Online shopping is great nowadays, it creates a lot more options when we are looking for something to buy.
This is the same for kata gis, there are heaps of great options!
But today, I will be narrowing it down to the best three (in my opinion). This list includes no price budget, and it is not in any order.
Shureido New Wave 3
This Japanese made gi is one of the most popular choices in WKF competition. It is worn by current World Champions, Ryo Kiyuna and Kiyou Shimizu, and the majority of the Japanese national kata team.
Aesthetically, it is a good choice, as the gi holds its shape really well, yet is not too stiff.
The material is comfortable due to its smooth finish, does not feel too heavy and has a very pleasing snap.
Structurally, the gi is perfect, as the slits are at just the right height, the pants are nice and wide (providing freedom of movement) and the sleeves are not too narrow and not too wide.
However, it is quite expensive for a ready-made gi (one that isn’t fully tailored), at $266 AUD (size 5), although the price may vary for different suppliers.
Overall, if you can get past the price (which I’m not too concerned about in this list) it is one of the best options for competition.
The Hirota #163 is a traditionally heavyweight Japanese gi, and debatably the best kata gi in the world… in my eyes at least.
This gi is worn by the famous Rika Usami, as well as kata legend Antonio Diaz.
The material is designed to provide the “ultimate snap”, and due to its thickness, will hold its shape extremely well.
I personally prefer this gi’s snap compared to that of the Takumi’s (which I will talk about later), as it feels stronger, while the Takumi’s is loud and fast.
Hirota are famous for the craftsmanship of their meticulously made gis. It is pretty much a guarantee that the gi you order will be of the highest possible quality.
However, this gi is slightly hard to order, as it only comes tailor made, which means you will have to provide all of the measurements. This is a tricky process, but if you have the right help, it can be a smooth and enjoyable experience.
Hirota have made it on the list once again, this time for their Takumi model.
The Takumi, being significantly lighter than the #163, is designed for those wanting more freedom in their movement, and those performing much more dynamic katas.
This model is worn by Grace Lau, a young karateka who recently beat Kiyou Shimuzu in the semifinal of the Karate1 Premier League in Salzburg (Shimizu’s first loss of her senior career).
The snap produced by this gi is more high pitched than the #163, and a little bit louder as well.
The material is really stiff, which can be annoying, but an advantage since it holds its shape really well, meaning you can maintain the look you want.
Unfortunately, the gi is also only fully tailor made, so you will have to provide your measurements as well.
Overall, Hirota have cemented their reputation of being a world class brand, with two of their gis being among some of the most popular choices in the world.
That’s the list!
I plan to write some more lists, for kumite gis, as well as lists with a budget, e.g. Best Kata Gis Under $200.
I hope you have enjoyed, and please email this list to anyone you know who is looking for a new kata gi.
Once again, if you think that there is a gi that should have been on this list, feel free to comment down below.