Free karate tips

How to choose a karate gi

The simplest way to get your new Karate uniform (Gi) is to ask your instructor. Most Karate schools (Dojos) have a supplier who looks after their equipment requirements and provides them with uniforms at a discount that is passed on to the student.

Some schools insist you purchase your Karate Gi through them and will not let you wear any other type of uniform. Thus it is very important to check with your instructor before purchasing a uniform by yourself.

karate uniform gi

Your instructor will probably be able to take one look at you and tell you exactly what size Gi you require and be able to have it ready for you to wear at your next class.

Some Karate schools carry stock of the uniforms they wear so you may be able to have your new Gi the very first day you begin your martial arts journey.

Uniform sizes / Gi sizes

Apart from the obvious requirement of choosing the uniform which your particular dojo wears, you need to get the right size to fit you.

Most uniform manufacturers use a size chart that corresponds numbers to height. However, this size system varies depending on manufacturer, country and origin. For example, Karate uniforms made for the American and Australian market are usually larger, whereas those made for the Asian market like Japan and Korea are slightly smaller, which is especially noticeable in the sleeve and pants length.

Typical Size Chart

Size # height/cm height/ft
00 120 cm 4′
0 130 4’4″
1 140 4’7″
2 150 4’11″
3 160 5’3″
4 170 5’7″
5 180 5’11″
6 190 6’3″
7 200 6’7′

35 comments about “How to choose a gi”

  1. kat said:

    When put in the wash, how much will the gi shrink, because i am 5ft6 and am thinkin that the 5ft7 gi would be perfect if it shrunk by about 1 inch

  2. Frank Johnson said:

    Good service

  3. Srika Sensei said:

    It won’t shrink. Or you could try to grow a little bit and it would fit you perfect :)

  4. Tony Villarreal said:

    hello Kat the gi will shrink probably 1-2 inches if washed in warm or hot water and dryed on high heat.
    If you would like to discuss more karate related info please contact me @

  5. katee said:

    ok hey, umm i just started karate. i am 5ft4 and they gave ma size 3 karate pants….
    it worked out and the pants were long, but i washed and dried them for 2 miniuts and now they shrunk… im in isshinryu karate and im afraid to tell my instructor that i want new pants, cuz i have to wear them so low down that they dont look right… i guess… i dunno, im gonna be in karate for a while. should i ask the instructor?
    what should i do. they look terrible now.

  6. Skipper said:

    You can always buy replacement trousers from online stores etc. I’m sure your club wouldn’t charge you much if you told them your situation ^_^

    It’ll look more rediculous in the long run if you don’t do anything about it ;)

  7. dojo-joe said:

    Do i need to be blackbelt to wear the Mokaido brand ?..this might sound dumb…but w/e.
    I am brown belt now, grading for a stripe soon, and wanted a new gui(mine is odd pants N top and not realy confortable).

  8. Graham said:

    My gi is huge! I thought it might shrink because it’s the lightweight cotton brand but it didn’t. I had to use wonderweb to stuck the cuffs up. My bottoms are perfect though. I’m goingn to buy a heavyweight canvas one because
    A) I can get one in my size
    B) It makes a nice noise when you moove. (Whoomp)

  9. Charles said:

    Be careful of those dojo who require you to purchase uniforms and equipment from thier dojo store.

    Also be mindful that the size chart above may not pertain to you as an individual. The one above would indicate I should buy a size 6 when in reality I wear a size 5. Six is way to big for me.

    Kanpai Karate-ka!

  10. Lisa said:

    What would you do if you weigh more than the size for your height indicates? (Besides lose weight LOL!) Buy online and you’re taking a guess – should you go with the size that indicates your height or your weight?

  11. J.P. López said:

    I bought a KIME GI “Maestro” about five years ago from a friend of mine that traveled to Houston. I have been looking for an online store to buy it. Does anyone know if there is an online store to buy it? Does anybody recommend a good GI?

  12. devin said:

    thier is nothing wrong with rolling the trousers and cuffs it can also leave you feeling less restricted

  13. Jane said:

    im 5f6 aswell but i dno boiut the washin thing

  14. Jane said:

    I think you should katee because i kno how u feel and i think u should it will be the only way to get new pants.
    By the way whats this guy like is he scary or is he like….mean?

  15. TJ said:

    Not sure if anyone already answered you but I think you can still buy Kime Gi through Sensei Ramon Veras who has a dojo on the South side of Houston. If you look him up or the Goju Ryu dojo he owns then you might be able to order one. Otherwise Tokaido is a well known and nice cut but expensive. -T

  16. ChrisR said:

    Regarding the sizes (and the sizing charts for uniforms from other sites) should I pay more attention to the height or weight? I’m 5’10″ but currently weigh 230-240 lbs.

  17. Tom said:

    In reply to Kat, my gi started of around my knees and is now a perfect size. Although they only shrink in a 60degre wash. Hope that helps

  18. SJ said:

    Question: I’m 175cm, so have had a size 5 ordered. But I’m quite a big person so will it actually fit me?!

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  20. James said:

    I’ve just brought a Heavy weight Gi 16oz. Although the jacket is a great fit, the trousers have a massive waist and just fall off my hips when I kick. Why are Gi’s just in height size?

  21. Iking said:

    I’m 5 feet and 9 inches, I’m just wondering if I should get size 4 or 5.

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  23. Noah said:

    I’m 5 feet tall, but I don’t know about the weight.

  24. Dean said:

    Hey I’m 6ft but a size 6 is too big for me do you think size 5 gi will fit?

  25. zendez said:

    I’m 5’11″ and around waist is a 36 but my legs are short and have an inseam of 30. what size would best suit me?

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    By the way whats this guy like is he scary or is he like….mean?

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