes detergents for white gardments, as sweating on your Gi tends to not only create a stink, but over time and use, it could ruin the color from the gi by creating yellowish tone stains, so you better make sure to clean thoroughly from the start, and make sure to keep your Gi stainless and in pristine conditions as long as possible.
This is one of the points that you should be really focused when it comes to getting your Gi, but there are plenty of factors to consider in the matter and could make things tricky for a new practitioner looking into getting the best options for long term Karate Practice.
First, you have to choose on the weight of your uniform, as it basically affects the performance and your movement, but is something you can use to your advantage in some cases.
When it comes to light Gis, you want to have them ready for Kumite and regular sessions, as you can take advantage of how light they feel and how they will not restrict your abilities and offer a full range of movement at a natural speed.
The Medium weight gis favor those who want to develop speed while also making sure that the fabric and stiching of their gis is a little more prepared for a ton of wear and tear, and even if it doesn’t provide the ligghtest experience, it will not retrict your movement and will also help your Kata Performances slightly.
A heavy gi is mostly used for Kata performances, as it may be slightly restrictive to your speed and motion range, but the stiffness of the fabric makes it cause some noticeable sound when you move fast during kata, and then it remains still, giving your performances a stylish look.
In the case of super-heavy gis, they offer a little more for that exact purpose, but, at the same time, reduce your movility and could impact your movement range slighly, which means that you pretty much want to bring one of these over for your Kumite-only classes… unless of course you are offering your teamates the handicap for the round.
The second thing to take into consideration is the Cut, which is just a little factor changing the lenght of the trousers and jacket sleeves, but makes a difference when it comes to Kata/Kumite performance.
The three cuts include Japanese, European and Kata Cut, and as we previously mentioned, they mostly change the aesthetics of the Karate Gi, which makes Kata performance vary, but doesn’t really affect or improve Kumite performance.
Tradition and Respect
We touched upon multiple brands that offer modern gis, but we do have to mention other brands like Tokaido uniforms, which are some of the oldest karate uniform manufacturers out there, and they keep a consistency with hand made traditional karate uniforms.
Alongside Tokaido Uniforms, the Seishin Gi has been getting a lot of love all over the world, as they are also following on the steps taken by older brands and making a traditional hand made uniform that covers all the requirements for great performance.
Of course, this options cost a lot more that the ones listed before, but as a serious martial arts practitioner, I have to say that the money you spend is definitely worth it.
When it comes to most details in Karate, it all breaks down to how life was back in the age that these martial arts were developed.
The Martial arts gi that we all know and love, originated in Okinawa, Japan, and it is similar to the clothes that were worn by fishermen and farmers back in the time, featuring a strong heavy unbleached white cotton jacket, matching pants and a belt to keep them in place. These clothes were designed for functionality and allowing ease of movement, which translated wonderfully into martial arts practice.
Everyone often thinks that karate is just a striking martial art, but when we break down to it’s history, and put some modern styles into consideration, Karate also features grappling tecniques, throws, joint locks, restraints, and vital-point strikes that are also taught into the art itself.
These farmers and fishermen prepared themselves for every possible combat situation, and in order to do so, they decided to wear their everyday regular clothes to train rather than a uniform. As such, even if it was just their everyday gear, the karate gi was first used in Karate in Okinawa, and then ironically, it became the uniform that is world wide known as the image of Karate.
It is for the same reason that even as I accept that some of the multiple options in this list are pretty good for anyone who wants to start their Karate journey, I personally would rather spend the extra money on a traditional hand-made Kimono, as a matter of respect that I feel I owe to a martial art I have spent so many years on. It doesn’t mean that using any other type of Gi is disrespectful, but it just feels unnatural for me to prefer them over the traditional style.
Ronin offers what we consider to be the Best Karate Gi at hand.
Ronin’s lightweight karate gi was by far our favorite pick on the list, being the best quality lightweight option that you can rock every time you hit the mats at your Karate school or when you are in Kumite competition.
With high quality materials for a really reasonable price, it will allow you to be both fresh and comfortable without any movement restriction. The 100% cotton fabric makes this Gi easy to wash, either by hand or machine, so you do not have to worry too much on keeping it ready to go.
In my personal opinion, I will always prefer a traditional hand made Japanese Gi, but if I am to be training with a back-up plan Kimono, I’d definitely go for Ronin’s Light or the MACS Professional Kimono if I require a heavyweight option.
Features to Look for In a Karate Kimono
As previously mentioned, the quality of the fabric used to make a gi is crucial for its durability and performance. Cotton and cotton blends are popular choices as they are breathable, comfortable, and also quite durable. A good karate gi should be made from a high-quality, durable fabric that can withstand the rigors of training and competition, and not have you worry about retaining odors or stains after you wash them.
A well-fitted gi is essential for comfortable and effective training. This time, we are not refering to the cut or the weight of the gi, but the actual size that you should be wearing. You have to consider that your gi should not be too loose, as it can hinder movement and make it difficult to perform techniques. At the same time, it should not be too tight, as it can restrict movement and cause discomfort. The ideal fit is one that allows for a full range of motion without feeling constrictive, so you need to take your time going through the size charts before you make your purchase.
The weight of the gi, as it was mentioned multiple times so far, can affect your performance and comfort during training or competition. A heavier gi may provide more durability and protection, but it can also be more cumbersome and limit movement, making it more reliable for Kata performances. A lighter gi may provide more comfort and freedom of movement, but may also be less durable, however, it should keep you agile for combat practice. It is important to choose a gi that strikes a balance between weight and functionality, unless you will use it only on a focused type of training.
