Question about Gi's

Bill Mattocks

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First of all, greetings. This is my first post on MT. I'm a newbie here, and a newbie to Karate - a 48 year-old first-timer in Isshinryu. I've brushed up against Isshinryu, you might say, since I worked with Angie Uezu in Okinawa in the 1980's, but I did not study karate. He was a security guard on the base, I was an MP. So I knew *about* Isshinryu, but it has taken me this long to get involved with it.

I'm studying Isshinryu here in Michigan. I purchased my first gi through my dojo, it was quite expensive but very nice. Size 7, made by Century.

I wanted to purchase a second gi, since I train twice a week but can only visit the laundromat once a week. However, when I asked at the dojo where I might find another gi, their suggestion was to purchase it through them. Well, yes, but it's very expensive through them. So I dropped the matter.

However, today at the laundry, someone left an ink pen in one of the dryers and my gi seems to be completely ruined. I'm very upset about it, but nothing I can do, I guess. So now the situation is urgent, and I need not one gi, but two. Buying another gi through my dojo is out of the question at the moment financially.

So, I am asking for suggestions from you kind folks. I'm not sure where to look - I've seen a bunch of the websites out there, but not at all sure if any of them are good choices. As well, I'm also a 'big boy' and Century's size 7 is a tad on the small side for me. Pants 8 inches too long, but not enough room around the middle, if you know what I mean.

Any thoughts on where I might look for a decent gi that would fit and not cost the world?

Also - just out of curiosity - nobody has told me that I *can't* show up with a gi that I bought elsewhere. Is it considered bad form to do so?

Thanks very much for any feedback!
 

terryl965

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First off welcome to the site, now onto your question almost every city has a martial art supply store locally check them out for sure. Also places like Craig list ebay will carry some as well. Craig list will be use but they also will be very inexpensive to you. Century does have a website that you can buy directly from as well as Asian world martial arts or AWMA. Hope that helps you out.
 

Blindside

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Any thoughts on where I might look for a decent gi that would fit and not cost the world?

Also - just out of curiosity - nobody has told me that I *can't* show up with a gi that I bought elsewhere. Is it considered bad form to do so?

Could you give us a price range? Is $70 for a gi astronomical for you? Did you have a heavyweight gi before?

Dojos that require purchases to be made through them really bug me. They are as much a part of the market as anyone else, if they do have such a requirement they are often forcing the student to pay more than they have to. While I do sell equipment to my students, they are perfectly free to go out on the open market and get something else, I just recommend brands or sites so they get a quality product. Anyway, that doesn't really help you, but quite frankly I would just show up with the new gi.
 

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Welcome to the list Bill.

As pointed out there are numerous sources for GIs. You may even have a local MA supply that has decent prices. Ebay will have some possibilities of course Google is your friend for countless online supply centers.

You should be careful however, some Dojos are very particular about the uniform that you wear and it may be looked down on if you buy a uniform from elsewhere. I'd suggest asking another student who has some history with the school what the feelings are about such things.

Good luck with your training.
 

jks9199

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First of all, greetings. This is my first post on MT. I'm a newbie here, and a newbie to Karate - a 48 year-old first-timer in Isshinryu. I've brushed up against Isshinryu, you might say, since I worked with Angie Uezu in Okinawa in the 1980's, but I did not study karate. He was a security guard on the base, I was an MP. So I knew *about* Isshinryu, but it has taken me this long to get involved with it.

I'm studying Isshinryu here in Michigan. I purchased my first gi through my dojo, it was quite expensive but very nice. Size 7, made by Century.

I wanted to purchase a second gi, since I train twice a week but can only visit the laundromat once a week. However, when I asked at the dojo where I might find another gi, their suggestion was to purchase it through them. Well, yes, but it's very expensive through them. So I dropped the matter.

However, today at the laundry, someone left an ink pen in one of the dryers and my gi seems to be completely ruined. I'm very upset about it, but nothing I can do, I guess. So now the situation is urgent, and I need not one gi, but two. Buying another gi through my dojo is out of the question at the moment financially.

So, I am asking for suggestions from you kind folks. I'm not sure where to look - I've seen a bunch of the websites out there, but not at all sure if any of them are good choices. As well, I'm also a 'big boy' and Century's size 7 is a tad on the small side for me. Pants 8 inches too long, but not enough room around the middle, if you know what I mean.

Any thoughts on where I might look for a decent gi that would fit and not cost the world?

Also - just out of curiosity - nobody has told me that I *can't* show up with a gi that I bought elsewhere. Is it considered bad form to do so?

Thanks very much for any feedback!
A couple of things...

Do the uniforms sold by the school have any standard patches, etc. already sewn on? Like school patches or the Isshin-ryu patch. If so, both the patch and the sewing would add to the cost, and may justify it. It may also tell you that you need to buy a uniform through them.

