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Axfinger
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 29 Oct 2018
Posts: 4

Styles: Shotokan, Judo, Aikido

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:51 pm    Post subject: Sizing Recommendations For Gi Reply with quote

Hello all,

I am in the market for a new gi and like many others on here, finding the correct thing to order has been a bit of a headache.

I practiced Aikido as a child, Judo in college, and now I have been studying Shotokan Karate for about 3 years. I've been wearing my old HSU Judo gi up until now but the big sleeves and heavy weight are a problem at my current level.

I have talked to my instructors and they have suggested a few brands to get: Tokon, Meijin, Tokaido, and Dragon. I tried to buy a gi from Tokon and that went poorly as its been 9 days and they won't answer phone, email, or facebook messages, and I've had to cancel the order with my bank. Meijin was a mess and didn't have many things, and the phone support knew absolutely nothing and gave conflicting information.

Finally I found some Kamikaze Europa gi on Amazon and my instructor said they are basically the same as Tokon. But the sizing is very confusing. Many people complain the gis are way too big. I am 6ft. and 175lbs. and I can't decide whether to get a size 5 or 4.5. I feel like because I hear lots of people say they are big, and my current too large Judo gi is a size 5, that I should go for the 4.5. Am I crazy? I don't want the wrong size and the price is a lot for me right now and returns don't seem to be a very smooth process. Any advice welcome. Thanks
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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2332
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the forum, Axfinger.

Sizing gis properly is an exercise in frustration until you find the right size and fit. Gis are cut differently by different manufacturers, and everyoneís body is different, even if theyíre the same height and weight.

The get a bigger size is good advice IMO. 100% cotton gis shrink quite a bit. I tend to get a size larger than I should to account for it. I wear a Shureido K-11 gi. I buy a size 6 even though Iím a size 5. When I get a new one, itís enormous. The first time my wife saw me get one and try it on straight out of the packaging, my wife literally laughed and said ďis that a dress?Ē The bottom of the jacket is at about the top of my knee caps. After washing and machine drying several times, itís near my fingertips when my arms are straight down by my sides. Account for shrinkage in sizing the gi. Most manufacturers donít account for it is sizing. Furthermore, Iíve found that they shrink quite a bit in length, but not so much in width.

Most gi manufacturers give measurements of their sizes beyond height and weight. Take your current gi and compare the measurements to it. Hereís an example:
http://www.okinawadirect.com/shopcontent.asp?type=DogiSizing

Just remember to go up a 1/2 size to a full size to account for shrinkage.

Until we find a store that has a ton of different makes, models, and sizes of preshrunk gis on racks like a suit store has, weíre unfortunately stuck ordering online and shipping back and forth until we find the right gi and size. It can get pretty expensive.

You donít mention where you are, but hearing you say Tokon, Iím assuming youíre in the US. Iíve heard many times that Tokon is the US equivalent of Kamikaze, with the name change being due to copyright issues. The gentleman that owns Tokon is I believe a family member of the Kamikaze people in Europe. Donít hold me to exactly whatís going on with that.

If youíre in the market for an upscale/expensive gi, have you considered Shureido? If you call Shureido USA, theyíll go through a whole measuring process with you over the phone. Itís a good 45 minute phone call where youíll have a measuring tape and measure yourself and your current gi. If youíre a taller and slimmer body type and are looking for a slim cut kind of gi, Shureido isnít it though. Itís a full cut gi.

Just some options to throw out there. Until you find the perfect fit, itís going to be some shipping back and forth. Once you find that right gi and fit, stick to it and donít grow
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singularity6
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 958
Location: Michigan
Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm 5' 10", and about 190lb now. The Meijin size 5 felt slightly long in the legs, until I washed it a few times, It fits perfect. I tried one of their size 5.5s, and it's even fine on me, after several washes.
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5th Geup Jidokwan Tae Kwon Do/Hap Ki Do

(Never officially tested in aikido, iaido or kendo)
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14268
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is just me, I'd get a gi one full size bigger than normal because it's easier to the gi smaller than it is make the gi bigger. I wear a size 6, but whenever I buy a gi from a manufacturer that I've never used before, I purchase a size 7...then...I get the sewing machine out...for my wife to shorten the arms and legs...I'm not allowed to use her sewing machine...I broke her last one.



