The #1 Top-Secret Karate Project I’ve Ever Done: Here’s How You Can Help

By Jesse | 64 Comments

Dear Karate Nerd™,

Question:

Have you ever experienced any of the following problems when training Karate?

  • Every time you try to kick, your gi pants get stuck on your thigh.
  • Every time you do a high block, your gi jacket gets curled up.
  • Every time you punch, you desperately try to hear that “snap” sound, but it rarely appears.
  • Every time you do a deep shiko/kiba/zenkutsu dachi, you need to pull your pants up a little.
  • Every time you finish kata or kumite, your gi is all messed up.

These are everyday problems facing any Karate practitioner out there. Problems that, when added up, make regular Karate training a bigger pain in the ass than it honestly should be.

(I know, because I used to have ALL of the above problems. And I hated it.)

Now, as if that wasn’t enough, please have a look around the dojo next time you’re training, and then tell me the following:

Who actually looks good in his/her gi?!

Who actually has a gi that fits his/her physical composition?

Truth be told, most people are actually too skinny, too fat, too buff, too short, too tall or too handsome (sorry, that’s just me!) to be wearing their regular gi! But, since they have been using the same ol’ gi for so many years, they aren’t aware of their horrible “wardrobe malfunction”. They have become blind to the fact that they could be looking, feeling and yes, even performing at a whole new level simply by upgrading their gi!

Why is this the case?

I’ll tell you why.

In fact, I’ll gladly tell you why:

Because 99% of Karate uniforms on the market today are pure crap.

Yeah, that’s right.

I said it.

And I know what I’m talking about, because I’ve had them all; from Hirota, Shureido, Kamikaze and Arawaza to Tokaido, Tokyodo, Blitz and Adidas. The list goes on. If it exists, I’ve probably owned it. Most of them even in several sizes, models and versions!

The sad reality of most Karate gi on the market today is that they’re are made by inactive people behind big desks, with no actual, hands-on knowledge about the true demands that hard Karate practise places upon the gi you’re supposed to be wearing! I mean, seriously, you don’t have to be Einstein to calculate that the results from hour upon hour of intense punching, kicking, blocking, falling, jumping, striking, throwing and sweating – week after week, month after month – are enough to make any regular Pakistani pajama (that’s where most modern gi are made) resemble an old piece of dishcloth.

Yet, when you compare an elite gi to a regular gi, that’s how it looks!

Here.

This is what most people imagine a good Karate gi looks like:

Nothing personal, just look at the gi folks…

When, in fact, this is what a real gi should look like:

My old friends Ryo, Arata and Takuya always look sharp.

If you’ve worn both types of gi, you know the difference is like night and day!

Now, you might be wondering what the heck I’m trying to say here, and that’s okay. I know I can be confusing sometimes.

So let me just rewind the tape a little:

A year ago I got an e-mail from a concerned reader who was asking about help when choosing the perfect Karate uniform (gi). And, as you know, I get a lot of e-mails from concerned readers. This was nothing strange. So, as always, I tried to honestly answer the question to the best of my ability; explaining about different gi brands, sizes, materials and such. But, as my reply steadily grew longer, I gradually started noticing a thought pattern evolving in the back of my mind. A thought pattern that would prove to change a lot in my life, although I didn’t know it at the time:

There is no such thing as “the perfect gi”.

Sure, I know, it might not sound like much. But this exact e-mail, and the deas it sparked in me, was the starting point for what would eventually turn into an obsessive personal quest, taking me all the way to Okinawa, Japan, Turkey, Italy and beyond. You see, for little over a year now, I have been secretly working on a huge project.

And now the time has come to tell you:

I’m engineering the perfect Karate uniform.

That’s right.

The perfect Karate uniform

Together with my team of highly skilled textile experts, I’ve been secretly seeking to craft the “ultimate” Karate gi for over a year now.

