So you’ve decided to take up a new martial art. Or maybe you’re taken a few trial classes with one of the loaner martial arts uniforms that many gyms offer beginners and you’ve decided to sign up. Whatever the case, you’ve realized that it’s time for you to to invest in a martial arts uniform of your own. If you’re not sure what the next step in this process is, we’ve assembled the following guide to help you find the right martial arts uniforms for you.
1. Select your martial art.
This might seem like an obvious step, but it’s an important one. Many martial arts uniforms will look similar to the untrained eye. With a few notable exceptions, most include some variation of pants and a wrap-around kimono top that is secured in place with a belt. But the difference is in the details. Each martial art has its own take on everything from jacket skirt size to the texture of the collar. These have been designed with the particular needs of that specific discipline in mind. Selecting an appropriate uniform can have a surprisingly significant influence on your training and progress. For more information on the differences between martial arts uniforms, visit our recent blog post on the topic.
2. Talk to your instructor.
Or another representative from your training facility. Different gyms can have different rules about martial arts uniforms. Some will allow any color of gi while others might require their students to wear white. Others might require you to add certain patches to your uniform. So it’s important to make sure that you understand what your particular gym’s uniform requirements are before you buy.
3. Talk to your training partners.
Once you know what you need in a martial arts uniform, it’s time to start considering what you might like. If you’re already training with your new teammates — or you know someone who is — ask them what brand, style, and size of uniform they wear and why it is that they like their particular choices. This can help you understand what type of martial arts uniforms will work best for you and feel most comfortable in your own training and narrow down the many options out there.
4. Select your size.
Now that you know what you need and what you want, it’s time to select a size. Go online, find a good martial arts supplies store, like AWMA. Consult their martial arts uniforms size guides, like the one below. Measure yourself and determine which size will provide you with the best fit.
5. Select your uniform weave and weight.
Many Karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Judo martial arts uniforms come in a variety of fabrics of different weights and different weaves. Lightweight uniforms are generally a good choice for beginners, but it’s wise to take some time to assess what you want from your training before making your final decision. Do you plan to train regularly? Then a heavier weight might provide you with more durability. Do you plan to compete fairly early in your martial arts journey? Then it might also be worth looking into what martial arts uniforms are legal in competition before you buy.
6. If you’re still confused, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Still not sure about which martial arts uniforms are right for you? You can always reach out to the experts for any remaining questions or concerns you might have. We recommend visiting AWMA’s Help Center for more information.
7. Make your purchase.
You’ve done all of your research. You’ve asked all of the right questions. You know what you want. It’s finally time to order your martial arts uniform!
8. Try it out.
Once your martial arts uniform arrives, it’s time to try it out. Enjoy your training in your brand new gi!