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HOW TO CHOOSE A CHILD'S KARATE UNIFORM

Martial arts for children requires safety, comfort, and good practice. The starting point is naturally choosing the right karate uniform, one that matches the height and level of the child. It should be treated with care to maintain its features as far as possible.

children's combat sports

THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A CHILDREN'S KARATE UNIFORM

A karate uniform or gi has several characteristics that help protect the wearer and ensure they can practise karate correctly. It is composed of a thick, straight jacket tied at the waist with a belt, and light, straight-leg bottoms tied at the waist with a belt. The sleeves should not extend beyond the wrists, and the bottoms should be no longer than the ankles to prevent the risk of accidents. This uniform should protect your child from repeated rubbing against the mat during training and from dynamic contact with their opponent during combat. It should also fit the child well for their karate sessions. Consequently, the uniform should not prevent the child from sweating, but should limit this sweat so that it doesn't become uncomfortable and risk the child slipping on the mat. Alternative outfits might be more suitable for your child. As such, you can choose shorter jackets and bottoms that are lighter and allow maximum movement of the arms and legs.

A UNIFORM THAT FITS

Choosing the right size for your child is important to ensure the uniform allows them to practise freely. The choice of size, from 110 to 150cm, depends directly on your child's size. Add 5 to 10cm onto this for uniforms made from cotton or natural fibres. Do try the uniform on before buying to make sure that it is a good fit for the young karateka. Don't forget that gis tend to shrink by a few centimetres when they are washed for the first time, and should be washed in cold water. You can then wash them at up to 40°C depending on the fabric of the uniform.

It is important that the uniform is always treated carefully to ensure the fabric doesn't lose its shape or become damaged. Carefully fold it in the sports bag, towards the middle, ensuring the back of the jacket is without creases so that it fits your child's back well. Never use a tumble dryer to dry a uniform. For regular use, a synthetic fabric uniform will dry more quickly, or you could have multiple uniforms to ensure one is always available for your child's training sessions.

A UNIFORM SUITABLE FOR THE CHILD'S LEVEL

And finally, the uniform should be suitable for the child's level of karate. The fabrics and grammages of gis can vary depending on the level. Choose a uniform with a reinforced crotch for a longer lifespan. For a child just starting to practise this combat sport, a 100% cotton serge fabric uniform would be ideal. Easy to maintain, it is also supple and light, allowing freedom of movement for the child as they learn. A light grammage of 190 g/m2 will also be easier for learning basic movements.

A cotton and polyester blend is more suitable for children with more intensive sessions or who are entering their first competitions. More durable and able to better absorb perspiration, this heavier, 240 g/m2, woven uniform is more comfortable for combat and allows a better grip for the opponent. It also dries faster and has greater resistance to repeated washing.

Christophe

Christophe

Regardless of the child's level, remember to pop a few first aid items into their bag for any potential accidents.