Posted on August 23, 2014
There are a number of Tokaido uniforms not made in Japan. Here are a few ways to spot the original Tokaido Gi, made in Japan:
1. Is the Tokaido Gi available in Black?
Only the Tokaido Gis made in Japan come in Black. If your karate uniform supplier does not have Black available, they may not be getting their uniforms from an authentic source.
2. Is the Tokaido uniform available with the JKA logo?
Authentic Tokaido uniforms from Japan are available with the JKA logo in addition to Tokaido's "Red Fist" logo.
3. Does the Tokaido Gi also come in Tournament Cut?
Many martial artists purchase a Tournament Cut Tokaido Gi for Kumite or Tournaments. They might save a traditional cut uniform for their karate training, or to wear when serving on belt ranking promotions.
4. Is the Tokaido Gi made from special #10 cotton?
The special number 10 cotton used in Tokaido uniforms is actaully grown in Japan under very special conditions. This cotton is what makes the uniform very comfortable, but it is also much stronger than other canvas materials. Rumor has it that the Tokaido Ultimate cotton canvas is the only canvas the Japanese government allows to use the word "Ultimate" with. This is why these uniforms last decades. They're stronger uniforms, but you'll enjoy wearing it.
5. Is the Tokaido Karate Gi rated as 14oz?
Surprisingly, Tokaido Japan's uniforms are never rated as 14oz. Truly, they are a step above competitors that rate their uniforms this way. If you see "14 ounce canvas" with the karate gi details, it is probably not the authentic Karate Gi.
As you can see, purchasing a genuine authentic Tokaido Japan uniform is a little more complicated than you might expect. And here are a list of so-called Tokaido gi that are NOT made in Japan:
Tokaido Arashi is made in China.
Tokaido Tsunami is not made in Japan
Others you've run across? Please let us know!