How to choose a kimono (part two: kimono for judo)

How to choose a kimono (part two: kimono for judo)

If you want to buy a kimono for a child or for an adult, then we will be happy to help you make the right choice. Let us briefly recall that in general, all kimonos can be divided into three main categories:

  • kimono for karate;
  • kimono for judo;
  • kimono (dobok) for taekwondo.

In our last article How to choose a kimono (part one: kimono for karate), we reviewed the training gi from various manufacturers and talked about their features and nuances of choice. And today we will continue our topic and talk about judo dogi.

Features of the kimono depending on the style of martial arts

To begin with, it’s worth figuring out how the types of kimono differ. Let’s start with the features of each of the styles:

  • Karate and related martial arts are mainly punches, kicks and kata, or movement with punches.
  • Judo and other types of wrestling (for the most part) are throws, painful creases, wrestling and maximum direct contact.
  • In taekwondo and similar disciplines, kicks are the basis. Although, of course, there are movements and blocks. But the main focus is on the legs.

That is why each type of gi maximally corresponds to the tasks that are assigned to it:

  • kimono for karate – strong but lightweight fabric. Regular cut, loose trousers;
  • kimono for judo – made of a much denser fabric to withstand severe stress during training. The cut is traditional, the trousers are loose and with additional reinforcement in the places of the greatest mechanical stress;
  • dobok for taekwondo – the lightest fabric possible, while being quite elastic. One-piece jacket so as not to get out from under the belt and not to open during training.

Each type of martial arts has its own characteristics. And therefore, it is on the basis of them that one should choose what to train in.

Someone, of course, can object, they say, we have bypassed the attention of the kimono for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or Sambo. Or they forgot about a suit for wushu, kung fu, or capoeira. However, we will explain why this is so. By and large, the kimono for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu does not differ much from the jiu-jitsu in fabric and cut. It’s more about visual components, but we’ll talk about this in more detail a little later.

Sambovki, or kimonos for sambo training, also do not radically differ from judo gi. Yes, this is a slightly different principle of tying a belt and a minimally changed cut. So, instead of trousers, shorts are used. But the jacket itself is made of the same dense material that can withstand serious loads.

Pants and a T-shirt are used for capoeira training. But, by and large, this is the same principle of trousers as in any kimono:

  • durable and elastic fabric;
  • comfortable cut that does not hinder movement;
  • but there are additional straps to hold the cord, which denotes the person’s level.

By the way, we talked about how the level of a student is indicated not only in capoeira, but also in all other martial arts, including in our discipline, in the big article System of ranks in martial arts (part 1).

As for the training clothes for kung fu and wushu, the principle is the same: a comfortable jacket and loose trousers. Only the materials for the manufacture and the cut differ, but not the principle itself.

But let’s back to aikido. The main part of the techniques is painful hold, creases, throws, somersaults and more. Therefore, for adult training, a kimono for judo is better.

But we want to emphasize once again that for children’s training in Applied Aikido, the usual karate gi will be quite enough, since the children are engaged in a somewhat simplified program. It is aimed at ensuring that the child can protect himself. But the risk of injury is minimized as much as possible. You can read more about this in the article Features and differences between adult and children’s training in Applied Aikido.

Kimono for judo – features of a cut

Since we have already decided what kind of kimono is needed, depending on the style of martial arts, then we will talk in more detail about the features of the fabric and cut.

There are two fundamental differences between the kimono for karate and for judo:

  • jacket fabric;
  • reinforcement of trousers in places of greatest impact.

That, in fact, is all. For judo gi, a “woven” fabric is used, which has a much higher density and is able to withstand much more severe loads.

Actually, this “weaving” is a characteristic feature and difference. After all, the fibers of the fabric are placed and combined with each other in a completely different way than in an ordinary kimono. In addition to this, there are reinforced seams, additional overlays of fabric under the armpits and on top of the back, on the shoulder blades.

In this case, the lower part of the jacket can be made of lighter fabric, because it does not have such a large load.

