Students who are new to karate will typically use the “beginner gi” which are provided when they first begin training. Once they advance into the intermediate and advanced levels, different uniforms and equipment may be desired. Below we’ve provided some general guidance about uniforms and gear, along with links to a few products we know our students have liked.
What is a “kata gi”?
Kata gi are generally made of heavier fabric that gives off a crisp appearance and snappy sound effect. The pants are typically secured with a drawstring, rather than elastic. They take some getting used to at first, but most students love them after a couple weeks. We strongly recommend that students testing for their black belt wear a kata gi during their exam, so it’s a good idea to train in one sooner rather than later. Here are a couple we like:
What is a “kumite gi”?
Kumite gi are generally much, much lighter — made of a breathable, sweat-wicking fabric — and the pants are secured with elastic. Here are a couple we like:
How do I know what size I am in gi?
The vendors offer these sizing charts to help you make a decision. It’s also often helpful to try on friends’ gi if possible. Sensei can also offer advice. Unfortunately, Enso is not able to keep gi in stock for you to try on.
What if I need a different size karate gi, but I don’t want to ‘upgrade’ to a kata- or kumite-specific gi?
You may purchase a new standard-issue gi from the front desk for $35.
What should I purchase if I’m interested in competition?
Competition requires a lot of specialized and specific gear. For that reason, we have a separate gear-ordering process for all members of our Enso Elite Karate Team. Please contact Sensei Jay or one of the Enso Elite coaches for more information before you make any purchasing decisions.
What if I’m not interested in competition, but I’d like to purchase my own fist guards or other kumite gear?
Enso always has fist guards available to borrow, but many students prefer to have their own pair. Generally shin/instep guards are not necessary for general training, but you’re also welcome to purchase some if you wish. We like these products:
- Arawaza – AAU-Approved Red ($30)
- Arawaza – AAU-Approved White ($33)
- Arawaza – WKF-Approved Red or Blue ($40)
- Adidas – WKF-Approved Red or Blue ($35)
- Arawaza AAU-Approved Red ($45)
- Arawaza AAU-Approved White ($50)
- Arawaza WKF-Approved Red or Blue ($60)
- Adidas WKF-Approved Red or Blue ($57.50)
How do I know what size I am in fist and shin/instep guards?
Below is a sizing chart offered by Adidas (Arawaza does not offer a sizing chart, but we believe the fit is similar). The most important “fit” relates to the foot — the pad should cover your toes, but not so much that you trip on them. There is an adjustable strap near the heel to provide some flexibility. We recommend asking classmates who already own gear if you can try on theirs before you make a purchase.
How do I make purchases?
If you find something you like, go ahead and purchase it directly from the vendor! Enso does not re-sell products.
What if I need more advice?
If you would like additional advice and guidance, please ask Sensei Jay (or your favorite black belt!).