Tradition within our club and the Shodokan/Tomiki Aikido community in general leans towards the wearing of a white (bleached) judo-style uniform made of 100% cotton or a 40-60% polyester-cotton mix, tied with a coloured belt (obi) denoting rank from 7th kyu up to 1st Dan. Due to the competitive nature of Tomiki Aikido practice, the wearing of hakama has been relegated to kata demonstrations, and then, only rarely.
Most Shodokan/Tomiki Aikido practitioners opt for either a light or medium weight Judogi that have a tightly woven jacket (uwagi) and heavily reinforced pants (zubon) with knee-patches as they withstand grabbing, throwing and kneeling techniques better than a typical karate suit.
Judo suits are sized by the height of the wearer, in centimetres. Judo suits shrink slightly from new after washing (especially those made from 100% cotton) so we recommend buying a suit in the closest size ABOVE your height. Below is a rough sizing guide:
Height (cms) Size Height (ft ins)
110cms 000 3ft 8ins
120cms 00 4ft
130cms 0 4ft 3ins
140cms 1 4ft 7ins
150cms 2 4ft 11ins
160cms 3 5ft 3ins
165cms 3.5 5ft 5ins
170cms 4 5ft 7ins
175cms 4.5 5ft 9ins
180cms 5 5ft 11ins
185cms 5.5 6ft 1ins
190cms 6 6ft 3ins
195cms 6.5 6ft 5ins
200cms 7 6ft 7ins
210cms 8 6ft 11ins
Most high street Sports Shops in Ireland don't stock martial arts goods, so local choice is very limited. However there is one in Dublin; "Mullen Sports" of Capel Street that sells martial arts supplies including Judo suits for beginners.
New, good quality and low cost beginner judo suits can be purchased also from retail websites like AMAZON.CO.UK or BLITZSPORT.COM.
For those who want to save a few €uro it's useful to know that there is an active online trade in second hand judo suits. With this in mind great bargains can be had by looking in place like ADVERTS.IE, GUMTREE.IE , DONEDEAL.IE as well as your local Facebook Buy-and-Sell pages. (search for the term "Judo" or "Judo suit").
A new Judo suit will generally come with a white belt included. Hold onto this as you will need it after you sucessfully pass your first grade (6th kyu) examination. Beginners will be provided with a red belt from our equipment store until they have graded.
NOTE: Coloured belts can run and often the colour can rub off onto an Aikido/Judo suit during normal wear (if the dye was not fixed correctly or the belt is brand new) . So if dyeing a belt, or if you have a brand new coloured belt it is well worth washing it a few times (seperately) to prevent the colour leaching into the suit jacket. You don't generally need to wash a belt very often afterwards, unless it becomes very grubby. If you have time, ironing the belt every so often helps to keep it's shape, however it is normally sufficient to fold it flat after practice and store it away until the next martial arts class.