And to tell the truth, not even in my wildest dreams could I imagine it would take this long! (To be completely honest, I’m not even there yet. But I’ll tell you more about that in a moment.)

You see, kind of like Dr. Frankenstein, I’ve been fanatically experimenting with a plethora of uniforms, fabrics, cuts, brands and sizing charts collected from all over the world, together with invaluable contacts I’ve made during my trips (especially in Okinawa), in my mission to ultimately create the perfect Karate uniform for the regular Joe. A gi that conforms to the body, is durable enough, looks naturally amazing, is free of weird chemicals, feels awesome and just makes people around you go: “Damn, I want to have a gi like that!”

A gi that makes you wish you never had to wear anything else – ever.

Why?

It’s simple: Because I’m tired of finding small faults in every friggin’ gi I buy! Because no gi, let me repeat that; NO GI I’ve ever worn has been 100% perfect in terms of sizing, fit, texture, durability, fabric, usability etc.

(Hey, there is a reason why this is the longest, hardest (and weirdest) secret project I’ve ever been working on…)

This is a gi made by Karate people, for Karate people.

And you, dear reader, is the first one I’m telling this to.

Because I need YOUR help now.

The gi I’ve been making, which comes in three models (labeled KATA, KUMITE and KEIKO) is almost done. I can’t disclose too much information about stuff like the actual name of the brand, the unique features, marketing strategy, associated partners etc. but I can tell you that I’ve already had two of the models (KATA and KUMITE) officially approved by the WKF (World Karate Federation) for global competition, which is something of a monumental task in itself. In other words; the sizes are right, the labels are there, the material is awesome, a majority of the details have been adjusted, it’s fully hand-made… but there is still one thing missing.

One crucial thing, in fact.

I NEED PEOPLE TO TEST THE GI.

I need people who are truly passionate about Karate, interested in acquiring an original gi, obsessive about finding details of improvement, and – most importantly – attracted to the idea of being amongst the first people to build this future gi brand from the ground.

In short:

I NEED YOU.

And please, don’t get me wrong now: this is certainly no small hobby or side project of mine. Oh no. I’ve invested far too much time, sweat, money and energy for this to be some tiny footnote in the chronicles of Karate history.

Read my lips:

THIS.

WILL.

BECOME.

THE.

NUMBER ONE.

KARATE. UNIFORM.

IN.

THE UNIVERSE.

And now I’m giving YOU the chance to help me get off the ground in the last phase of this bold undertaking.

Here’s the deal: I only have about 50 (fifty) gi left of the initial test batch. Only KATA and KEIKO models. The KATA is intended for kata practise, while the KEIKO is for all-round training. (The KUMITE has unfortunately been used up, since I’ve been secretly handing out test examples to elite national team members and other kumite veterans/experts around the world). That’s all I can say for now.

Again, you can be one of the FIRST people to test the KATA or KEIKO gi models, making you not only an owner of the initial uniform from the future “ultimate Karate gi” brand in the making, but also an official freelance contributor to my Research & Development team (your full name will be featured on the brand website, which is about to launch later this year) for your invaluable contribution.

And if you are anything like me, I KNOW this sounds interesting.

(Personally, I’m almost jumping out of my chair just from writing this!)

But, of course, there’s a catch.

More correctly, there are some important requirements. I mean, naturally I can’t be having just any McDojo street bum testing these exclusive gi, as this project is far too important for that. Briefly, here’s what I need from you, if you choose to be a part of this mission:

  • You need to have owned at least two gi. The brand(s) doesn’t matter, but the more the better.
  • You need to be available to regularly train with the gi for a test period of three weeks.
  • You need to fill in a mandatory online form after the test period is over (very important).

That’s it.

After the test period is over, you will keep the gi.

Why?

Because you will have bought it.

That’s right. You need to buy the gi. The reason is simple: I know that many people will email me after this article, going “Jesse-san, I want to test the KATA/KEIKO gi, send me five free samples!” and before you know it, I have fifty free gi spread out all over the world – with little or no control over the end result!

