Top 5 best Judo suits for beginners.
Are you new to Judo? Has your child just started Judo? Do you know which Judo suit to buy? No... Don't worry let me help, with my complete guide to the best Judo suits for beginners.
Firstly let's address why it is important ... and yes it is important.
Finding a Judo suit for yourself or your child can be a minefield and without any guidance, many people decide to go for the first one they see or even worse the cheapest! Such as this one from Decathlon for £7.99 (which although is labelled as Judo suit, is definitely not)…
This Judo suit is the reason my wife and I introduced including a Judo suit to all new members with their Club membership fee.
Firstly it is important to understand your Judo suit is part of your equipment.
In Judo participants are required to pull and push each other. Even the thickness of the collar and lapel makes a difference as that makes it easier or harder for your opponent to keep hold. In Judo if you can stop your opponent from gripping your lapel and collar it can improve your chances of throwing them (and winning).
Like the Decathlon kit, any other ‘martial arts’ kit bought online could cause the same problems. They are so thin they are similar to wearing a Judo suit made out of tissue paper and is not suitable for Judo (and not allowed in competitions). They are not designed to be gripped and pulled around and do not even stay on the children properly.
There are four important things to consider when buying a new Judo suit, the size, weight, colour and cost.
Size: Usually Judo suits are sized in centimetres starting at 100cm up to 200cm going up in 10cm increments (100cm, 110cm, 120cm, 130cm etc.), but unfortunately each brand of Judo suit comes up in slightly different sizes (much like different high street clothing does). This is due to their 'cut', that's why as a club, we now try to stick to one brand. The easiest way to size your child up is to measure their height and go to the closest size, for example, if their 136cm tall, aim for a 140cm Judo suit (please note this is a guide and double-check the returns policy). Note, in most brands a child Judo suit goes up to 150cm anything bigger will be an adult-sized kit and will be more expensive due to VAT (and more material). Once they go above 150cm, I definitely do not recommend buying a cheap suit!
Weight: It's all in the weight ... The judo suits I am recommending are all 350 grams which is fairly standard, you can get lighter options but I wouldn't necessarily recommend those for the same reasons, I stated above with the Decathlon tissue suit!
Colour: White, in Judo there are two colours white and blue. In general, blue is for higher-level competitions, and in our club, we recommend everyone wears a white judo suit (especially at the lower levels) some clubs will allow any colour but it is always important to check what your Club prefers before you choose a multi-coloured Judo suit!
Cost: This will always be a pinch point for some people and you will have to decide how much you can invest in a quality suit. That said I believe Judo is a relatively cheap sport and this is pretty much the only bit of equipment you need (but they will outgrow them, so keep that in mind).
For these reasons I recommend buying your new Judo suit through your Judo club, they can be slightly more expensive, but you are guaranteed to get a kit that is fit for purpose, and you get to support your local club!
Once you receive your brand new Judo suit how do you know it fits your child? Well, the International Judo Federation (IJF) has some really strict rules on Judo suits in competitions ... luckily for you, these do not affect your child but they should still have a kit that fits for training and if they are looking to take part in competitions outside of your club environment there are things you must check to ensure it 'fits'.
The sleeves should cover the wrist bone and touch the back of the hand when arms are held up straight out in front (like a zombie!). The skirt of the jacket should cover the bottom. The trousers cover the ankle bone.
For these reasons, the 'cut' of the Judo suit is really important and is why not all Judo suits are created equal and some Judo players have a preference in Judo brand.
What to expect with your brand new Judo suit?
Judo JacketTrousers (children's sizes have elasticated waistband)White Belt
Washing your new Judo suit: The only thing you need to watch out for is shrinking your new suit! After going through the all this effort to select a good suit the last thing you need is to shrink it. To avoid this do not wash above 40 degrees, and avoid tumble drying them! I avoid this at all cost, unless you want it to come out the size of a novelty key ring ... All of my kits are washed at 30 degrees and have no problem. If they are particularly grubby after training, adding some stain remover works a treat.
Below I have ranked my top 5 Judo suits for beginners. This is based on the overall price and how they fit children.
Rest assured: all the Judo suits below will last, none will rip, durability is never really a problem and remember if you have more than one child you will be able to pass them on!
All Pricing is based on a white judo suit, 120cm (average size for 6 & 7 years), 350 grams and postage and packaging (P&P) as this can make a massive difference.
AVA Judo suit - 350 grams price range £28
Cost of buying the Judo suit: £28
Cost of P&P: £6.50 next day delivery
Total: £34.50 Next day delivery
AVA Sports sell three different brands of Judo suit and Ippon Gear (these only come in 250gram beginner suits), Kappa (generally come up slightly smaller) and AVA. Dino runs AVA sports and is a great guy, happy to help as much as he can and supports unfunded athletes. That said I think £34.50 is too much for the AVA judo suit, especially as it is in the same market as No. 4 and No. 3. all have a similar fit but come in cheaper.
Cimac Student Judo Uniform Suit - 350 grams price range £19.99
Cost of buying the Judo suit: £19.99
Cost of P&P: Free 3-5 day delivery or £13.40 for next day deliver
Total: £19.99 (if you're not in a rush) or £33.39
£19.99 is not bad if you can wait for delivery, but if you are in a rush £33.39 is too expensive. All cheap kits struggle to a degree with their fit and these appear to be no different. This is only ahead of AVA kits because you can purchase it slightly cheaper, but working the website can be a nightmare, so watch out for that.
Blitz Kids Student Judo Suit - 350 grams price range £9.99 - £17.39
Cost of buying the Judo suit: £10.89
Cost of P&P: £8.40
Blitz has always been pretty reliable, all kits are reasonably priced and the website is pretty easy to navigate. As a club, we used them for quite a while but started to find that the 'cut' of the Judo suit was long in the body and short in the arms (we had an order of £900+ of kits, which were so bad we had to return them, this said it only happened once and they did take them back). Overall I felt they were no good for competition and in the end, I just didn't like the look of them.
Adidas Club Judo Uniform - 350 grams price range £29.99
Cost of buying the Judo suit: £29.99
Cost of P&P: Free 3-5 day delivery or £13.40 for next day delivery
Total: £29.99 (if you're not in a rush) or £43.39
As you would expect Adidas Judo suits are slightly more expensive but the cut and finish of the kit are pretty good. As a club, we do not buy these as they just work out a bit too expensive but the kit is great as a beginner kit and they have the advantage of going all the way through to 'Elite' Judo suits and are preferred by Team GB. Cimac owns the rights to sell Adidas Judo suits in the UK so you will still have the same problems with understanding the sizing on the website.
Hajime Judogi - Fighting Films - £25
Cost of buying the Judo suit: £25
Cost of P&P: 2nd class £3.72, 1st Class £4.22, Next day Delivery £5.99
Total: £28.72 (if you're not in a rush) or £30.99
Fighting Films supplies our club, with branded Judo suits, so obviously, these are my preference. Now, in all honesty, I am not sure if these kits are quite 350 grams (they maybe), but the collars and lapels are thicker than most beginner kits. The kits are the best fit we've found for the children in our club, the website is easy to use and ordering is simple. Best of all they look good and feel good. We order their beginner kits through to their 'Elite' kits (see elite kit below)
So the take-home points are:
Your Judo suit is important- it is your only equipment
Your Judo suit has an impact on gripping, one of the most significant parts of Judo fighting.
Consider size, weight, colour and cost when choosing.
Don’t forget the can be handed down to siblings so maybe spending a little more will be worth it.