My Karate gi is pretty old and it was a middle-range one (not imported). I begin to be quite experienced and I'm thinking about buying a new gi. Do you really feel different when wearing a top quality japanese gi (the "clap" when you execute a technique, the overall comfort, the performance during a fight) ? I practice full contact karate at 170 lbs, and was thinking about buying a heavy one.

2 Answers 2


Yes, you can really feel the difference in a gi made of heavier weight material. I own a few heavy weight gi I purchased once I reached dan rankings in their respective arts, and they held up very well over years of hard use and many washings. The light weight gi can make a whip-cracking snap, but the heavier weight gi make a lower register whoosh and pop. My really heavy judo gi don't make much of a sound at all, and are still almost as stiff as a freshly starched BDU top. If you buy from a reputable source the higher cost balances out with the durability, since you should not need to replace your gi nearly as often (though YMMV).

  • 4
    As an addendum, I'd add that a heavier gi is very handy if your style involves a lot of tuidi and other grappling techniques. A lightweight gi can work, but it's not gonna last through years of grappling practice.
    – Dungarth
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 16:46
  • No grappling in Kyokushin but sometimes the opponents grab you by reflex quite violently !
    – ArkDeus
    Commented Aug 5, 2016 at 7:51

A good quality gi has the advantage of good quality: comfort, durability, and aesthetics. Heavier gis are generally best, but may get very hot in summer.

Despite what so many say and practice, the sound a gi makes is entirely irrelevant. It is no sign at all that a technique is good or powerful, and concentration on this is rather a symptom of egotism and empty self-congratulation. It's similar to how, in Go Rin No Sho, Musashi describes some samurai as being conceited about their muscular forearms. It helps to train in a tracksuit or t-shirt to rid oneself of this.

Concentrate on relaxation, good form, being rooted, and disciplining your mind and body.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.