What Should I Wear To Aikido Class?

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Are you interested in starting an Aikido class but wondering what to wear? Wearing the appropriate attire is important not only for comfort but also for safety. In this SEO-optimized article, we will discuss what you should wear to an Aikido class and answer some common questions on this topic.


What is Aikido?

Aikido is a modern Japanese martial art that emphasizes self-defense techniques and the redirection of an opponent’s energy. It was developed in the early 20th century by Morihei Ueshiba, commonly referred to as O-Sensei, which means “Great Teacher.” Ueshiba combined elements of various traditional martial arts, including jujitsu, swordsmanship, and spear fighting, to create Aikido.

The philosophy behind Aikido is based on the concept of harmony and non-resistance. Practitioners aim to blend with an attacker’s movements rather than opposing them directly. The goal is to neutralize the attack through circular motions, joint locks, throws, and pins, using the attacker’s energy against them.

Aikido techniques typically involve fluid movements and circular motions, allowing practitioners to redirect and control an opponent’s force. The emphasis is on blending with the attacker’s energy, maintaining balance and stability, and utilizing efficient body movements rather than relying on physical strength.


Why is it important to wear appropriate attire in Aikido?

Wearing appropriate attire in Aikido is important for several reasons:

  1. Tradition and Respect: Aikido has deep roots in Japanese martial arts traditions, and wearing the correct attire demonstrates respect for the art, the dojo (training space), and the instructors. It shows that you understand and appreciate the cultural and historical aspects of Aikido.
  2. Safety: Aikido techniques involve joint locks, throws, and immobilizations. Wearing appropriate attire ensures that you have the necessary freedom of movement while minimizing the risk of injury to yourself and others. Loose clothing or inappropriate footwear can get caught or tangled during practice, leading to accidents.
  3. Functionality: Aikido uniforms, known as keikogi or gi, are specifically designed to facilitate movement and withstand the demands of training. The gi consists of a loose-fitting jacket (uwagi) and pants (zubon) made from durable, heavyweight cotton. This attire allows for comfortable and unrestricted movement, enabling practitioners to execute techniques effectively.
  4. Identification and Unity: Aikido is often practiced in a group setting, and the uniform helps create a sense of unity and equality among practitioners. By wearing the same attire, everyone is visually connected, regardless of age, rank, or background. This fosters a cooperative training environment and emphasizes the principle of harmony in Aikido.
  5. Mind-Body Connection: Aikido is not just a physical practice; it also emphasizes mental and spiritual development. Wearing the proper attire can help create a mindset conducive to training. When you put on the gi, it serves as a symbol of your commitment to the practice, helping you transition into a focused state of mind and leaving behind the concerns of everyday life.


What should I wear to an Aikido class?

Traditionally, Aikido practitioners wear a gi, a uniform made of cotton with pants and a jacket. The gi is lightweight, durable, and designed to provide ease of movement while also providing protection.

If you are starting a practice, you don’t need to purchase a gi right away. Most dojos (Aikido training halls) provide a trial period during which you can wear comfortable workout clothes like a T-shirt and sweatpants. You can also wear a martial arts training uniform of your choice.


What should I avoid wearing to an Aikido class?

Avoid wearing jewelry, watches, and other accessories that may cause harm to you or your partner during training. Long hair should be tied back, and fingernails should be kept short to prevent injury.

Additionally, avoid wearing clothing with a graphic design or a message that may be considered disrespectful or offensive to others in the dojo.


Can I wear shoes in Aikido?

No, Aikido is traditionally practiced barefoot as it allows for better traction on the training mat and enhances the practitioner’s connection to the ground. Additionally, practicing barefoot helps in developing body awareness and balance.


Is there any specific attire for women or men in Aikido?

No, there is no specific attire for men or women in Aikido. Both genders can wear the traditional gi or any other comfortable martial arts training uniform. However, women often wear an undershirt or a sports bra for added comfort and support.



Wearing the right attire in Aikido is important for comfort, safety, and respect for the art. While a traditional gi is the ideal attire for Aikido practitioners, you can wear any comfortable and appropriate martial arts training uniform during the trial period. Avoid wearing accessories or clothing that can get caught during training and practice barefoot for better traction and body awareness. With the appropriate attire, you are ready to start your Aikido journey!

Maxim Tzfenko

Maxim Tzfenko

"I live and breath Martial Arts"

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