January 2, 2018 10:11 am

// Boxing and martial arts

At the word “kimono”, an association immediately arises with sophisticated geisha or athletes. For the latter, sportswear is chosen depending on the type of martial arts. Only for a non-specialist, at first glance, all kimonos are the same, but coaches, consultants of sports shops and experienced fighters themselves will name many differences: color, cut, composition of the material and other nuances.

Let’s start with the fact that a kimono for sports is a set of jackets, pants and a belt (obi). Depending on the type of martial arts, the density of the fabric differs:

  • karate is sewn from the thinnest fabric 200-460 g/m;

  • judo – from 450 g/m;

  • aikido – high density of cotton threads;

  • gi (jiu-jitsu Brazilian judo) – high density with reinforced elements, inserts on elbows, knees;

  • dobok (taekwondo). Average density up to 400 g/m;

  • sinobisedz. This is a ninja kimono. It differs not only in black, but also in a special cut.

Where to start choosing?

The size of a kimono for karate or other sports will be determined by the height and weight of the athlete. High-quality products are sewn according to standard patterns and take into account the shrinkage of the kit by 5-10% after the first wash.

To simplify the selection, use the table

Height, cm




















The largest manufacturers of sports kimonos are Pakistan and Asian countries. European and American brands produce products according to their own dimensional grid, which is larger by half a size.

If an athlete has a non-standard figure, asthenic lean or dense physique, it is better to ask a consultant of a sports store or a specialized website to pick up a training kimono in white or another color by individual standards. To do this, measure the length of the sleeve, pants, jacket. If the choice remains between a looser model or a slightly smaller one, then it is better to stop at the first option. So the training will definitely be comfortable, the risk of tearing sportswear will disappear. If there are ties inside the jacket, then they will fit the top for a person. And with frequent washing, a white cotton kimono will shrink. So a little cramped, it will become frankly small.

You can also always order to sew a children’s or adult kimono. However, before that, you will consult with the coach about the requirements, the color of training clothes.

 Is it really possible to avoid shrinkage of the kimono?

When choosing clothes for training judo or other martial arts, pay attention to the weaving (fabric density). Sportswear brands denote it in ounces or g/sq.m.

The fabric of smooth texture is the thinnest and most delicate. Kimonos are sewn from it for karate, taekwondo and other sports where throws and grapples are not used. Otherwise, the kimono will tear. The smooth texture of the fabric is more afraid of shrinkage than others and is demanding of washing and ironing modes. The kimono manufacturer must indicate detailed information about the care on the label. And practical advice can always be clarified with the coach.

The braided texture with a density of 450 to 750 g/ sq. m. makes the kimono heavy, but also more dense. It will withstand grabs, throws. The braided texture will be used in kimonos for Aikido, judo and other types.

Double and triple weaving is even harder. The density is reached 1000 g / sq.m. Such a kimono is not used for daily training, but as clothing for demonstration performances, high-class competitions.

Now let’s talk about the material. The fabric of the sports kimono is 100% cotton. It is hygroscopic, breathable, natural material. But it gets dirty quickly, shrinks. Therefore, sports brands use the addition of polyester yarns. Synthetics give the sports kimono a snow-white color, a comfortable fit, and ease of wearing.

If the composition is 100% cotton, then read the label with recommendations for washing and ironing. The ideal mode is hand washing at 40 degrees. Cotton does not like bleach, because of them the fibers become brittle, the product wears out faster.

To simplify the life of athletes, sports brands practice sewing kimonos for martial arts from already soaked, dried fabric that has shrunk. In the future, such a set will not change its size after washing. But traditional manufacturers are in no hurry to adopt these innovations.

It’s all about the color

Kimonos for martial arts are available in different shades. The color scheme depends on the type of martial arts, rules, traditions and events (ordinary training, competition, demonstration performance with show elements), training conditions (street, room). A trainer can help with the choice of color. White kimonos are more common and versatile. On colored and dark (blue, blue), dust, sweat and traces of tatami are not so noticeable. 

The color of the obi belt depends on the traditions or the level of training of the athlete (roughly speaking, the category). For example, beginners in karate start with white belts, gradually earning obi of other colors, growing up to the legendary black.

A couple of secrets for a snack

Training will be productive, and the mood will be combative if:

  • the training kit additionally has internal ties. They fix the floors of the jacket from opening and slipping during fights;

  • the kimono will not hang on the body or restrict movement;

  • try on clothes for martial arts before buying. It often happens that a person needs a jacket of one size, and pants of another. Then they pick up the top that fits well, and the bottom is customized individually in the workshop;

  • elastic band or ties are the best fasteners of the pants belt. Some kimonos come with elastic bands, as they are more practical. With ties, training suits for jujitsu and other types of martial arts are produced so that the pants do not fall off when thrown.

The athlete’s mood depends on the choice of kimono. After all, this is not just clothes, but the style, philosophy of oriental martial arts. Therefore, choose carefully, use for a long time and always win in your kimono.

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