MARTIAL ARTS GIS: GETTING THE RIGHT FIT
Posted on March 10 2018
Martial Arts Gis: Getting the Right Fit
Whether you're just beginning martial arts training or you've been a practitioner for years, you may have encountered challenges in finding Gis that have the right fit. Contrary to the popular saying, one size doesn't fit all when it comes to martial arts uniforms.
Moreover, a single size might not fit correctly either. After all, many of us aren't proportionate; we may require a larger top and a smaller bottom, or vice versa. Unfortunately, though, many people - especially those just starting out - buy ill-fitting Gis from their school or online. But before exploring the possibilities for well-fitting uniforms, let's look at the basics:
Basic Martial Arts Gis
The type of Gis you need depends upon the type of martial arts training you're taking. For example, karate uniforms are significantly different than judo uniforms. In the Japanese practice of judo, the judoka uses his opponent's strength against him, and therefore needs a thick jacket that is difficult to grab. For that reason, judo Gis typically consist of a pants and a quilted cotton jacket that is much thicker than karate jackets. There are also single weave jackets, which are lighter and more useful in long practice sessions to prevent overheating, and thick double weave jackets that are essential for competition.
In contrast to karate Gis, traditional kung fu jackets are typically made from silk and feature a front button closure. Those practicing kendo - the Japanese equivalent of fencing - usually wear a hakama and a kimono.
Mixing and Matching
When you buy martial arts uniforms from a dojo, you normally buy a set consisting of the same size and color pants and top. Today, however, many brands mix and match sizes and colors that fit both your body shape and your sense of style.
When you purchase martial arts uniforms online, it's important to pay close attention to the site's size charts and buy tops and pants that will fit well. It's not uncommon for the best sites to carry sizes ranging from 000 (which would most likely fit a three-year-old) to 12 (which would fit someone well over six feet tall). Jiu-Jitsu Gis range from A0 to A5 for Adults and some brands offer woman’s and children’s sizes that have slightly different cuts. Taking an extra moment to get the right fit will make feel more comfortable in your Gis.
It's also important to select the proper fabric weight for your specific martial art and skill level. A beginner, for example, might go with a medium weight Jiu Jitsu jacket, while an experienced practitioner might need a super-heavyweight fabrication.