Regarding the trousers, they are made of plain, smooth fabric, just like karate trousers. They have an additional insert in the groin area, which does not allow them to break through and rub during the moments of active work. But at the same time, due to a sufficient amount of work in the stalls, or at the lower level of the fight, there are additional pads on the knees.

Fabric – composition, color, style

As we wrote just above, the fabric used for sewing a dogi for judo has a significantly higher density than for karate. Therefore, the composition does not vary so much. Actually, both the cut and the style in most kimonos are almost identical, with the exception of minor differences.

Of course, there are examples of the use of blended fabrics, when synthetic fibers are added to preserve the external properties. But most judo gi is made from 100% cotton. This ensures the most comfortable feeling during the training process, although, depending on the manufacturer, it still has its own peculiarities.

Most kimonos are produced in Pakistan. However, despite the fact that different firms may make their kimonos even in the same factory, the quality of the cotton itself can vary greatly.

An important nuance that you should pay attention to is the density of the fabric:

  • it can start from 500-550 grams per square meter;
  • and the upper limit is over one thousand grams.

The higher the density, the denser the kimono. Accordingly, very dense specimens are much more hardy. Some even compare it to a kind of armor that provides maximum protection against falls, somersaults and rolls. But at the same time, they add a couple of kilograms of extra weight to you during training. And if they get a lot of sweat (which they do great with), then even more. Thick kimonos are considered by some to be ideal for winter workouts. Someone just prefers stronger specimens.

By the way, for winter training, and for training in general, we recommend combining a kimono with a rashgardam. We talked about their features in the article Compression clothing, its features and use in martial arts.

Another difference is the color of the fabric. Based on it, we can conditionally divide all kimonos for judo into three categories:

  • unbleached;
  • bleached;
  • colored (dyed).

Finding unbleached kimonos is actually quite difficult. On the Ukrainian market, we have come across only a few options. One of them was without an indication of the manufacturer, another was made under the Punisher brand, and can also be found in the sale of kimonos from Kamakura. The only difference between these gis is that they are light sandy in color. Or as it is also called – the color of the safari.

And this kimono most optimally holds the color, because it is his natural. Otherwise, there are no special features. But, again, it is rather difficult to find them.

A much more popular option, which is presented by each manufacturer, is white. There will definitely not be any problems with his search and acquisition. You can buy a white kimono for judo in Kyiv, Lviv, Dnipro, Kharkiv, Odesa. In general, in any city, because this is the most common option, adopted by many associations and federations.

Interesting fact: In some areas of martial arts, the only possible option for training clothing is precisely (and only) a white kimono.

The peculiarity of using a white kimono is the fact that over time it loses its color. By and large, in order to keep it in its original form, it is necessary to wash the kimono after each workout and with a bleach.

The collar, sleeves and the inner part of the back are especially dirty. Indeed, in contact with the skin, they are prone to strong and constant friction. Therefore, the white kimono looks spectacular, one might even say festive to a certain extent, but for a very short time.

Well, the real variety can be found in colored kimonos. The most common option is blue. Almost all manufacturers offer it. It is not as easily stained as white, and yet it has identical characteristics in terms of use.

Overall, the number of colored kimonos varies enormously. In today’s globalized world, you can find anything, especially when you look at the selection of kimonos for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Their style is almost the same as for judo kimonos. But what a kimono for BJJ can really surprise with is the color scheme.

Want a black kimono? You are welcome. Decided to get a dark purple? Easy! For aficionados, there is even a camouflage or khaki kimono on sale. In general, the color scheme of kimono for BJJ is incredible, here you are:

  • green;
  • red and black kimono;
  • gray;
  • blue and many other colors and their combinations.

Especially for girls who want to emphasize their femininity on the tatami, even fitted pink or white kimonos with embroidery on the shoulders are offered.

In general, now you can buy a kimono for every taste. It all depends only on your desire and financial capabilities. But you must always remember that any dyed kimono with time of use loses its brightness somewhat and will not always look the same as the one just acquired.

Manufacturers – comparison and features

One of the most common manufacturers of kimonos for judo is Matsa. Production material – 100% cotton. The density is relatively low. But for those who came across this manufacturer much earlier, we can say that now the quality can vary significantly.

