karate classes for all ages


What is the Karate Outfit?

Within Karate, students engage in traditional martial art that works to balance both body and mind. All Karate dojos, no matter where they are, maintain standard uniform students and senseis wear. This creates a sense of belonging, community, and discipline. Many people ask, what is the Karate attire known by?

The Karate uniform is called Gi (pronounced Ghee), and in Traditional Japanese culture, it’s known as “Do-Gi” or “Keiko-gi”. It is common for it to be referred to as karate-gi as well.

The Gi is made up of thick cotton and is breathable and non-absorbent. The Karate-gi is made up of specialized parts to provide comfort while training and requires specific cleaning and handling instructions as well.

The Karate-Gi

Uwagi – The Upper Uniform Jacket

The shirt Karate students wear is a cotton crossover jacket with a V-neck shape. It’s large and flowing to improve movement during training and help throw punches with less restriction.

The arm sleeves of the jacket are known as sode. The cuff of the sleeve is called the sodeguchi. The armpit of the shirt is known as the waki, migoro is the bodice, and eru is the lapel.

Zubon – Lower Uniform Trousers

The trousers worn in Karate are known as the zubon. The Karate pants are also flowing and lighter to allow for free leg movement for Karate stances and kicks Like the Uwagi, the zupon is made up of different parts. Useuto is the waist, mata is the groin area, himo is the strings used to fasten the Karate-gi, hiza covers the knee, sune the shin, and suso is the trouser cuff.

Obi – Belt

While not necessary for all karate-gi, the obi belt is used to indicate rank. White is often the beginner and black is the top of the ranking scale. 

Cleaning Your Karate-Gi

It is an integral part of Karate to keep your Gi clean, pristine, and in working order. It shows discipline and virtue towards the art.

After practice, always clean your gi, to help remove any bacteria from your outfit and prevent stains and smells. However, a quick wash is not recommended. And, on the other end, never wear a wet or damp Gi! It will be uncomfortable and could spread bacteria. Hang dry your gi to properly dry it, and may benefit from an area in natural sunlight.

Don’t leave out your belt when washing your jacket and trousers either. Ensure to wash it separately so it does not lose colour or bleed into your other clothing. Unlike the uwagi and zubon, the belt does not need to be washed after each class.

Run your Gi in a cold water gentle cycle for 20-25 minutes and hang to dry. Always wash separately from your other clothing (especially coloured items) and don’t use bleach.

Once dry, ensure it’s properly folded to prevent wrinkles.


The Karate attire you’ve come to know from movies, tv shows, or your kids being in a dojo, is known by a few different names that all mean the same thing. Whether you use Gi, Do-gi, Keiko-gi, or Karate-gi, you have the correct name for the Karate uniform. It’s important to treat the Karate uniform with respect and proper care, an integral part of Karate training. 

Ready to get your own Karate-Gi? Register for our karate classes for kids today and try out our 2-Week Trial to receive a free karate-gi for just $39!

continue reading

Related Posts

  • 859 words4.3 min read
    Read More
  • 739 words3.7 min read
    Read More
  • 567 words2.8 min read
    Read More