Differences between Kendo and Kyudo Gis: A thorough explanation of appearance, functionality, and how to wear them

Kendo and Kyudo are traditional Japanese martial arts, each featuring unique techniques, ethos, and equipment.

The core of practicing these martial arts is the gi. Dogi is not just a form of clothing, but also supports the movements of martial arts and also plays a role in raising spiritual awareness.

However, kendo and archery gi have their own unique characteristics depending on the purpose and technique used.


In this article, we will focus on the differences between Kendo and Kyudo Gis, and provide a thorough explanation of their appearance, functionality, and how to wear them.

We provide useful information for those new to these martial arts, as well as those with experience who are unsure of which equipment to choose.



Introduction: Kendo and Kyudo, the role of each Gi

Kendo and Kyudo are two of Japan’s most popular traditional martial arts, and their spirit and techniques have spread throughout the world.

The purpose of these martial arts is not only to hone your skills, but also to train your mind and body, and sharpen your spirit.

Kendo and Kyudo use distinctive equipment and gi, which are not only used for protection and identification, but also play an important role in the performance of their respective martial arts.


Overview of Kendo and the role of the Gi

Kendo is a martial art that refines swordsmanship as a “do”, and is practiced while wearing a bamboo sword (shinai) and protective gear.

Kendo uniforms are designed for both ease of movement and safety, allowing you to protect yourself and move freely during intense training and competitions.

The gi consists of a jacket (keikogi) and a hakama (hakama), which together with protective gear completes the attire of a kendo practitioner.

The shape and material of the gi are designed to support movements unique to kendo, such as quick footwork and large swings.


Overview of Kyudo and the role of the Gi

On the other hand, Kyudo is a martial art that aims to unite mind and technique using a bow and arrow. Kyudo uniforms have a unique design that increases the accuracy of your shots and helps you concentrate.

The main things worn are a jacket (kimono or wear) and a hakama. In particular, the kyudo hakama has a spacious design that stabilizes the standing and shooting posture and creates a beautiful shot.

Kyudo uniforms also play a role in promoting beauty of movement and calmness of mind, helping archers to concentrate on their shooting both internally and externally.


Kendo and Kyudo uniforms have been formed based on the unique spirit, techniques, and history of each martial art.

These gi are more than just clothing; they are important elements that help practitioners hone their skills, as well as contribute to the spiritual growth and inner training gained through martial arts.




Kendo gi: characteristics and how to wear it

Kendo is one of Japan’s traditional martial arts, and proper gi is essential for its practice.

Kendo uniforms are designed for ease of movement, comfort, and a design that embodies the spirit of Kendo.

Here, we will explain in detail the characteristics, components, materials, how to choose, and the correct way to wear the kendo gi.


Characteristics of Dogi

Kendo’s gi consists of two main parts: a jacket (keikogi) and a hakama (hakama).

The jacket is designed with ease of movement in mind, and is often woven with a strong weave to withstand intense training.

The hakama has a spacious design that allows for free movement of the legs while also expressing traditional beauty.



  • Keikogi : A jacket worn during Kendo practice and matches. Made of durable, thick cloth, it is strong enough to withstand intense movements during practice.
  • Hakama : Based on the traditional Japanese hakama, it is made with an emphasis on ease of movement. It is characterized by a shape that spreads from the waist down, making it suitable for Kendo movements that require large movements of the legs.



Kendo gi are generally made of cotton. Cotton has high moisture absorption and is soft to the touch, so you can stay comfortable even during long practice sessions.

It is also highly durable and can be washed and used many times.


How to choose

  • Size selection : It is important to choose the size that fits your body. Especially for hakama, the length from the waist to the ankle is important, so choose one that is neither too long nor too short.
  • Material Selection : We recommend choosing a high-quality cotton gi for its moisture absorption and durability. Also, depending on how often you practice, you may want to choose a material that is thick or has breathability in mind.


