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How to measure yourself for a karate uniform

Updated March 23, 2017

It is important to wear a properly fitting uniform while studying karate. A uniform that is too tight will restrict your punching, kicking and spinning movements. A uniform that is too big will hang over your hands and feet. This could make you trip and could lead to injury. Karate uniforms are fairly loosefitting by design to allow freedom of motion. You must allow for this roominess when measuring yourself for a properly fitting karate uniform.

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  1. Learn how the size chart for karate uniforms works. The smallest sizes are designated 000, 00, and 0, in that order. These sizes are for small children. The karate uniforms then get progressively larger with increasing numbers. Sizes 1 and 2 are for older children. Sizes 3, 4 and 5 fit most adults. Sizes 6, 7 and 8 fit very large adults.

  2. Measure your height without shoes. Since karate is practised barefoot, you need to know your true height. Be honest about your height, since a karate uniform that is too long will hang down past your feet.

  3. Weigh yourself without clothes. Since you will be wearing little or nothing beneath your karate uniform, it is important to know your true weight. Added weight from shoes, jeans and other items will throw off your measurements.

  4. Compare your height and weight to the standard ranges for karate uniform sizes:

  5. Size 000 should fit a child 36 to 41 inches tall and weighing 13.6 to 18.1 Kilogram. Size 00 should fit a child 41 to 46 inches tall and weighing 40 to 55 pounds. Size 0 should fit a child 46 to 51 inches tall and weighing 55 to 70 pounds.

  6. Size 1 should fit a child 51 to 56 inches tall and weighing 70 to 90 pounds. Size 2 should fit a child 56 to 61 inches tall and weighing 90 to 110 pounds.

  7. Size 3 should fit an adult 61 to 66 inches tall and weighing 110 to 140 pounds. Size 4 should fit an adult 66 to 71 inches tall and weighing 140 to 170 pounds. Size 5 should fit an adult 71 to 74 inches tall and weighing 170 to 200 pounds.

  8. Size 6 should fit an adult 74 to 77 inches tall and weighing 200 to 230 pounds. Size 7 should fit an adult 77 to 80 inches tall and weighing 230 to 260 pounds. Size 8 should fit a huge adult 80 to 83 tall and weighing 260 to 290 pounds.

  9. Choose the larger size if your height and weight do not correspond to the same karate uniform size. If you are unusually tall for your weight, you will need the added length. The bagginess of the karate uniform should not be an issue. If you are unusually heavy for your height, you will need the room inside the karate uniform. The excess arm and leg length can easily be hemmed.

  10. Consider buying a karate uniform one size too big for a growing child. Only do this if you expect the child to move from one uniform size to the next within a year. If the arms and legs of the uniform are too long, they can be temporarily hemmed until the child grows into the size.

  11. Tip

    It is important to note that karate uniforms are not intended to fit like ordinary clothes. The sleeves should extend to just above the wrists, and the pant legs should extend to just above the ankles. You should be able to swing your body up and down as well as side to side without being pinched or restricted by the uniform.


    A karate uniform might shrink a little if dried in a dryer. However, manufacturers take shrinkage into account when sizing their uniforms. Do not buy a karate uniform that it too large and then attempt to shrink it to the right size.

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Things You'll Need

  • Ruler
  • Scale

About the Author

Kent Ninomiya is a veteran journalist with over 23 years experience as a television news anchor, reporter and managing editor. He traveled to more than 100 countries on all seven continents, including Antarctica. Ninomiya holds a Bachelor of Arts in social sciences with emphasis in history, political science and mass communications from the University of California at Berkeley.

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