If you are first time shopper for new karate equipment, whether it be for training or competition, you may not know which brands to buy from.
I have already made a list of the top five karate brands/manufacturers (which you can see here – http://jesbromley.com/top-five-best-karate-brands-manufacturers/ ), but there are still many great brands to buy from.
Here is a list of five more best karate brands/ manufacturers.
Just a heads up, the list is not in any order, and these are some of the best brands in my own opinion.
I am going to focus on the two main types of karate (sport karate and traditional karate), and say which brands would be best for the people in each type.
Daedo is one of the most popular brands in Spain, and is worn by both WKF competitors and everyday karate practitioners.
One of their most popular models is the “Bunkai” and “Heian” kata gis. They very popular choices amongst professional karateka’s, being worn by the likes of Damian Quintero and Sandra Sanchez, and are also good for kata based trainings.
They also have good training options, such as the “Ipon” and “Shiai”.
One problem with Daedo, is that they don’t have many good lightweight models.
Because of this, if you are looking for a good kumite gi, this brand is not the best choice for you.
Daedo is good for those who are looking for competition uniforms, as well as those looking for training uniforms.
One of the most popular brands for training around the world, Meijin is certainly a great choice if you are looking to get your money’s worth.
They have six options, two of them being the Meijin Pro’s, which are good options for kata based trainings. They are both the same gi, just at different weights (one is 14oz, and the other is 12oz).
They have four super affordable training gis, one of the standouts being the Meijin Tropical, which is a decent option for hot climates.
Unfortunately, Meijin uniforms aren’t even close to the quality of Japanese manufacturers (or even most top notch European brands), but this is easily forgiven due to their absurdly low prices.
Like man, they are super cheap.
Even though they have the Tropical, Meijin do not offer many lightweight gis, and they are certainly not suitable for competition, as none of their uniforms are WKF approved.
Because of this, Meijin is suitable for those looking for affordable training uniforms.
Primarily a boxing brand, Venum offer products for multiple types of Martial Arts, including karate.
Their uniforms and protectors are a popular choice, due to their high quality and style.
Personally, I think the snake logo is awesome.
They have four models, one for Kumite, one for kata and two for training.
Their Kumite model is worn widely by WKF competitors, and has been tested and worn by many champions, such as Kenji Grillon, Enes Erkan and Thomas Scott.
The Venum Elite Kata is WKF approved and Venum’s main kata model. Like the Kumite model, it is a great choice for WKF competitors, and has also been worn by WKF champions.
“Designed for the competition, tested by Sandy Scordo, Antonio Diaz and Minh Dack – World Karate Champions – the Venum “Elite” Kata Karate gi is approved by the World Karate Federation and built to answer the needs of kata competitors.” – Venum
Venum’s protective gear is fantastic, as they have had lots of experience with Boxing gloves, MMA gear, and many other types of equipment.
Venum is an all-round great brand. They don’t really have any downsides, besides the fact that they aren’t a Japanese brand, and probably will never have products that are of “Japanese standards”.
Their products are at decent prices too.
Venum offer training gis, but this brand is more for karatekas competing in competition (but this doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy their products for training if otherwise).
Hayashi is a growing German brand that specialise in WKF karate uniforms and protectors.
This brand has gis that are suitable for training, but like Venum, they are oriented around sport karate.
I have had various Hayashi uniforms over the years, and I have to say, I have been pleased with their quality, comfort and fit.
I have seen people in my club use Hayashi uniforms for training, but those people are wearing the WKF models, since Hayashi don’t really have any sufficient training uniforms.
This is one of the brands disadvantages, along with the fact that they do not use materials as good as a Japanese manufacturer, but beside that, Hayashi are a good company.
Their uniforms are at pretty good prices as well.
Unless you like to train in competition gis, Hayashi are a brand more suitable for competitive karatekas.
Tokyodo is one of Japan’s largest karate suppliers that went independent from the famous brand Shureido.
Because of this, Tokyodo use very similar materials to Shureido and their craftsmanship is of very similar standards.
“Although not widely known outside Japan, this company has established itself a reputation for extremely high quality products as well as excellent service and reasonable prices.” – Kuroobiya
Tokyodo are probably the best brand on this list, as they have multiple training gis as well as WKF competition uniforms.
Their top of the range models are the SP-100 Professional gi for kata and the EX-2 Ultra-lightweight gi for kumite.
An ideal gi for training would be the AT-1, as it is advertised for those who want a gi that is good for kata and kumite.
Tokyodo don’t have many flaws, besides the fact that they expensive to order all the way from Japan.
If I were to be really picky, I would say that their kumite gis are not the best, as there are much lighter uniforms on the market.
But if you want quality uniforms at a good price, Tokyodo is probably your best option.
Tokyodo is suitable for karatekas looking for a training gi, as well as those looking for “sport karate” uniforms.
That’s all folks!
I have to say, this is a pretty diverse list. We have a Japanese brand, a Spanish brand and a German brand!
I hope I have provided you with some brands to help with your shopping.
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If you disagree with anything on this list, feel free to let me know in the comments section.