Otherwise, check out Craig's List and other on-line resources. I've personally had a bad experience with Karate Depot, though lots of people like them. If you simply do a search for martial arts supplies, you'll get lots of hits. You could even check some of the businesses that advertise here... and let 'em know where you saw their ad!
 

twendkata71

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I would definetly look at AWMA, they usually have great deals on gi. Also there are several discount MA supply companies online. And yes I have purchased several uniforms on Ebay, haven't been disappointed yet.
My personal favorite is Kwon, great uniforms, roomy fit. Whatever size you are it usually fits a size larger. Generally if you have a 100% cotton gi, don't use a dryer. it will shrink, You are supposed to let them drip dry. If you put it in the dryer put it on low heat. Or get a poly/cotton blend.
 

searcher

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Bill-you definately need to check out some online resources. Have you talkedto yoru instructor about getting the uniform you need?


BTW-My Isshinryu instructor is a student of Angi Uezu or at least he was a student of his back in the day.
 
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Bill Mattocks

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Could you give us a price range? Is $70 for a gi astronomical for you? Did you have a heavyweight gi before?

Dojos that require purchases to be made through them really bug me. They are as much a part of the market as anyone else, if they do have such a requirement they are often forcing the student to pay more than they have to. While I do sell equipment to my students, they are perfectly free to go out on the open market and get something else, I just recommend brands or sites so they get a quality product. Anyway, that doesn't really help you, but quite frankly I would just show up with the new gi.

Thanks, I should have mentioned. My first gi was $70. That was a stretch for me, but I saved a bit and was able to buy it. I just can't cough up another $70 right at the moment.

My dojo hasn't said that I have to buy from them, but when I asked 'where should I buy,' they were quick to say they could get me whatever I needed. So I wasn't sure what the protocol was.
 
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Bill Mattocks

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Welcome to the list Bill.

As pointed out there are numerous sources for GIs. You may even have a local MA supply that has decent prices. Ebay will have some possibilities of course Google is your friend for countless online supply centers.

You should be careful however, some Dojos are very particular about the uniform that you wear and it may be looked down on if you buy a uniform from elsewhere. I'd suggest asking another student who has some history with the school what the feelings are about such things.

Good luck with your training.

Thanks, I will ask casually and see if I can figure it out. I am watching eBay and so forth, and I can use Google, but my thought was to ask people who know in case there were any known pitfalls to avoid - known schlock merchants, etc. I'm afraid I would not know the difference yet.
 
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Bill Mattocks

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A couple of things...

Do the uniforms sold by the school have any standard patches, etc. already sewn on? Like school patches or the Isshin-ryu patch. If so, both the patch and the sewing would add to the cost, and may justify it. It may also tell you that you need to buy a uniform through them.

Otherwise, check out Craig's List and other on-line resources. I've personally had a bad experience with Karate Depot, though lots of people like them. If you simply do a search for martial arts supplies, you'll get lots of hits. You could even check some of the businesses that advertise here... and let 'em know where you saw their ad!

The dojo sells the Isshinryu patch, but it's not required. Some people have it and some don't.
 
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Bill Mattocks

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Bill-you definately need to check out some online resources. Have you talkedto yoru instructor about getting the uniform you need?

Yes, he sold me my first gi. As I said, it's a bit more than I can afford to buy another right now.

BTW-My Isshinryu instructor is a student of Angi Uezu or at least he was a student of his back in the day.

My sensei trained under Masters Mitchum and Long, but not Master Angi Uezu. It just so happens that I met and worked with Uezu-san back in the day. Wish I had gone in for learning karate back when I had a 22 year-old body, but better later than never.
 
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Bill Mattocks

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I would definetly look at AWMA, they usually have great deals on gi. Also there are several discount MA supply companies online. And yes I have purchased several uniforms on Ebay, haven't been disappointed yet.
My personal favorite is Kwon, great uniforms, roomy fit. Whatever size you are it usually fits a size larger. Generally if you have a 100% cotton gi, don't use a dryer. it will shrink, You are supposed to let them drip dry. If you put it in the dryer put it on low heat. Or get a poly/cotton blend.

Thanks! I really appreciate the advice!
 

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Since I can add to any of the great advice you have already received, I will just say welcome aboard. I hope you enjoy the site.
 

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Bill, the main barrier is your price requirement. Many uniform brands offer a heavyweight white uniform in a size 7, including Kwon, KI, Wacoku, ProForce, and Century. To get your cost under $70 however, you'd have to qualify for wholesale pricing.

You can buy a 14 oz KI uniform at retail from their own site for about $56, but the shipping fees will swell the total cost to over $70. I know KwonUSA is based in Michigan where you seem to be so perhaps you pick up the uniform in person and save there. It can't hurt to ask.

