What kind of uniform do I need for aikido?

Aikido uniforms (dogi or keikogi) have several, unique properties to allow aikidoka to move and train easily in their clothes. Aikido gi have shorter sleeves and pant legs to accommodate grabs and falls. They also have reinforced collars/lapels and knees because those areas see uncommon wear. Uniforms from other martial arts can sometimes be worn for aikido, but it is best to wear one specifically for aikido given their special properties.

How do I wash my uniform?

Ideally, uniforms should be washed after every practice and hung up to dry. However, many new students with only one uniform and a zeal for training find that there isn’t sufficient time to wash their uniform and dry it after every class. Always hang up your uniform to air dry after class. Many students will find they can wear their uniform twice before washing with little/no unpleasant odor.

Before buying a uniform, consider how you intend to wash it. If you plan to always hang dry your gi, then buy your correct size. If you plan to dry your gi in a dryer, then consider buying a size larger as an all-cotton uniform will shrink. It is better to have your uniform slightly larger as it can be hemmed.

How do I know what size to buy?

At a minimum, you need to know your height and weight (often in metric). Use the size guide on the website from which you purchase your uniform. If you don’t know your measurements, talk with Caroline, she can take your measurements. If you are between sizes, consider your plan for washing your uniform.

Hemming? Um…I can’t sew.

Talk with Caroline, who also sews, and she can hem sleeves and pant legs. She can also install ties to help hold your jacket closed. Other sewing requests, like repair, are also possible. No worries, no charge! Remember, it’s easier to make a large uniform a bit smaller. It’s hard to add extra fabric to a too-small uniform.

Where do I buy a uniform?

There are a variety of online retailers who sell aikido uniforms: E-BOGU, SEIDO, TOZANDOBU JIN, AOI BUDOGU, AIKI JAPAN, etc. We recommend the “SEIKA” model gi from E-BOGU for beginners because it is both durable and affordable.

How do I wear my uniform?

Wear your jacket with the left side over the right side. Wear your pants with the reinforced knees in front. Check out a YouTube video or talk with a senior student about how to tie your belt.

What else do I need to know about how to wear my uniform?

We’ve compiled some advice from current, club aikidoka about how to be safe and comfortable in your clothes while training. Just ask and we can give you a few other tips.