And I can’t be having that.

Obviously you will get it significantly under retail price, and I will of course include free shipping to anywhere in the world as a bonus for your help.

That’s how I roll.

So, if this sounds even moderately interesting, and if you fit the criteria (mandatory), here’s what you need to do:

NOTE: THE KARATE GI PROJECT IS CURRENTLY FULL. FOR FUTURE UPDATES AND NEWS ON THE PROJECT, MAKE SURE YOU SUBSCRIBE TO MY POSTS. THANK YOU.

When the fifty gi are taken, the offer will immediately become inactive and all future contact with the chosen participants will be handled directly through e-mail.

And that’s it.

Now… how does this sound?

I know it’s a pretty crazy task, but I’m 110% confident it will be a success once it’s completely done (believe me, I’ve come way too far to give up on this thing!) – as you will see for yourself.

As a matter of fact (this was supposed to be top secret, but what the heck): I already have a couple of World Champions, European Champions, Okinawan Champions and Pan-American Champions on the boat. Just so you know.

But in this phase, YOUR job is more important.

Lastly, whether you choose to be a part of engineering the perfect Karate gi with us or not, I sincerely hope you take a second look at your current gi and ask yourself:

- “Was this the best they could make?”

The answer will tell you exactly why we will take over the Karate world.

I’m waiting for your application.

About the author

is a self-titled Karate Nerd™, best-selling martial arts writer, unreasonably handsome elite athlete, autodidact, karatepreneur and carrot cake aficionado. He really thinks you should become a Karate Nerd™ too.

64 Comments

  1. Warrioress

    July 18, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    COUNT ME IN

  2. Vincent

    July 18, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Jesse, your idea is just perfect. Unfortunately I don’t have any money to put into your project because I’m a student(and I bought a brand new shureido tournament like 6 months ago 8D), but I support you 150%. Be sure (like CAPS LOCK SURE)that if your gis are that good and world class karatekas like it, I’m going to order one really soon.

    OSU ! Thx for bringing so much energy into the karate world !

    (sorry for the english)

    • Ken

      July 27, 2012 at 10:21 am

      I feel your pain I just bought a new century 12 oz gi, it’s fits pretty good, and I’m a big guy, I hope Jesse that when you do make the gi available to the market you will remember the big karateka of the world. If I was not poor I’d buy one lol.

  3. Becka

    July 18, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    WOOOOOO! Pick me!- my Gi’s are all so annoying!!

  4. Julia

    July 19, 2012 at 12:17 am

    Applying as we speak!

  5. Dave

    July 19, 2012 at 2:49 am

    Good to hear, I look forward to the result…sadly my last gi looks too much like that first photo, I just wanted it to fit better than the next size down, a tragedy! When I asked Sensei if it made me look fat….well now its just awkward and weird when I wear it! Sadly this misadventure has sucked up my gi buying funds, so best of luck amigo. I wish you well for all our sakes!

  6. Vmn

    July 19, 2012 at 3:17 am

    How much does the test gi cost¿

  7. Ben

    July 19, 2012 at 3:48 am

    I was just thinking of buying a new gi that would have a judo top and karate bottoms, like a BJJ gi. Instead I’ll check this out!

  8. Galina

    July 19, 2012 at 4:57 am

    Jesse, I have been looking for a good women cut gi for about 10 years. So far I found 2 brands with a relatively good women cut, but they still are not perfect. If you have gi specially designed for the woman’s body, I am highly interested.

    • Jesse

      July 19, 2012 at 6:40 pm

      Galina-san: Thanks for chiming in! I find your idea quite interesting -- could you perhaps elaborate a little? Are we talking wider hip area, narrow shoulder type of cut?

      • Shaun Brown

        July 19, 2012 at 10:28 pm

        Juka makes a decent women’s cut gi. It has pleats in the chest area and wider hips with a narrower waist. Wife has one and it fits well.

