Karate Gi You Can Rely On
Perform your best in training and sparring with the karate gi that can deliver for you. Zett Sports makes quality karate gi that are durable, comfortable to wear, and won't impede you in executing powerful strikes and kicks.
Karate Gi - Frequently Asked Questions
What does gi mean in karate?
The karate gi is the proper name for the uniform worn in karate. Karate uniforms are an important part of the equipment needed to learn the martial art, as they let you move without restraint.
Wearing a karate uniform is designed to give you the control you need to execute accurate moves. Comfortable yet fitting, the full-length sleeves and legs won't get in the way of any karate techniques. The karate outfit is held close with a belt that signals your rank in the martial art.
A karate uniform also plays other important roles during training and sparring - such as soaking up sweat and keeping you warm. Similar to other martial arts, you have to treat the karate outfit with respect. Wear it with pride to your training sessions and sparring matches!
Is there a difference between judo and karate gi?
Judo and karate gi are designed differently, reflecting the differences in the martial arts styles. As karate doesn't use grappling moves as judo does, the karate uniform is looser.
Though judo and karate gi may seem similar on first look, on closer inspection, they are designed for entirely different martial arts.
Karate outfits are not designed for strategic handholds in grappling, or to hold tight to your body during throw moves. They're less snug, have less padding, and the stitches aren't reinforced as much as in judo gi.
Karate is a much more linear form of martial art, similar to taekwondo in that it relies on strikes and kicks over grappling
This means the karate uniform is much more comfortable to wear. Lightweight and loose-fitting, the top is an open jacket tied close with a belt, while the pants usually have a simple elastic band.
Can you wear a black karate gi?
Your club or gym may set a dress code on what colour karate gi to wear. If not, you can choose a white or black karate uniform depending on your personal preference.
Karate uniforms have traditionally always been white, but black uniforms are gaining in popularity due to their aesthetic and easier maintenance.
Aside from which one you think will look better on you, remember to think about how to keep the uniform looking pristine. White karate outfits will show every stain they receive, while black is better at hiding the marks over time.
Both will need special laundry considerations. Both white and black cotton need to be washed in cold water amid similar colours. White may be easier to bleach into its original bright colour, while black tends to fade into grey over time, especially if relying on warm machine wash.
Why is the karate gi white?
Traditionally, the karate uniform was always a pristine white colour, to symbolise purity. The uniform helps to put all students on an equal footing in a training or sparring session.
As a martial art, karate is just as much a mental discipline as well as a physical one. The white colour of karate outfits was inherited from judo, to symbolise the simplicity and lack of ego in striving to achieve a higher level of skill.
Having all students in white karate uniforms also represents equality, as all are equals who are walking down the same path. Only the colour of the belt is used to identify skill level, to pay respect to those who have achieved a higher ranking in karate.
What do karate gi colours mean?
Unlike the belt, karate gi colours don't have any specific meaning attached to them. If your club or gym allows it, you can choose the colour that you prefer to wear.
Karate uniforms are usually white or black, but they can also come in blue, red or other colours. The colour is usually an aesthetic choice, without any philosophical meaning or ranking.
White is the traditional colour for karate uniforms. Adopted from judo, white symbolises purity and truth in the student's goals in learning karate. In fact, modern white karate outfits are bleached brighter than the off-white or beige they used to be in pre-modern times.
Some clubs, gyms or tournaments may only allow specific colours to be worn. If you're unsure, opt for the classy white or black for your karate gi.
How heavy is a karate gi?
What weight karate gi should you buy? Karate uniforms come in three weights: light (150 to 250 g), mid (250 to 350 g) and heavy (350 to 500 g).
The mid-weight karate outfits are the standard weight. Most people will wear these uniforms in both training and sparring, no matter their rank.
The lightweight option is usually for karate kid suits. The lighter weight makes it easier for children to wear during their karate sessions.
The heavyweight option is usually worn by higher ranks in demonstrations. They are too heavy to be worn in actual training or competitions.
There is flexibility to choose the weight of your uniform according to what will be most comfortable. Light uniforms are better suited for a warmer climate, while a heavy one will keep you warm.
What size gi do I need in karate?
If you have a stocky build, choose a karate gi that fits your waist measurements. If you have a lanky build, whether short or tall, choose one that suits your height instead.
The karate uniform is easy to match to different body sizes and shapes. The jacket is an open, wrap-around jacket, tied closed with a belt. Though they traditionally used a tie, modern pants use a comfortable elastic band.
Karate outfits can be entirely made of cotton, or a blend of cotton and polyester. Keep in mind that 100% cotton can shrink if they're not washed and dried properly, while the cotton and polyester blends are less susceptible to shrinkage.