From what I gather, the two most popular Japanese makers of Aikido Gi are Iwata and Tozando. I’ve neither purchased nor worn a gi from either of these makers. So, I can’t attest to the quality. However, the general consensus seems to be that the quality is top notch. I do own a Japanese Aikido gi and am extremely happy with the quality. I purchased it a couple years ago and have given it some hard training during that time. Yet it still looks almost new. I bought it from Nine Circles. You can read my review of my gi here.
- Iwata Shokai gi – 600 grams (Jacket only. Pants sold separately.)
- Tozando gi – 600 grams (Jacket only. Pants sold separately.)
- Nine Circles – 800 grams (Jacket and pants.)
As you can tell, I’m partial to heavy duty gi. In my opinion, a torn gi is a hazard. When gis tear midway through a technique, bad things can happen. And tears in fabric excel at catching fingers and toes.
Originally, we were training in an air conditioned building. Now we’re underground in the basement of an office building. Bare concrete walls and floor and exposed pipes. It’s got kind of a “Fight Club” vibe to it. It’s cool. (The first rule of Aikido is…) Anyway, heat hasn’t been a problem in the summer. And since we’re in Iowa, the winters are cold as hell.
For a very brief period I practiced Judo. The instructor indicated that my gi was sturdy enough for Judo training. So, if you do any cross-training in Judo or another grappling art, you might be able to use the Nine Circles gi for both Aikido and whatever else you’re doing.