Why There Are Various Colors of Judo Gi Available

Posted by Staff on 6th Feb 2020

Judogi is the traditional judo uniform adopted in the late 19th century used for martial art training and competition. The judo uniform comprises cotton drawstring pants, a tunic, and a colored belt to indicate the rank of the fighters.

In the early days of the competition, the white judogi was the official color adopted for practice and competitions. In order to further differentiate between ranks, the colored belt was introduced. Belt colors for official judo ranks are listed below
• Light blue – 6th kyu
• White – 5th and 4th kyu
• Brown – 3rd, 2nd, and 1st kyu
• Black – 1st to 5th dan
• Red and white – 6th to 8th dan
• Red – 9th to 11th dan
• White with Gold, Black, or Red Tips – 12th dan

Which Judo Gi Color to Choose? It is important to note that judo uniform color means absolutely nothing. While the various belt colors denote the rank of contestants, there is no special significance attached to the Judo Gi. You’ll find most judo practitioners donning the white judo gi – the official uniform color for judo. The color white signifies truth or purity hence the reason why it was chosen as its official color.

Given the popularity of judo competitions across the world, other colors were introduced into the system, primarily to identify the second contestant. Also, this makes it easier for judges, referees, and spectators to distinguish which contestant is which. Other gi colors include blue, black, red, and many more. However, the widely accepted judo gi colors are blue and white. White gi can be used for both practicing and competition, while blue Judo gis are officially used for domestic and international competitions. Note that the only way to indicate the rank of a contestant is through the belt color and not their gi color.

Up until 2011, the rules required that the first contestant called for any judo competition must wear the blue judo uniform. On the other hand, many judo observers concluded that most fighters who wore blue gi ended up winning the fight as compared to their white-clad opponents. The tendency for blue overpowering white, regardless of training and skill level, created the perceived advantages of the blue judogi.

As a result, many junior judo practitioners, as well as their parents, preferred the blue judogi for practice and completion. This move created a lot of problems, with one being the high demand for blue gis – a surge many manufacturers couldn’t meet.

Everyone wants to be on the winning side. But in reality, blue judo gi doesn’t make a contestant more superior and overpowering, but rather the triumphs recorded were only coincidental.

But what about the black Judo gi? It's perfect for practice, and is actually sometimes worn by Karate practicioners wanting a good heavyweight gi!

The judo community is a bit relaxed as to which gi colors to wear. While some academies prefer the white gis during practice, most academies, particularly within Europe, don’t care. This is why you’ll find many judo practitioners rocking various kinds of judo gi colors for practice. So whatever judo uniform color you choose for practice or competition, just remember always to stay positive and have fun.