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Your Uniform (Dogi)


The uniform used in traditional karate schools is called a dogi (or gi for short) and consists of three parts:  the top (kimono), the pants (zubon) and the belt (obi).  The gi worn in the dojo is white or natural white.  Everyone at West Island Karate wears the same colour dogi following the philosophy that everyone training is equal...regardless of social status, occupation, sex, race or religion.  The top is worn with the left lapel on the outside and may be fastened with the strings located on the sides.  Not all dogis have these ties; your belt is the primary way to keep the top closed.  Your dogi should always be kept clean and tidy.  Any rips or tears must be repaired quickly.  Nothing is to be worn under the top of your gi (women may wear a white t-shirt).

How To Tie Your Belt (Obi)


The belt (obi) is used primarily to keep your dogi top from opening.  Here is the proper procedure for tying it:

  1. Fold your belt in half and find the center.
  2. Place the center just below your navel and wrap both ends around your waist bringing the tips back to the front.  Make sure not to twist it and that the ends are even.
  3. Bring the left over the right and tuck under both parts in front of your waist, pulling the ends left and right to form the first knot.
  4. Bring the top over the bottom and tie your second knot pulling left and right (horizontally).

An obi should always be respected, but not revered.  It contains symbolic meaning.  You can tell a lot about someone and their attitude solely by the care with which they wear and treat their obi.

  • Do not drop or have it drag on the floor.  This is carelessness and disrespect.
  • Never wash your obi even if it is stiff and difficult to keep tied.  Only by tying and untying it will you break it in, meaning that you must train often.  It is said that your training spirit and hard work lie in your belt, and if you wash it, you are cleansing this spirit away.



There are only two patches that are allowed on your dogi and these may be purchased from your dojo:

  1. The Shinkyokushinkai kanji - worn on the LEFT side of your top over your heart, not only indicating your style of karate, but also showing that the spirit of Kyokushin is in your heart.







  1. Dojo patch - identifying the dojo at which you train.  It is worn on the LEFT sleeve between the elbow and shoulder, usually about an inch below the seam.