Kids Martial Arts School UWS: Why do we wear a Gi and belts?



Kids Martial Arts School UWS: Karate City Parent’s Insights


Kids Martial Arts School UWS : When taking part in Karate your child will wear a Gi, this is the uniform of the sport. The overall design of the Gi has evolved along with the martial art but you may be wondering why we wear kimono and belts.


Karate Gi origins


Karate was invented by the farmers and fisherman of Okinawa. In the past, the people practicing martial arts would wear clothes that more closely resembled a kimono with pants for easier movement. The farmers working in the fields in the heat of Japan chose to wear lightweight materials. Due to imperial laws banning the ownership of weapons, martial arts was done during the night. The kimono and belts could double up as sleeping clothes should any authorities appear during a training session.

The clothing became the outfit worn during Judo and this uniform continued to change into the more lightweight karate uniform we wear today. There are some slight differences in styles across karate, but the Gi retains the same three basic parts:

  • Gi pants
  • Gi top
  • Belt (obi)

The elements of the karate Gi has roots in Shinto and Zen with the white color representing purity. White also represents mortality and brings seriousness to the practice. The desire to bring karate to the rest of the world lead to the sport becoming less about Shinto. This allows the sport to have a broader appeal and still promotes many of the same practices without the religious aspect.

Over the years, the uniform has become more lightweight and is usually made from cotton. The current design provides the right aesthetic to the practice. Kids Martial Arts School UWS.