      • Julia

        July 21, 2012 at 4:58 pm

        Speaking as a broad-shouldered teenage girl, I think a wider cut at the hip and a narrower cut at the waist would be better. Gis usally fit me fine across the chest and shoulders, but they can ride up and try to swallow me. :-(

      • Lenny

        July 23, 2012 at 4:36 pm

        My wife has normally no problems with gi pants, but gi tops are problematic since the combination of wide shoulders and breasts normally leads to not that quite-well fitting look.
        Gis that fit in the shoulder / breast area are way too wide at the waist. Gis that look nice around the waist get tight around the chest.

        • Cinzia

          February 21, 2013 at 2:04 am

          Exactly, so we either look enormous or risk to get swallowed as Julia effectively pointed out !

  9. Marcilio

    July 19, 2012 at 5:21 am

    Sir, Challenge accepted!

  10. elC

    July 19, 2012 at 11:04 am

    You already gave the answer concerning the perfect gi, it’s common practice in BJJ: No Gi!

    There can not be the perfect gi for everyone, as all our builds are very different. So the only gi that can be perfect is a custom-made hand-tailored one.

    • Jesse

      July 19, 2012 at 6:38 pm

      Very true -- the only 100% perfect gi will always be a custom made one.

  11. Rob

    July 19, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Hello, how much is the test Gi? Looking forward to applying to be a test rat ;-)

  12. Stu

    July 19, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Sad face….what about us Kobudo nerds?

    • Jesse

      July 19, 2012 at 6:37 pm

      Stu-san… there’a s lot of interesting stuff going on in the Kobudo department too, believe me! I didn’t forget ;)

  13. Boban Alempijevic

    July 19, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Sooooo sended in the email, Have had few Gis and basically Kumite ones I simply can never wear, Kata ones, well the arms are usually still to long and to wide :)

    And yeah, agree with elC. basically to get the perfect one for everyone it has to be custom made and hand tailored :)

    • Jesse

      July 19, 2012 at 6:37 pm

      Thanks Boban. And yes, of course, the only truly perfect gi is a custom tailored one.

      • Glauco

        August 13, 2012 at 1:01 am

        Well…the problem with that is that you need to find a tailor that’s also a seasoned karateka.

  14. Rob

    July 19, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    For me the legs are always too long. My Blitz Gi came with two sets of trousers and one was about 9 inches longer than the other!

    Or maybe I just have really short legs?

    • Shaun Brown

      July 19, 2012 at 10:29 pm

      Rob -- I’m the same way. I’m 5’6″ (66″) with fairy short legs and a longer torso. I always have to have them tailored.

  15. Shaun Brown

    July 19, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    I just purchased a new gi for AAU Nationals, but I just applied too. Can’t have too many good gi’s. Nothing seems to fit especially well and has all the features I like. Kwon comes close but I don’t like the material as well. Here’s to hoping your gi’s are dynamite and don’t cost as much as a shureido!!

  16. Matthew

    July 20, 2012 at 11:56 am

    I would be honored to be a “Stunt” pilot for your
    experimental super secret Gi!!!!!

  17. Jesse

    July 20, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Thanks everyone for your awesome comments so far! With your help (…and a lot of patience!) this might just become something beyond the ordinary. ;)

    • Shaun

      July 24, 2012 at 9:57 am

      Hope you got my email. I’m very interested! Thanks.

