How and when to buy your child a Judo suit (Judogi).

The Judo suit is the only equipment a parent needs to buy for a child doing Judo. This simple cotton garment is the equivalent of football boots, shorts and shirt. In this article we will look at when you should buy a Judo suit, what sorts there are and how to buy a Judo suit.

2009_01_17_2302The Judogi (ju-doh-gee) or Judo suit Jacket is made from double weave cotton. Other martial arts such as Karate use a single weave cotton suit. Double weave is heavier and will survive better than a thin Karate suit. The trousers are single weave and virtually identical to Karate etc. The reason for the heavier double weave jacket is because of all the pulling that the jacket has to endure. Karate suits can survive small children, but will soon become ripped and need replacing.

A Judo suit is white, however cotton is not naturally white. So Judo suits are typically bleached white at the manufacturers. Some people do sell “unbleached” suits, they have a slightly yellow look to them. We would not however recommend buying one (unless the club coach suggests it) as a majority of kids will be wearing white suits. Unbleached is also often a sign of a cheap suit, which will not be made as well as others suits potentially.

That said, Judo suits now come in Blue (and in some places other colours). Blue is used for (some) competition, so unless your child is competing at a fairly serious level; white is probably the best colour to buy.

Judo trousers are traditionally kept up by a drawstring. However, in children’s suits many brands have elastic waist bands. If you can, but a suit with the elastic waist band. They stay up much much better than drawstring alone, this will help avoid embarrassment and also save the instructors time and patience. These trousers also generally have a drawstring, use that too, you don’t want your son or daughters trousers being pulled off.

Judo suits are manufactured by a wide variety of brands, including big names like Adidas even. As with most clothing, big brands equals bigger price tags. There is a difference in quality often, however it is not often a large one, especially for young children. The aim of most parents is to find a reasonable brand with a reasonable price. In Judo this is very possible. You should not be afriad of buying the cheapest bleached suit in a brand for your child.

Sizing… Judo suits are generally (now at least) sized by the height of the wearer, in centimetres. So measure your child and buy a suit in the closest size ABOVE the height of your child. Never buy a suit in a size smaller than your child as along with the child growing, Judo suits shrink slightly from new. Below is a rough sizing guide:

Approx Height




110 000 3ft 8ins 5-6yrs
120 00 4ft 6-7yrs
130 0 4ft 3ins 8yrs
140 1 4ft 7ins 9yrs
150 2 4ft 11ins 10-11yrs
160 3 5ft 3ins 12-14yrs/Adult
165 3.5 5ft 5ins Adult
170 4 5ft 7ins
175 4.5 5ft 9ins
180 5 5ft 11ins
185 5.5 6ft 1ins
190 6 6ft 3ins
195 6.5 6ft 5ins
200 7 6ft 7ins
210 8 6ft 11ins

When to buy a Judo suit:
Not immediately, most clubs will allow children to attend for several weeks or a month or two before they have to buy a Judo suit. It is also common for clubs to have suits (or Jackets) that your child can either borrow or rent.

If your child decides they like Judo and want to continue, then buy a Judo suit.

How to buy a Judo suit:

Often the easiest way is to buy a Judo suit from the club where your child is attending classes. Many clubs will be able to obtain suits from the manufacturers at a discounted price, and if not they will normally be able to help you with sizings and allow you to try suits on. They often also have second hand suits you could buy.
Clubs may also have some rules about what suits are allowed and you need to check on this before buying any suits.

If you have a martial arts store in your town, you may be able to buy a Judo suit from them. Just remember about the differences between a Karate or Tae Kwon Do suit and a Judo suit. Again, you should be able to try suits on.

You can also buy suits online direct from some manufacturers, online stores and even eBay. If you buy this way you may get a terrific price, just be careful you know what you are buying and that you are confident about the sizing.

No matter where you buy the suit from, be sure to buy the right size and to factor in shrinkage of up to 10% of the original size. Obviously buying a second hand suit has the advantage that they will generally have shrunk as much as they are going to.

Looking after a Judo suit:

Judo suits should be washed regularly (very), they can be washed in your washing machine, but be aware that they are quite large and become heavy as they soak up water. So don’t put them in with a heavy load of washing. They can (and often it is recommended) be washed in hot water, though cold washing is fine too.

You should hang dry your child’s Judo suit, never machine dry them, because as we have said above, Judo suits will shrink. Even experienced Judoka have made this mistake someone I know put a Judo suit from an Olympic games in a Judo suit and it shrank and became un-wearable.

Never bleach Judo suits, it will weaken the material and shorten it’s life.


A Judo suit will generally come with a white belt included, especially in the children’s sizes. Coloured belts can normally be bought by the same methods as suits. Belts can also be dyed the appropriate colour. If you do decide to try this, please be careful as colours can run and often the colour from the belt will rub off onto the Judo suit. So if dyeing a belt, it is well worth washing the belt several times before letting your child wear it with their suit to try and prevent the colour leaching into the Judogi.

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This entry was posted by lancew on Wednesday, January 21st, 2009 at 2:33 pm and is filed under Judo . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


  1. Pam Dhillon says:

    Just wanted to say “a BIG THANK YOU” for the extremely useful size chart you have which enables customers to select the correct size. I found this to be a common fault with major retailers, I was unable to place the order without this information not knowing what size to order for my 7 year old who has just started karate classes. Once again THANK YOU .

    Kind regards

    Pam Dhillon

  2. Penelope Dijksteel says:

    Many thanks .I found it extremely helpfull to see which correct size i have to buy for my 9 year old son.
    I have send this to his friends parents also.
    Thank you.

  3. Paul Jenks says:

    Thanks for the info. Very reassuring and informative.

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