The cut is comfortable enough. The trousers are proportional, but the sleeves become somewhat shorter over time and, with prolonged use, may more resemble the ¾ format. The color scheme is presented in white and blue. And also blue and red for Sambo. The white Matsa judo kimono keeps color and shape well, but the blue loses its color very quickly and becomes much lighter after the first few washes.

Also widely known in the circles of people practicing martial arts, is the kimono from the company Kamakura. Production material – 100% cotton. The fabric is quite stiff, although this aspect depends on the density. And the density can be different, from the minimum to the highest. Therefore, pay attention and do not forget that a cotton kimono always “shrinks” a little during washing. Accordingly, it is not bad, when choosing a kimono, to add 5-10 cm to your height. An important nuance of this manufacturer is that trousers “sit” much faster than a jacket. Therefore, with prolonged use, the pants can turn into some kind of breeches, especially if you take a smaller kimono.

By color, this manufacturer offers mainly white or blue judo gis. Although there are two-tone options. The color holds slightly better than the products of the previous manufacturer. But over time, the blue still fades and stops being so bright. However, as the saying goes, “it does not affect aerodynamics.”

Another quiet budget option is the Wolf kimono. Quite a popular option. The claimed composition is 100% cotton, but some say that they feel an admixture of synthetic fabrics, albeit in small quantities.

It holds color well and sheds much less than the previous two options. But this, again, depends on the washing temperature. Moreover, if it sits down (much less than previous manufacturers), then it is more proportional, both in the sleeves and in the length of the legs. All in all, a good option for regular use.

In the middle price segment, as well as above average, you can pick up judo gi from Green Hill. There are different price options here, depending on the density and quality of the material. It is made from 100% cotton and has good performance characteristics.

Strong enough, hardy, keeps its shape well. Proportional in terms of the length of the sleeves and trousers. Does not fade as much as some cheaper counterparts. But dyed natural fabric, in any case, will lose its original appearance over time.

Also, fairly good quality (in the same price categories: average and above average), you can buy a kimono for judo Adidas or Mizuno. Both manufacturers offer a choice of white and blue. Adidas has a slightly cheaper position on sale, while Mizuno is a more expensive segment.

But at the same time, in addition to cotton, it also contains synthetic fibers, which allows the product to keep its shape and color well. The length of the trousers and sleeves is proportional. A sufficiently wide and thick collar will withstand the loads well during the throwing technique.

Both manufacturers, as well as Green Hill, are licensed by the IJF (International Judo Federation), since athletes are allowed to participate in professional competitions only in appropriate equipment.

For regular workouts, you can choose any kimono to your taste. And depending on your budget.

Another striking, both literally and figuratively, example will be a kimono from Fuji. Mostly their kimonos are used in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but in type they are uniquely judo gi.

Woven structure of the jacket, reinforced pants with additional overlays, durable seams and comfortable drawstrings at the waist. But of course the biggest difference and feature of all BJJ kimonos is their color. Fuji has no equal here. And you can find anything, for any, even the most demanding and sophisticated taste:

  • black;
  • blue;
  • dark blue;
  • purple;
  • green.

But you won’t surprise anyone with these colors. Therefore, the Company went even further: camouflage kimono in khaki, blue and dark blue and more. Separately, one can single out a pink kimono for girls, as well as a white kimono with delicate cherry blossom embroidery on the shoulders. At the same time, the women’s kimono for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or Judo, even has a slightly fitted cut. Therefore, it looks great and sits comfortably.

Therefore, you choose what to buy. Our only recommendation is to check with your trainer about the color and style of your kimono. After all, many martial arts have traditional colors. For example, in the International Federation of Applied Aikido, the two main colors of the kimono are blue (with all variations from blue to purple) and white.

The main thing is to remember, it is not so important what to train in. What really matters is how you train. If you are ready to give your best and want to master a modern self-defense system, we invite you to a trial aikido training for children and adults in our Club. The addresses of the dojos, the training schedule and all the necessary contacts can be found here. See you!