  18. Darrin Johnson

    July 21, 2012 at 8:37 am

    The best Karate Gi is no gi at all ;-)

  19. Al

    August 1, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    Hi, I’ve send you an e-mail last week, cause i’m interested in the Keiko model. I don’t know if you had no time or if my e-mail had been thrown to the garbage by your mailbox.. if you could have a look and if some of this uniques Gi (both kata and keiko model)are still available please contact me, Thanks
    Alessio

  20. Ryan Parker

    August 2, 2012 at 6:22 am

    I suggest (only half-jestingly) that perhaps the best option might be to go back to the super ultra-traditional karate uniform used by the most renowned of the old Okinawan masters. Namely, a pair of shorts and/or a short-sleeved shirt and a pair of shorts

  21. David

    August 3, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Just sent the mail, i hope there are gis left…

    I use Kata-Gis with extra Snap-effect with caution. In my option, they are designed to snap, even if you do not have any kime. Fooled me the one or the other time, now i do not use them anymore.

    I assume your gis are designed to snap louder, not easier?!

    Looking forward to get my hands on one of those gis…

    • David

      August 11, 2012 at 4:01 pm

      I’m not in, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
      ;-)

  22. Renzo Calcagno

    August 5, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Hello,

    I just stumbled into your blog by chance, and I liked it very much. I train Kyokushin Karate, live in Montevideo, Uruguay since septembre 2010. I’ve owned & used 4 GIs so far. I’d love to try one of your Keiko Gis. Mail already sent!
    Osu!!
    Renzo.

  23. Dave

    August 21, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Any news?

    • Jesse

      August 22, 2012 at 12:08 am

      Dave-san: Further news will be sent to those who are a part of the project! It will take some time though, since recent events on the horizon hint that this is getting bigger than I first anticipated ;)

  24. Zachary

    August 23, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Does the kata gi ‘snap’ like that of a Shureido NW3? ;-)

  25. Tony

    September 19, 2012 at 5:56 am

    It needs to breath! Also a little room for kicking in there. Elastic waist is easier, but kind of so anti karate it hurts to say it out loud. Snap is over rated, Snap is for showing off, not for real karate. You should all be ashamed of yourselves for using a snappy gi to make yourself seem better than you are.

  26. Carlo Ros

    December 7, 2012 at 3:25 am

    I would like to buy one of your Kata gi. THERE ARE NO KATA GIs in my country! Please send me price information if you still have any available.

    • Jesse

      December 7, 2012 at 10:52 pm

      Carlo-san: I’ll let you know when the new prototypes are ready ;) Big things happening!

  27. Oscar Arellanio

    December 17, 2012 at 6:38 am

    Sounds intersting how do i aply and th cost.
    Im from Mexico.
    Thank you

  28. Kata Y

    January 23, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Hi Jesse,

    Was looking for a sizing link in the web regarding my purchase of a Shureido Gi. So happened that I bumped into this web. Hmm.. I have an upcoming competition and after reading ur web, would like to check if you are able to let me test out on your Gi :) I would provide any subsequent feedback you need definitely. Just want to say, would love to be part of your project and use it for this competition. :0

  29. Danie

    February 1, 2013 at 6:45 am

    Hi Jesse,

    what happened to this project? I’m looking for a new Gi and will gladly pay for one of your “project” gi’s.
    I think I might be the first guy in New Zealand with one ;-)

    • Jesse

      February 1, 2013 at 8:07 pm

      Danie-san, the project is going awesome. New prototypes are under construction! I’ll keep everyone posted, this stuff takes some time… ;)

      • Danie

        February 3, 2013 at 1:41 am

        Oss!

        Thank you Jesse-san. Tried a Tokaido again yesterday but just don’t like them. I know ppl will hate me for that but I think the SMAI’s are better but still not quite what I want…. hurry up already, please?!

  30. Steve

    March 13, 2013 at 6:25 am

    I love this idea. Everything about it is awesome.

    I use so many different Gis depending on training temperature of the day (cotton for Summer and Canvass for Winter), competing in Kata (canvass for “SNAP!”) or Kumite (elastic nylon for stretch). In Kata I’ll even wear the Gi pants from a size 5 and the top from a size 4 so I can pull the canvass pants up to my chest so I can drop into a deep Shiko-dachi yet look all buff and muscly up top (try it, it works)!

    The only solution is the Pokemon approach, gotta get em all!

