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Old 11-18-2003, 04:38 PM   #1
Josh Bisker
Dojo: Oberlin Aikikai, and Renshinkan London
Location: Oberlin, OH
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 74
Thick or Thin: a Question of Dogi

After suffering through the rumpled and untucked look of a cheap judo gi for the past few years, I'm raising the bar and ordering myself one of them fancy Bu-Jin dogi. I got to try on someone's at a seminar recently and have never felt as good on the mat, so now i'm caving in.
My question is about weight and thickness: do people find a huge difference between the lighter and heavier weight dogi? Are there specific advantages to one over the other? I'm a student and the cost is prohibitive - this will not be a "one for each day of training" purchase but something more substantial, and i want to make sure i'm investing well. Advice?
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Old 11-18-2003, 05:31 PM   #2
Location: NZ
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 15
Hi Josh

I think both have their advantages and disadvantages. Thicker ones tend to last longer, more padding for ukemi, etc. Thin ones cooler (but don't soak up the sweat as well), don't take as long to dry, etc.

I have both and tend to wear the thinner one more regularly primarily because it is cooler and it's easier to dry. Thicker one looks nicer tho.

Something to think on...


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Old 11-18-2003, 05:44 PM   #3
Lan Powers
Dojo: Aikido of Midland, Midland TX
Location: Midland Tx
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 660
Go thick man, thiiiiiiiick, they feel better and last better. (Also look better after they break in a bit too).



Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
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Old 11-18-2003, 07:47 PM   #4
Dojo: none
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 78
My preference is thicker. I think the weight of the fabric helps with my training.

In regards to the cost, you might find a nice "pre-thrown" gi. I felt incredibly humbled and honored when one of my sensei gave me my first very high quality, heavyweight gi--one of his own. Depending on the size of your local martial arts community, and your relationship with that community, you may be able to find a really good used gi for a very modest cost.


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Old 11-18-2003, 07:54 PM   #5
Dojo: Seigi Dojo
Location: Jakarta
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 247
i prefer the thick one, can absorb more force during ukemi and can double function as personal sauna.
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Old 11-18-2003, 10:06 PM   #6
Dojo: Federación Mexicana de Aikido
Location: Mexico City
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 188
For better ukemi protection don´t forget to order the airbag option...as for the personal sauna part, icky, but true.
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Old 11-18-2003, 11:34 PM   #7
Nafis Zahir
Nafis Zahir's Avatar
Dojo: Bucks County Aikido
Location: Pennsylvania
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 425
The thick ones breath more. When you wear a thin one and sweat alot, it becomes soaked and tends to stick to you. You remain wet and hotter. But the thick one absorbs more wetness and breaths. It tends to "open up" and not stck to you, thus keeping you cooler. You can also go to www.tozando.com They have some of the best dogi's besides Bu Jin.

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Old 11-19-2003, 10:56 AM   #8
Josh Bisker
Dojo: Oberlin Aikikai, and Renshinkan London
Location: Oberlin, OH
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 74
Frank Hale (fvhale) wrote:
you might find a nice "pre-thrown" gi.
I have been honored with a "pre-thrown" hakama from a friend in a nearby dojo; as far as i can tell from my training partners around here, people wear thier dogi to death. Then they can be used as rags to clean the mats, so everyone is happy. Aikirecycling.

One thick Bu Jin dogi, on its way to me.

Thanks everyone.
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Old 11-19-2003, 02:52 PM   #9
Thalib's Avatar
Dojo: 合気研究会
Location: Jakarta Selatan
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 504
Has anybody ever thought of using "Ripstop" as a dogi material?

When I have to die by the sword, I will do so with honor.
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Old 11-19-2003, 03:40 PM   #10
Janet Rosen
Janet Rosen's Avatar
Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,338
Iriawan Kamal Thalib (Thalib) wrote:
Has anybody ever thought of using "Ripstop" as a dogi material?
I sew a lot. The fabric we know here as "ripstop" is 100% nylon. It does NOT breathe nor does it absorb, therefore it is wonderful for outer shells of lighwt raincoats or lightwt, tough luggage, but absolutely AWFUL as a garment and esp one used specifically for athletic activity.

Janet Rosen
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 11-19-2003, 09:11 PM   #11
Location: Indonesia
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 245
I think Thalib is referring to nylon-reinforced cotton fabric, like you'd find in some Vietnam-era camouflage fatigues. The stuff is comfortable with some wear, but it's way too thin for my taste.

As for purchasing a decent dogi, the high quality of Bujin's fabric aside (I own Bujin dogi pants that are wonderful), I've always preferred double-woven quilted judogi. My favorite is almost 15 years old, and is softer than a baby's backside...
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Old 02-27-2004, 06:41 PM   #12
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 33
Just wondering how you made out with your bujin dogi. I just got one and liked it up until the end of class when it was soaked through. I have discovered that, thick or thin I am going to sweat, and at least the thick ones can soak it up.
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Old 02-27-2004, 10:09 PM   #13
Josh Bisker
Dojo: Oberlin Aikikai, and Renshinkan London
Location: Oberlin, OH
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 74

I'm making out great with mine. I think that it was one of the best purchases and investments I have made in a while. I sweat too in class (the dojo is a mat-floored squash court with no NO ventilation), and my gi stays in my bag when keiko is followed by a trip to the pub (which is almost always). It could make for some stinky gi syndrome or a need to do laundry more than i can afford to, but i have found that just hanging it up in an open space overnight leaves it nice and fresh feeling (and smelling) the next day. I train 3-4 times during the work week and it stays clean through it all as long as i hang the sucker up overnight, jacket and pants on different hangers in the open, with the belt on a door handle.

I got the thick kind and I love it. I'm a rather small guy, 5'7" 130-135, and I have the small sized gi which fits and feels wonderful. Compared to my last gi, a standard thick weave judo one which got hot like a blanket and never stayed tucked, I think it's just obviously a superior training tool. It helps me to maximize the mental and phsycial energy i put into the training, and it makes me more comfortable with my bearing on the mat. I am extraordinarily happy with it. Durable but not restricting, heavy but keeps away from the body when i start heating up, and if starched it becomes bulletproof (or so sensei tells me). I've only got the top; someday when the paychecks roll in easier maybe a pair of snazzy pants will join it, but so far so good.
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Old 02-28-2004, 12:11 AM   #14
Dojo: Tupelo Aikikai
Location: Tupelo, Mississippi
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 16
Ki Symbol

I have found that the double weave is too hot, and tends to restrict arm movement to some degree.

I stick to the single weave. Its softer, cooler, and is easier to pack
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Old 02-28-2004, 09:37 PM   #15
William Boyd
Dojo: Aikido of Reno
Location: Reno, NV
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 26
I myself like the thick judo style gi, they soak up sweat and look better in a hakama.
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Old 06-22-2004, 11:32 PM   #16
Dojo: Kirkwood Judo Club of St. Louis
Location: St. Louis, MO
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7
Re: Thick or Thin: a Question of Dogi

I think that most of the long time practitioners would agree, that the best course of action is to have at least one of each.

The lightweight Gis are especially good for those hot days training. While the Heavier tapered Double weave Gis are much preferred for special occasions, such as testing, seminars, etc.

Incidentally the so call "Competition Gis" that the top Judoka wear may seem like an extravagance, but the truth is those tapered sleeves will do more to make you techniques look better than and extra 10 hours of training. In short uke's fingers don't get caught in your sleeves as much, and that simply makes you look better.

Well just a thought anyway.

-Russ (The Judo Guy)
The JudoGi Store

May your way be gentle.
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