Karategi: guide to choosing a karate kimono
Karate is one of the most famous Japanese martial arts in the world, practiced by millions of athletes. Those approaching this discipline, however, may find themselves in difficulty in the choosing the first karategi, the typical uniform of those who practice Karate, as they differ in fabric, weight, cutting e color. Here is an essential guide to choosing the Karategi in the correct way.
Fabric and Grammage
Karateges are generally made of the following. cotton 100 percent or with a percentage of polyester. The fabrics used are very durable and at the same time lightweight, which are indispensable features of a good karate kimono. The weight (i.e., the weight of each square meter of fabric) is another important characteristic to evaluate when choosing a karategi. The lightest ones are around 200 g/sqm, and are good for training. Then they go up in weight towards 250-300 g/sqm, up to 400-500 g/sqm. The higher the grammage the higher the quality and strength of the karategi. Karateges with higher grammage are more valuable and expensive.
Kata and Kumite Kimonos. What is the difference?
Kata and Kumite are two styles of Karate. The first is combat against an imaginary opponent in which technique, power and expressiveness are evaluated. The second is actual combat with an opponent. The Karategi used in the discipline of Kata generally has a three-quarter cut, both in the sleeves and in the Trousers. In addition, the fabric has a higher weight and produces a swoosh (o snap) that helps to see if movements are being performed correctly. The Karategi used in the Kumite on the other hand is usually lighter, as it is meant to facilitate movements during combat.
How do I choose the size of my Karategi?
The size of the karategi should be chosen according to one's height. The size guide system may vary by brand, but in any case there is always a guide to help you find a match with your height. The karategi is usually soft on the body, it should not be tight, but allow the athlete to make movements in total freedom. That said, just get the size that is closest to your height, or at any rate prefer a few inches more, as it will sag a bit during washing. At Combat Arena the sizes for each karategi are given.
The color of the karategi
The most commonly used karateges are in the color white, which stands for simplicity and humility of the athlete. However, there are also karategi of the color black. The choice is personal, or more commonly it is one's master or school who chooses the color of the kimono.
What are the approvals?
Karateges are worn both during training and during the official competitions. While in the former case any type of karategi can be used, during competitions it is best to use approved kimonos. The main organizations are: WKF (World Karate Federation), EKF (European Karate Federation), FIJLKAM (Italian Judo Lotta Karate Martial Arts Federation) and FIKTA (Italian Federation of Traditional Karate and Related Disciplines). The various homologations are indicated at the time of purchase and are mandatory to compete in the respective federations.
How to wash a karate kimono?
One's karategi should be washed after every training session and competition, to wick away sweat and keep the fabric in perfect condition at all times. The optimal way would be hand washing. It is best to avoid too high temperatures in the washing machine, keeping to 30-40 degrees, and wash it separately from other colored garments, such as the belt. Special attention should also be paid to ironing, which could ruin the fabric if not completely dry.
Which brand of karate kimono to choose?
In general, all brands have quality products. The difference in price may depend on the weight, type of workmanship, and fabric. Generally speaking, there are no shoddier brands of karateges than others, but different product lines and price ranges. Certainly, however, there are some brands that are better known and appreciated. Among the most popular are certainly Tokaido, Hayashi, Ko Italia, Kappa e Itaki. Also of excellent quality are the kimonos made by Adidas e Venum.
Advice for beginners
If you are just starting out and approaching the world of karate, choosing a karategi will be an important step on your path. For the first few times, you will not need to buy expensive, competition-approved karateges, but a good, breathable, soft and comfortable ribbed cotton kimono will suffice. A weight of around 280 g may suffice, and later move on to heavier fabrics. By practicing this discipline, comparing yourself with the master and your training partners, you will understand what kind of karategi is best for you.
Karategi for children
When choosing a child's karategi, you can safely follow the advice given above. The weight can be around 190/200 gsm, with 100% cotton fabric. As for size, it is best to buy a kimono 5-10 cm more than the child's height. This is because of the good rule that children grow fast.
The karateges featured on CombatArena.com.
On CombatArena.co.uk you will find many models of karate kimonos from different brands. Inside each product sheet you will find the karategi features listed in this guide. We hope we have been of help to you. If you still have doubts do not hesitate to contact us.