Uniforms & Gear

The Aikido Gi

The common uniform used for Aikido training is called a “gi” or formally Aikidogi.

Seidokan Aikido recommends that students purchase a judogi or keikogi (keiko means practice, gi means dress or clothes). Judogis are typically thick enough to support the weight of a student and be able to withstand grabbing and pulling attack techniques common to Aikido.

The top part of the gi is called the uwagi (uwa means “upper” and, again, “gi” means clothes). The pants of the gi are called shitabaki, which is the Japanese word for pants.

Gi Maintenance

•  Wash in cold water only.
•  May shrink 1 to 2 inches after the first washing.
•  Do not use the Dryer, hang dry only.
•  Stretch your Gi after the first washing to prevent shrinking.

Gi Sizing

Please use the following size chart as a reference only. The actual uniform fit may vary from person to person.

Height Waist Weight
Gi Size (in inches) (in inches) (in pounds)
000000 2'7" – 3'0"
00000 3'0" – 3'3"
0000 3'3" – 3'5"
000 3'5" – 3'9" 18 – 27 35
00 3'9" – 4'1" 20 – 29 50
0 4'1" – 4'5" 22 – 32 70
1 4'5" – 4'9" 25 – 36 90
2 4'9" – 5'1" 28 – 39 120
3 5'1" – 5'5" 30 – 42 150
4 5'5" – 5'9" 31 – 45 170
5 5'9" – 6'1" 33 – 48 190
6 6'1" – 6'5" 35 – 50 220
7 6'5" – 6'8" 38 – 52 240

How To Tie Your Belt

Start by folding the left side of your gi over the right.

how_to_tie1Hold your belt in front of you making sure both ends of your belt (A and B) are even.

how_to_tie2Wrap both ends around your waist and bring in back around in front of you. Make sure end A wraps over end B.

how_to_tie3Bring end A up and underneath both layers of the belt. 

how_to_tie4Fold end A straight down keeping end B on the right.
how_to_tie5Fold end B back over and around end A and then back over itself.
how_to_tie6While holding end A in your left hand and end B in your right, pull both ends at a downward angle so it is taut.


Aikido Training Weapons

joThe Jo

Known as “The Wooden Staff of Japan,” the Jo is typically made from various hardwoods . The Jo is approximately 4 feet (48 inches) in length and produced in a circular or octagonal shape. 

Most Aikido students use a Jo tailored to their own height. While picking your Jo length, remember that everyone is different. A taller person may need a 54 inches or more, and a shorter person might want to stay with the original length of around 48 inches.

Aiki-jō practice can help uncover errors in a student’s empty-handed Aikido techniques and provides an opportunity to apply the principles of aikido in different situations. 

Seidokan Aikido practice 3 kata (meaning “forms”), that are a predetermined series of techniques practiced against an imaginary opponent. The first is called Aiki-Jogi 1, that is a 22-step Jo Kata. The second is Aiki-Jogi 2 which is another 22-step kata. The third is Aiki-Jogi 3 which is a 25-step kata.


The Bokken

A bokken is a Japanese wooden sword used for training in Aikido. Bok(u) means “wood”, and ken means “sword” or commonly called bokutō in Japan. The Bokken is typically the size and shape of a katana, or samurai sword. They were designed and used for training samurai warriors in feudal Japan. The quality of a bokken depends on the quality of the wood and skill of the craftsman.

A common wood used for Aikido bokken is the Japanese White Oak Wood, also called “Shirogashi.” This Japanese has a structure that is uniformly hard, has excellent dent resistance and has better impact strength than American Oaks. Its denser grain also makes it slightly heavier and more preferable as a material for a Bokken that would be used rigorously in Aikido training.