I’ve just had a sneak preview of a new Shotokan Hoodie:

A couple of Karateka have made something for themselves and I think it’s good enough to share. You definitely have to be in the know to be able to recognise what this garment really is. The idea was obviously to design something that could look better with age and gently distress a bit like our dogi and belts.

The strongest representation of Shotokan is the Tiger, which is an ancient symbol; this is combined cleverly with other Japanese symbols and flags. The morphing of the stylised tiger and the rising sun is a bit of artistic licence that I really like. The red rising sun rays are designed to fray but stay attached and the tiger sits amongst these rays in stunning gold embroidery. The sleeve has a mix of the Japanese flag also designed to fray and Shotokan kanji embroidery sits above it. On the right chest is the kanji for Karate in an applique white cotton twill fabric surrounded by embroidered stitching.

Although the garment looks complete as a stand-alone piece I did noticed that there are areas that could easily take a club or association badge on the left chest and left sleeve so it could be personalised with your own logos. If you want something a bit different then this definitely fits the bill. But like the black belt it is obviously exclusive and made to order so it may take a bit of patience to get it. The garment itself is a premium quality vintage style hoodie constructed with extra heavyweight cotton rich brush back fleece (so it’s supersoft on the inside). The fabric weight is 350 gsm ( 10.3 oz USA)so it’s really lovely and heavy. It features a vintage brass full zip and contrast trim. Detail? It’s packed in. A fully lined hood, adjustable drawstring tape, antique interior neck taping, two generous pockets, superflex ribbed side panels (double stitched for extra movement) and superflex rib in the extra-long cuffs and waistband for great shape and comfort. Sizing runs from XXS to XXL and they are generous.

The company (SWI) that makes this specializes in embroidery design and production so doing any club embroideries is a piece of cake. If anyone is interested then I suggest you look at the website where they do a lot of specialised University wear. The Shotokan hoodie is not actually on the site at this point as befits its exclusive status but tons of other stuff is that shows what the company can do. You can contact them if you are interested for your club or association. I suspect they could easily apply the same design principles to other styles or martial arts by request. My understanding is that this can be supplied worldwide.

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