    Count me in Jesse-san, I’ll take one of each model as soon as they are ready.

  31. Benjamin K

    March 17, 2013 at 1:59 am

    hmm, will be interesting to see how the ‘perfect’ gi deals with peoples’ opinion on ‘cuts’. Too long for some, too short for others. Some like baggy, some like traditional. Anyway I am also interested to see the outcome because you’ve hit the spot on this topic … even today I personally am still looking for a gi despite having gone through a dozen major brands. I hope you can get something to market soon Jesse-san, looking forward to trying your products.

  32. MatsumoraPanda

    March 27, 2013 at 1:52 am

    Jesse, how’s the project going? I was just about to order a Hirota when I came across your article. Do you think you will have them ready before summer? I’m only asking because I will go there this summer and would love to wear your GI and have the Japanese ask me about the GI instead of the other way around ^_^

  33. MatsumuroPanda

    March 27, 2013 at 4:10 am

    Jesse-san, how’s your project coming along? Just about to buy a Hirota but if your ETA is not to far away, I would love to try it. Will you have them ready before june?

    • Jesse

      March 28, 2013 at 10:14 pm

      Hey buddy! The project is alive & kickin’, and new prototypes are being developed as we speak. I’ll notify everyone when it’s time! ;)

  34. Jack M

    April 4, 2013 at 12:35 am

    Erm, I have a bog standard blitz Gi and it’s great, satisfying snap, never gets in the way. However, the little ties got ripped off but even so I fixed that with a tight Obi knot and never noticed the difference. (around the pelvic bone not the abdomen). And you know what, I look drop dead gorgeous in my Gi. Alright I roll up the sleeves to make my shoulders bigger but what teenage Karateka doesn’t do that, to all clothing.

  35. Vincent

    April 5, 2013 at 11:02 am

    How do I participate & what are the cost like?
    Is it still available?

    Hope 2 hear from you soon.

    Ossu .

    • Jesse

      April 5, 2013 at 1:51 pm

      Vincent-san, thanks for asking! New prototypes are being developed as we speak, and I’ll definitely notify everyone when they’re available for the public. Stay tuned!

      • Vincent

        April 23, 2013 at 4:04 pm

        Thats good to hear,I currently own to types of Gi s
        1: Kumite Gi its of course not state of the art,its light and consist of all of the above points of a frustrating Gi.
        2:Kata Gi,I rarely train using it even though it helps produce that ‘snap’ during practice,the lable says 100% cotton(like most cotton material,it turned yellowish),I get Gi burns while trying 2 punch and the pants are a pain in the butt to wear(its so rough n rigid)

        They are both of the brand Oriental

        And in a few ways these Gi flows with time n is made of lower quality,higher quantity.

        My mum’s Gi was tailor made and they were great until maybe moths caused a few holes in it. They were mildew resistant too.

        Hope 2 hear from You soon.

        Regards.

  36. Clark

    May 8, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    ….Why do I always read these articles so damn late…

  37. Peter

    May 31, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Interesting stuff man Jesse. You look pretty young. This is a very inventive idea. Unfortunately I can’t read through your article -- right now, but I shall have to get into it at some later stage. I am a big time Karate Researcher. I am also a Survivalist. So I like to do everything (as far as possible) from scratch. That includes making the Gi Uniform.
    I’ve got a Sewing Machine of my own, thankfully. All that’s up to me now is to read a couple essays about Tailor-making, and start creating my very own useful articles of clothing out of woolen, cotton and other fabrics.
    Your site has quite an established presence on it, I see -- Google featured you at the third spot on a search, like: “How to make Karate Gi Uniform”. You look like a busy man, a business man. This place looks legit. I am a big time Karate Researcher. So I know quite a lot about movement and space.
    Ya but, if you’re struggling a bit that side, I’d be more than happy to give you a few tips and pointers. I noticed quite a lot of Questions in one of your articles.

