What Is a Karate Uniform Called?

Lucidio Studio, Inc./Moment Open/Getty Images

A karate uniform is called a karategi or simply gi for short. Karate is a Japanese martial art, and karategi is a Japanese word. The word comes from the traditional name for a judo uniform, which is similar in style.

A karategi is a loose garment made of lightweight cloth. It consists of a jacket, pants and a belt called an obi. The total length of the jacket, sleeves and pants vary slightly, depending on the branch of karate being practiced. Training gi are usually white. The obi is heavy and broad; it is tied around the waist and secured with a square knot. Obi colors vary according to the skill level of the wearer.