Look for reinforcement in high-stress areas such as the collar, sleeves, and pant legs, to ensure durability and longevity of the gi. Reinforcement can take the form of additional layers of fabric, stitching, or even padding. A reinforced gi can better withstand the wear and tear of frequent training and competition.
You can never go wrong if you are looking for the Gis with the most reinforced seams, as it will allow for you to go through yo sessions without having to worry about your uniform tearing down and giving up on you too early, making you have to spend on replacements unexpectedly.
Design and style:
Karate gis come in a variety of designs and styles, and even if there are not so many color options that you can wear into your regular class, there are plenty of cuts to pick from and it is important to choose one that aligns with your personal preferences and the traditions of the martial art.
Some gis may have additional features such as reinforced stitching, contrast stitching, or embroidered logos or patches. These design elements can add to the overall aesthetic appeal of the gi, but you need to figure things out with your Sensei before you just start branding a ton of patches for class.
Common Questions About Karate Gis
What Size Karate Gi Should I Buy?
Most size charts are pretty easy to follow, as they will point out each size and give you the estimated measurements when it comes to Height and Weight, so it is just a matter of following the guidelines and figuring out which size should fit you best.
Some people have with different body types need to ask their tailor to do little adjustments on their Karate Gis, but it shouldn’t be too much of an issue, and just keep in mind that cotton tends to shrink after the first few washes so make sure to take that into consideration.
How should my Karate Gi Fit?
As we previously pointed out, when you check the size of your Gi and how it fits, you have to consider that your gi should not be too loose when you are wearing it, as it can hinder movement and make it difficult to perform techniques. At the same time, it should make sure that it is not too tight either, as it could end up causing restriction to your mobility and cause discomfort.
What is the best weight for karate gi?
This is a topic that was mentioned multiple times, but the weight depends o what you are going to be focusing that specific Gi into.
If you are going to get a gi for your regular sessions and that is it, you might want to just get a middleweight Gi or look into the lighter spectrum.
If you are going to be using that gi for Kumite and/or require to focus on your speed and agility, you may want to get the lightest options available, in order to have a full range of motion and use your full skillset.
Heavier Gis are mostly used for Kata Performances, and their fabric is also meant to last longer as it should be more resistant, so you may not be going through your heavy Kata Gi that often, which means you should make sure to clean it well after you use it.
What are the Requirements for Gi in Karate Competitions?
Extracting the information straight out of the World Karate Federation Page, we get this:
The WKF homologated karate-gi has high quality characteristics that make it worthy of the WKF APPROVED recognition. There are two modalities:
- KUMITE: Acrylic fabric, light and breathable.
- KATA: Thick cotton fabric.
There are three different types of WKF Approved Karategis:
- White colour Karategi with the brand’s logo on the chest and on the neck and embroidered on the shoulders in Blue, Red or Gold: Mandatory use in all the WKF Official Events (World Championships, Karate 1 – Premier League, Series A and Youth League)
- White colour Karategi with the brand’s logo on the chest and on the neck: Recommended for training and other competitions.
- .Karategis WKF Green Karate: Produced with at least 70% of recycled materials.
The use of “WKF Approved” Karategis cannot be refused by any Continental Federations or its member National Federations.
The WKF APPROVED wording will be indicated on a specific label situated on the inferior seam of the jacket, just above the manufacturer’s label.
What’s the Difference Between Karate Gi for Kata and Karate Gi for Kumite?
As we have covered over and over by now, the KATA Gi has thicc cotton fabric, which improves Kata Performances as it remains stiff and quick movements tend to give out a notorious sound.
When it comes to Kumite Gis, they are light and breathable, allowing you for unrestricted movement at full speed, which is a trait that you can take an advantage from during combat.
What is the difference between Japanese cut and European cut karate gi?
Just to review the topic, the Japanese version, also known as the traditional way to cut a gi, has shorter sleeves and trousers, which allows the practitioners full mobility and it showcases during Kata Performances.
Their counterpart, the European Style, has longer sleeves and trousers, but it is mostly for aesthetic purposes, as it doesn’t really provide any advantages over the traditional cuts. It however, has become quite popular world-wide
Enjoy Your New Karate Gi
Ronin Karate Gi (Best Light Gi Option)
The Ronin Karate Gi is the perfect choice for those who want the best quality karate gi for training and competitions. Made from 100% premium cotton, this lightweight gi is designed by professionals and tested by experienced sportsmen to ensure the best performance. With sizes ranging from 0000 to 8, you can choose the perfect fit for you. The drawstring waist closure ensures a secure and comfortable fit. Easy to clean and fast drying, this gi is available in white or black. Trust in the Ronin Brand, one of the best karate gi brands since 1980. Upgrade your Karate game with the best light gi option on the market.
If you have made your choice with the help of this article, and you are getting ready to shop for the best karate gi option for you out there, then once it arrives, make sure to both take care of it like it deserves, and make the most out of using it and enjoying the quality during your Karate Journey.
If you believe this article could help other practitioners find the Karate Gis that will better fit them, then we encourage you to share it with anybody who you believe may be benefitted by it.
From our part, we only encourage each and every practitioner to taketheir time and enjoy all the little things during training, from making the most out of the awesome quality Gi that you just bought, to taking a deep breath to enjoy your Kata and perform at your best.