Top Pieces of Judo Gear You Need Before You Start

Top Pieces of Judo Gear You Need Before You Start

Starting a combat sport like judo can be daunting. What do I wear? What kind of gear do I need? Where do I go to get these things? When starting judo or any martial art, having the right gear means you are safe, secure, and ready to hit the mats in style. Here are my top five pieces of judo gear you'll need to start your training:

1. A Judo Gi (Judogi)

While practicing, most martial artists wear a gi. Jigoro Kano, judo's founder, derived the first judogi from the kimono and other Japanese garments, creating a uniform fit for intense practice. It keeps you safe when you fall and resists the wear and tear of training. The gi, typically made of heavy cotton, withstands the rigors of grappling, throwing, and intense practice. When buying your first gi, fit and comfort are very important. A good gi allows a full range of motion, fits snugly, and should feel heavier than regular clothes. Heavier gis, like double weights, increase overall durability, but lighter gis keep you cool in the summer and help you get through long practices, so personal preference also plays a role. Consult size charts to ensure your gi fits you. Our dojo, KBI, provides a free trial gear when you visit, and we help make sure you get the right size when you commit to us.

2. Belt
The belt signifies your rank and progress in judo. Beginners start with a white belt, and as you advance, you'll earn belts of different colors. The belt should be tied securely around your waist to keep your gi jacket in place. Most gis arrive with a belt, but check that it does.

3. Rashguards and Other Protective Gear
Judo started with no clothing worn under the jacket, but those days are behind us. Protective gear makes training safe, hygienic, and better. Rashguards, like the ones from Higashi Brand, wick moisture off the body, keeping you cool, preventing skin abrasion, and ensuring you stay clean. Mouthguards protect your teeth and tongue should you choose to wear one, and knee pads can help you continue to rip drop seoi nage after your knees want to stop doing them.

4. Mat Shoes

The slides are the unsung heroes of any dojo. Keeping a pair of slides by the end of the mat keeps floors clean, allows easy access to the bathroom and back, and helps support tired feet after scraping against tatami. I consider these an essential and well worth the investment.

5. Water Bottle
Staying hydrated is crucial during judo practice. A durable water bottle will help you stay refreshed and maintain your performance even after seemingly endless rounds of randori.

6. Towel
Whether wiping off sweat during a hot summer night on the mats or drying off after a post-practice shower, a small, compact towel makes all the difference.

7. Judo Bag
While not essential, a good bag keeps all the above items in one neat location. Maybe you live in a place with public transit, or maybe you have to drive twenty minutes to your closest dojo. A good bag makes it easy to pick up your gear, arrive at practice in time for a good stretch, and quickly get home for a post-workout feast.

The right gear helps you launch your judo journey like you launch your opponents. An early investment in quality judo gis, different types of protective gear, soft mat shoes, and a water bottle and towel can make your judo beginnings as easy as possible.
Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.