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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2332
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
This is just me, I'd get a gi one full size bigger than normal because it's easier to the gi smaller than it is make the gi bigger. I wear a size 6, but whenever I buy a gi from a manufacturer that I've never used before, I purchase a size 7...then...I get the sewing machine out...for my wife to shorten the arms and legs...I'm not allowed to use her sewing machine...I broke her last one.



Iíve never bought a gi that didnít need the pants hemmed. I step on 30Ē inseam pants cuffs, so that tells you something.
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Axfinger
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 29 Oct 2018
Posts: 4

Styles: Shotokan, Judo, Aikido

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok you've all convinced me. I've ordered the size 5 Europa. Interestingly the two sizing charts they provide don't match up with each other but general consensus seems to be that these gis can be shrunk if necessary. I plan to upload a review with pics on Amazon so the next guy has a clue what they look like on a person. Thanks all.
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Bulltahr
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 08 Mar 2015
Posts: 591
Location: NEW ZEALAND
Styles: Shotokan, Seido Juku

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JR 137 wrote:

Iíve never bought a gi that didnít need the pants hemmed. I step on 30Ē inseam pants cuffs, so that tells you something.


My last gi, (the Ronin one) the jacket shrank perfectly, but the pants kept shrinking in length, maybe 4 or 5 inches. Bought the next size up from my actual.

18 months later it's still that beautiful bright blue/white colour.
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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2332
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Axfinger wrote:
Ok you've all convinced me. I've ordered the size 5 Europa. Interestingly the two sizing charts they provide don't match up with each other but general consensus seems to be that these gis can be shrunk if necessary. I plan to upload a review with pics on Amazon so the next guy has a clue what they look like on a person. Thanks all.


Iíve heard a lot of good things about the Europa. I havenít seen nor worn one though. A dojo mate wears a Kamikaze America, which everyone says is a heavier version of the Europa. His gi seems like a quality gi and he really likes it. If itís true that theyíre practically the same gi, it seems like a solid investment.
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Axfinger
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 29 Oct 2018
Posts: 4

Styles: Shotokan, Judo, Aikido

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok so it just came in the mail and...it looks near perfect. Slightly baggy and large but I think if I shrink it, the results will be ideal. I plan to take pics of everything and upload to Amazon for the next guy.

New question: any tips for shrinking the gi? It says not to wash it the first time above 30 degrees C, and not to use a commercial dryer. I have also heard that you aren't supposed o wash and dry them on their own because adding a few other things to the wash beats it up less in the machine. Any one have input?
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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2332
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Axfinger wrote:
Ok so it just came in the mail and...it looks near perfect. Slightly baggy and large but I think if I shrink it, the results will be ideal. I plan to take pics of everything and upload to Amazon for the next guy.

New question: any tips for shrinking the gi? It says not to wash it the first time above 30 degrees C, and not to use a commercial dryer. I have also heard that you aren't supposed o wash and dry them on their own because adding a few other things to the wash beats it up less in the machine. Any one have input?


Depends on how much you want to shrink it. If it needs just a little shrinking out of the box, Iíd follow the manufacturerís directions. Itíll probably shrink a bit even if you donít try to shrink it.

On the opposite end, I have to shrink my Shureido gis considerably. The distributor says to wash cold and hang dry and itíll get to its final size in about a year. No way Iím waiting that long and wearing what looks like a dress. I was with warm water and dry on medium (my machine donít have temperature degree settings) 4 or 5 times until itís the right size, then I get it hemmed and patches sewn on. I shrink it to about 95% of where I want it because itíll still shrink a bit more over time. After those initial wash and dry cycles, I always wash cold and hang dry.
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