open in the front for any type of tying and adjustments, and are often called "y-neck" or "open" uniforms. Karate martial arts itself originated in Okinawa, Japan, but the word "karate" has been used very often in the U.S. to refer to oriental martial arts in general.
To help you decide which uniform is one you're looking for, read on for a basic introduction on different types of karate uniforms you may find as you're looking.
Middleweight versus Heavyweight
The uniform weight (middle or heavy) differentiates the thickness of the material. It refers to the type of fabric used that is cut into a karate uniform. For example, a "7 oz" karate uniform does not necessarily mean the uniform you receive will be 7 oz, but rather it refers to the weight of a standardized size (before cutting) is used as fabric weight. Middleweight Karate Uniforms, student karate uniforms, are the most popularly purchased weight. Many martial arts supply manufacturers designate 6, 7, or 8 oz as middleweight uniforms. They are also commonly called student uniforms because a wide range of karate students use this uniform, whether they are beginner (~white or yellow belt), intermediate, or advanced level (~red or black belt).
Traditional Cut versus Tournament Cut
Traditional and tournament cuts are different in sleeve length, pants length, and sometimes uniform chest circumference.Traditional Cut Karate Uniforms are full-length, and as the name implies, is the norm for most karate uniforms. If the cut is not mentioned in the description, then the uniform is most likely a traditional cut. Tournament Cut Karate Uniforms have shorter sleeves, and pants. The reason is to expose the hands and feet more for tournament judging, and also to allow you to put on sparring gear easier and faster on the arms and legs.
Elastic+Drawstring Pants versus Only Drawstring Pants
Karate uniforms with Elastic Pants commonly include a drawstring to ensure the pants do not fall off during training. An elastic band is embedded on the waist of the unform to help keep your pants on.Some uniforms only have the drawstring and no elastic band, which is just a string to tie the pants on at your desired tightness. Heavier uniforms commonly exclude the elastic band, and only have a thicker drawstring because at heavier weights, the thicker drawstring is more effective and more secure.