    Enjoy the weekend, look after yourself man.

  38. Leslie Barnett

    June 6, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Dear Jesse-san,

    How’s you gi project coming along? I find the idea of a new, revolutionary gi very exciting. I’m looking forward to ordering some of your gi as soon as they’re available!

    I have also tried a wide variety of gi and really battle to find something that feels just right. The last gi I ordered from a supplier here in Taiwan, were really disappointing… I had them take my measurements and ordered custom embroidery done (name, style badge, etc.). I received the gi and it looks like I’m a child wearing my dad’s oversized gi. To make matters worse, I had to order a minimum of 4 to get them customised!

    I’m off to Japan in July. Will see if I can maybe get a custom-tailored Hirota.

    Keep us posted!

    Regards,
    Leslie

  39. Anthony

    December 9, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    So how is the project progressing?

  40. Wes

    January 12, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Any update?

  41. Mary

    February 2, 2014 at 12:19 am

    When will you have your new gi designed? I’m turning 54 soon, so my karate days are probably limited to one more exam and a few years of coasting. I love my Juka Diamond karate top, but it’s getting really ancient. Came here to see if your design was ready.

    BTW when you’re designing the pants, can you design them in two styles? One for the beautiful slender ladies, and more a relaxed fit (wider hip) style?

  42. Jay

    February 19, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    Hi Jesse
    Reading about what you are tying to do with Gi’s was like a breath of fresh air.
    I’m looking forward to your product.
    Best of luck
    Jay

  43. Anthony

    March 17, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Jesse,

    Big fan over the years of your work and youtube videos. They’ve helped a lot with spreading the right image of sport karate.
    I’ve been competing in WKF events for the last 10 years so I can understand the monumental task you have in front of you.

    I think if you’re a SERIOUS competitor then you will have to spend on custom Gi’s in either Kumite or Kata. Getting your hands on a pre-sewn size and then shortening/shrinking them just won’t cut it and every coach/representative team out there will have their own preferences of the Gi shapes (i.e Luca’s chunky pants type or the Diaz and Ryo traditional shapes which I prefer) but in my opinion the most important first choice is getting the right material.

    I’m all about the Kata, but have competed in Kumite so I understand both worlds. In this day an age the WKF judges like to hear that *SNAP* during a Kata to show kihon, speed and strength instead of hiding behind the ugly breathing sounds so if you’ve got the right type of material to make that happen then I’ll be the first one at your door with an order form.

    I was lucky to be invited to the Shureido main store in Okinawa where I was fitted for a competition only Gi and 2yrs on with the right care it’s still snapping like dry wood. But the manager has told me directly he will accept any from of measurement stats if it improves how he can make your Gi. I’ve had mates send him measurements on the official order form and included a video disk from here in Australia and it’s come back precisely done.

    I’ve had generic size Arawaza, Tokaidos and Adidas brands including custom Hirotas and Shureidos, all in heavy grain specifically for Kata. Until you come up with something which could better these (crossing my fingers that you do), I recommend a custom Hirota or Shureido for comp with a spare generic size but of the same material grain for practice and training.

    Best of luck with the project…keeping an eye out!!!
    Ant.

  44. Ryan Maxwell

    April 13, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Dear Jesse,

    Sorry I missed the opening to join this project. It sounds truly amazing. I’ve only been in karate for four years now, but in that time I have owned a GTMA, Warrior Zone, Toyo, Mugen, Am currently Wearing the Arawza coral, and have purchased and intend to tailor an Arawaza crystal, and Emerald. I’ve looked into shureido, takaido, and HIrota, but have not yet jumped into buying any of them. It seems that no matter where I buy my gi, it’s too short in some areas, and vastly too large in others. I can’t seem to find anything that I like 100%, and tailoring is now where I feel I have to go.

    I truly hope your project is a success, because I look forward to one day being able to try your gi as well, and hopefully finding a gi that I feel I can stick with.

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