Choosing the right Judo kit (judo gi) can be a bit of a challenge as there are so many different factors to consider such as weave, durability, material, weight and thickness.
The type of weave is generally grouped in two categories, single weave and double weave. Single weave gis tend to be thinner and as a result weigh less. Whilst a thinner material will allow the body to breathe better in hot conditions, the material is likely to wear at a quicker rate. Due to this lack of durability many people choose a double weave gi. This allows the judoka to practice for longer without wearing down the material and having to replace their gi. You will however, need to pay a little more for a double weave gi compared to a single weave gi of comparable quality. Double weave gis are also harder to grab making them a wise choice in competition.
Due to the nature of judo practice, constant grappling and throws, judo gi tend to have double layered knee patches which adds to the durability. Thickness also determines the overall strength of the gi. A thicker gi makes it harder to grip in competition especially around the collar so many competitors often choose a gi with thick, stiff collars. Cheaper gis used in practice tend to contain a more flexible collar which are easier to grip.
The material used in constructing a gi can vary as some areas require a greater durability than others. The jacket or uwagi is generally made from heavy weight cotton. Cheaper, lighter weight uwagi will be made from woven cotton. Cotton is comfortable and breathable reducing the risk of overheating during practice or competition. The addition of other fabrics such as synthetics can help strengthen the gi whilst keeping costs down but this will have a negative effect of the breathability and feel of the product. As a rule of thumb the more you pay for your gi the better material and quality you will get. Depending on whether the gi is to be used in competition or practice and the frequncy of practice should influence your decision greatly.
As children grow quickly we advise a single weave value kit (£20-£30). Ensure you get a kit lightly larger as they will be able to grow into it and all gi’s shrink at least a centimetre (if not pre-shrunk). A white gi is traditional and should be purchased first as you may only be allowed to compete in white. A blue kit may be purchased later and are beneficial for training as they do not show up as much dirt.
If competing and for seniors we recommend a double weave judo gi. Senior gi’s can start at around £45 an can be as much as £200 dependant on the gi. Gi selection is entirely personal preference and we would always recommend trying a gi on prior to purchasing if possible.
We have a verity of gi’s available from the club shop. Our head coach will personally measure you and advise the best option for you. As different brands of gi’s have different characteristics such as longer sleeves, thicker collar or lightweight material, from our measurements our head coach can advise you the best gi for your body type.