Otherwise, you might try this dealer from Ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com/TOURNAMENT-BRUS...ryZ36280QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

I do not know if their karate uniform will fit your body correctly, but I have personally used their judo uniforms, and they work great for me. The low price is a nice bonus, too.
 
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Bill Mattocks

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Bill, the main barrier is your price requirement. Many uniform brands offer a heavyweight white uniform in a size 7, including Kwon, KI, Wacoku, ProForce, and Century. To get your cost under $70 however, you'd have to qualify for wholesale pricing.

You can buy a 14 oz KI uniform at retail from their own site for about $56, but the shipping fees will swell the total cost to over $70. I know KwonUSA is based in Michigan where you seem to be so perhaps you pick up the uniform in person and save there. It can't hurt to ask.

Otherwise, you might try this dealer from Ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com/TOURNAMENT-BRUS...ryZ36280QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

I do not know if their karate uniform will fit your body correctly, but I have personally used their judo uniforms, and they work great for me. The low price is a nice bonus, too.

Thank you, I didn't know about KwonUSA. It seems they're on the other side of Michigan, though, unfortunately. Thanks also for the link to the eBay auction. I'm a good deal heavier than that size 7 chart says, and a lot shorter. It makes it hard to find anyone even selling a gi in my size. Apparently, fat guys don't do karate?

I am checking on gi's on eBay and Craigslist, though, and thanks to everyone who suggested it. I just don't know what is a good gi and what is a bad one. I like my (ink-stained) Century, but is "Adair" any good? What are brands to look for and what ones to avoid?

Thanks!
 

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Kamikaze USA has decent student gi's in your size, which would probably be an 8.0. You can get the gi's hemmed later, so length ought not be a problem. Their Kodomo and Heavyweight lines start around 40-50 bucks.

http://www.kamikazeusa.com

You may want to talk to them, though, and give them your measurements, so that they can recommend the exact size you'll need.
 

dancingalone

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I just don't know what is a good gi and what is a bad one. I like my (ink-stained) Century, but is "Adair" any good? What are brands to look for and what ones to avoid?

When a karate-ka tells you a do-gi is "good", he usually means it is a prestigious brand (like Shureido or Tokaido) or that is it constructed of a durable, heavyweight fabric.

At your price point of under $70, all the options I would consider are roughly equivalent. The uniform will likely be made in Pakistan of a cheap cotton weighing between 10 oz-14 oz per yard. I like the Adair uniforms and I tell my students to use them if money is a concern. The Adair uniforms on Ebay are the cheapest ones I have seen without wholesale pricing, but if it won't fit you, then it's a non-starter. The more roomy uniforms are probably Kwon and KI in that order. In my experience ProForce, Wacoku, and Century are cut slightly smaller than the first two brands.

Now if you don't need a heavyweight uniform and are willing to use a student grade do-gi from 6 oz - 8 oz, you can surely find a big enough uniform even if the legs and arms may need to be hemmed up at well under $50. Look at Tigerclaw or e-bogu.com, too.

Don't get hung up on the brand. The gis priced under $100 are really all the same, and once you find a cut from a brand you like, stick with it.
 
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Bill Mattocks

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Kamikaze USA has decent student gi's in your size, which would probably be an 8.0. You can get the gi's hemmed later, so length ought not be a problem. Their Kodomo and Heavyweight lines start around 40-50 bucks.

http://www.kamikazeusa.com

You may want to talk to them, though, and give them your measurements, so that they can recommend the exact size you'll need.

Thank you very much! It looks like the 'Heavyweight' line might be just the ticket.

I'm also using hair spray, Shout, and a variety of other 'recommended' cleaning products on my gi this morning. I took it to the cleaners, they said no way would the ink come out, it didn't get on in the wash, it got on in the dryer. But at this point, I have nothing to lose, so I'm giving it a shot.
 

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If you are still trying to get out the ink try peroxide. When I was in college, I worked at a dry cleaners and they used peroxide for some ink stains.
 
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Bill Mattocks

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If you are still trying to get out the ink try peroxide. When I was in college, I worked at a dry cleaners and they used peroxide for some ink stains.

Thank you for the advice. I took the gi to the cleaners, they said they could get out most stains, but they took one look and said no. I had them test on a t-shirt that had also been damaged and they could not get the stain out. I figured that I might as well try things myself, so today I tried hair spray (nope) and Shout (nope) and now the gi has been washed five times with everything I could think of. I put it in the dryer and called it a day. I think it's done for.

I do appreciate all the advice, though. I have ordered a new gi online, a bit lighter-weight than the one that was damaged, but I'll get by until I can afford a nice one again.
 

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