Correct way to wear it

  1. How to wear a jacket : First, put on your jacket, covering the right front with the left front. This is based on the traditional Japanese way of wearing clothing.
  2. How to wear a hakama : Secure the string of the hakama tightly around your waist and adjust it so that there are large slits in the front and back. Adjust your waist position so that the bottom of the hakama is slightly above the ground.
  3. Adjustments and Checks : Check the overall fit and adjust as necessary to ensure that the gi does not restrict your movement.



Kendo uniforms are essential equipment for practicing Kendo safely and effectively.

By learning how to choose the right one and wear it correctly, you can improve the quality of your training.




Kyudo uniform: characteristics and how to wear it

Kyudo is a traditional Japanese martial art that embodies the spirit of stillness and movement, and a unique gi is used in its practice.

Kyudo uniforms are designed to enhance the spirituality of archers without hindering their movements.

Below, we will explain the characteristics, components, materials, how to choose, and the correct way to wear the kyudo uniform.


Characteristics of Dogi

Kyudo uniforms combine ease of movement with traditional beauty.

The jacket comes in kimono and wear types, and the hakama is specially designed to support the archer’s movements.

Kyudo hakama, in particular, is characterized by a wide-open shape that allows the feet to move freely during the shooting motion.



  • Upper garment (kimono or wear) : May be traditional kimono or more modern wear styles. Both are designed to ensure freedom of movement when shooting.
  • Hakama : Specially designed to support the movements unique to archery. It has a wider hem than a regular hakama and is characterized by ease of movement.
  • Features of Kyudo Hakama : Kyudo Hakama is wider than regular Hakama and is designed to allow you to take big steps without stepping on the hem.



Kyudo uniforms are made of materials such as cotton and polyester that are highly absorbent and durable.

It is important to choose the most suitable material depending on comfort, season, and frequency of use.


How to choose

  • Size and fit : It is important to choose a gi that is the right size for your body. Especially when it comes to hakama, it is important to choose the correct size to ensure ease of movement.
  • Material selection : Choose a material with excellent breathability and moisture absorption, depending on the season and the environment of the practice area.


Correct way to wear it

  1. How to wear a jacket : For archery, the jacket is worn with the front left covering the front right. This is in accordance with the traditional way of wearing a kimono.
  2. How to wear a hakama : Tie the hakama string tightly around your waist and adjust the hem of the hakama to the appropriate height from the floor. When wearing Kyudo hakama, it is important to check the width of the hem when wearing it.
  3. Checking the attire : After donning the gi, check the overall fit to ensure it does not interfere with movement, and adjust as necessary.



Kyudo uniforms play an important role in helping archers hone their skills.

By understanding how to choose and wear them correctly, you can embody the spirit and beauty of Kyudo and increase the freedom and precision of your movements in practice.




Main differences between Kendo and Kyudo gi

Although Kendo and Kyudo are both traditional Japanese martial arts, there are distinct differences in the techniques practiced, the spirit, and the uniforms used.

Let’s take a closer look at the differences between Kendo and Kyudo uniforms in terms of appearance, functionality, materials, and how to wear them.



  • Kendo : Kendo’s gi consists mainly of a blue or black jacket and hakama, and is characterized by its simple and functional design. Protective gear is worn over the gi.
  • Kyudo : Kyudo uniforms are generally kimono or white hakama, and are designed with an emphasis on traditional beauty. Since no protective gear is worn in archery, the beauty of the gi itself is emphasized.



  • Kendo : Kendo’s gi is durable and easy to move in, able to withstand intense movements and blows from bamboo swords. In particular, the hakama is wide to allow free movement of the legs.
  • Kyudo : Kyudo uniforms focus on improving accuracy and stability of shooting. The hakama is designed to allow for ease of movement while also looking beautiful when standing or shooting.



  • Kendo : Kendo uniforms are generally made of cotton, which is highly durable and moisture absorbent. It can withstand the intensity of practice and absorbs sweat effectively.
  • Kyudo : Kyudo uniforms are often made of cotton, but other materials such as silk are sometimes chosen for comfort and aesthetics. The jackets in particular show a more diverse selection of materials.


How to wear

  • Kendo : The way to wear a Kendo gi is relatively simple and focuses on functionality. The jacket should be worn with the right front facing the left front, and the hakama should be worn with ease of movement as the top priority.
  • Kyudo : The kyudo uniform must be worn in the traditional way as a kimono. There are more detailed rules for this, ranging from how to tie the obi to how to wear the hakama.



Kendo and Kyudo uniforms reflect the unique nature and form of practice of each martial art.

Each type of gi embodies functionality and practicality in Kendo, and traditional beauty and spirituality in Kyudo.




Points to consider when choosing a gi

In the practice of Kendo and Kyudo, choosing the appropriate Gi is important for comfort, functionality, and the continuation of tradition.

Below, we will introduce the points to consider when choosing a gi for both kendo and archery, including how to choose the material, size, and maintenance methods.


Points to consider when choosing a Kendo uniform


How to choose size

  • It is important to choose a size that suits your height and body shape . Especially when it comes to hakama, you need to pay attention to the length from your waist to your ankles to ensure ease of movement while maintaining a traditional look.


  • It’s a good idea to choose a gi made of cotton, which is durable and absorbs moisture . It can be used for long hours of practice and is comfortable to the touch.


  • It is important to wash regularly and dry in a well-ventilated area . Dogi may shrink, so be careful when washing them.



Points to consider when choosing kyudo uniforms


How to choose size

  • In Kyudo, beauty of movement is also an important element. Choose a jacket that is not too close to your body, but one that hugs your body in a natural way. The hakama needs to have the appropriate length and width to allow a wide range of movement.


  • Choose materials that match the season and your personal preferences . In addition to cotton and polyester, it is a good idea to choose materials that are breathable in hot weather and warm materials in cold weather.


  • Kimono-style jackets are especially important to take care of . Depending on the material, dry cleaning may be recommended, so be sure to check the care instructions at the time of purchase. By adjusting the shape of your hakama and then drying it, you can maintain its beautiful silhouette.


common points


try on clothes

  • If possible, it is important to try it on and check how comfortable it is in operation . When purchasing online, be sure to check the return and exchange policy.

long term perspective

  • Dogi are meant to be used for a long time, so it is best to choose one with durability, growth, and changes in body shape in mind .



When choosing a gi for kendo and archery, it is important to consider the balance between functionality and tradition, and choose the one that best suits you.

By maintaining it properly and treating your gi with care, you will be able to use it for a long time.




Summary: The influence of gi on martial arts practice

The role of the gi in the practice of kendo and archery is not just for protection.

The gi is an essential element in performing these martial arts, providing physical and mental support for the practitioner.

Below is a summary of how the gi affects the practice of martial arts and why choosing the right gi is important.


The role of the gi


physical protection and support

Dogi supports the intense movements and specific postures of kendo and archery, and protects the body during practice. In Kendo in particular, durability is required to protect oneself from blows, and in Kyudo, ease of movement is important in order to improve shooting accuracy.


mental focus and calmness

Wearing a gi allows practitioners to immerse themselves more deeply in the spirituality of martial arts. The traditional costumes of Kendo and Kyudo encourage mental readiness for the practice, providing mental focus and calm.


Inheriting tradition and culture

Dogi embodies the long history of Kendo and Kyudo culture. By choosing and wearing the appropriate gi, practitioners can inherit and respect the tradition and culture of martial arts.


The importance of choosing the correct gi

Choosing the correct gi optimizes performance in practice, prevents injuries, and shows respect for the martial arts.

Dogi, chosen with consideration to size, material, and functionality, are a great support for practitioners as they hone their techniques and pursue personal growth in martial arts.


When choosing a gi, we recommend choosing a size that fits your body, a material that is appropriate for the frequency of practice and the season, and a design that embodies the spirit of martial arts.

In addition, with proper maintenance, a dogi can be used for a long time, and its value will increase along with the many memories created through the practice of martial arts.


The selection and maintenance of gi in Kendo and Kyudo is not just a formality, but a gateway to growth in practice and spiritual deepening.

By understanding and respecting the significance of the gi, you will be able to deeply pursue the path of martial arts.



Kendo glossary

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