THE HISTORY OF KEIKO RAÇA
The Best Wear Keiko
Keiko in Japanese literally means the “lucky/blessed child” and is written in kanji as 敬子, whilst Raça is Portuguese for breed or race. As such the Japanese and Brazilian lineage of modern day BJJ is represented in the very name of the brand. Join the blessed race.
Keiko Raça Kimonos was founded in 1988, focused on manufacturing sports wear. During many years Keiko Raça worked making garments for other sport brands like Red Nose, Alliance Kimonos, Bad Boy Brazil, Royal Combat amongst other popular brands.
In 1995, we started making garments with our own brand name “KEIKO RAÇA” and since then we have always been looking for new textile technology, aiming to offer the best performance, comfort and style for our athletes.
Made In Brazil Since 1988
Keiko Sports has been making our kimonos and every one of our products in our factory in Brazil since we first began our company in 1988. Since then we have grown along with the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Keiko sports sponsors events and athletes all over the world! One of our main goals is to help the sport grow and try to make everyone aware of the benefits of training, competing and the camaraderie the sport brings to each one of us.
We try to make the best gear to fit our athletes’ needs because we are a part of the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community and have been from the start.
KEIKOGI: TRAINING UNIFORM
Many people have heard of the term Kimono [着物], it’s actually a popular term in the world of martial arts and so you’ve most likely heard your friends or instructor referring to this term before. In fact, it’s not correct to use the term Kimono [着物]to describe your uniform for Judo, Karate, or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, whether they are of Japanese descent or not.
• Ki [着] – Wear, Use (clothes);
• Mono [物] – Item, Object.
Kimono (着物) is a traditional item of clothing for the Japanese men, women and children. The word “kimono” literally means “something to wear” (ki = “use/wear” and mono = “item/object”). It is actually traditional Japanese garb, used by men, women and children and not a martial arts uniform.
Samurais used to wear an article of clothing underneath their armor that resembles a kimono, it was called a Ō-Yoroi (“Grand Armor”, 大鎧).This article of clothing was formed by the jacket or shitagi [下着], was tied with a belt, known as the Obi [帯], and finished with the bottoms, a mix of pants/skirt used by men; still used in martial arts such as Aikido and Kendo, called Hakama [袴].
The correct name for a training uniform is actually Keikogi (稽古着 or 稽古衣, Keikogui) literally translates to “training uniform” (keiko = training, the practice of; gi = clothing). When you put them together it means clothing used for training(not any one specific martial art). The word “Keikogi” has been shortened and replaced, simply, by “gi”. Of course the proper pronunciation is “Dogi” as this means “the uniform used on the path” (of whichever martial art you chose). You would place the name of your martial art in the place of the “do”, and there you have it, the correct name for your uniform (ex: judo-gi, karate-gi).
• Aikidogi (合気道着 or 合気道衣) normally wear a hakamá.
• Judogi (柔道着 or 衣) Judo Uniform
• Jujutsugi (柔術着 or 柔術衣) Jiu Jitsu Uniform
• Jiujitsugi (柔術着 or 柔術衣) Brazilian jiu Jitsu Uniform
• Karategi (空手着 or 空手衣) Karate Uniform
• Kendogi (剣道着 or 剣道衣) normally wear a hakamá.
Keikogi [稽古衣] and Dogi [道衣] are general names used for a training uniform.
The term Keikogi [稽古衣] meaning:
• Keiko [稽古] – practice, training;
• Gi [衣] – clothing.
The term Dōgi [道衣] or Dōgi [動衣], depending on the kanji [漢字]used can have two
• Dōgi [道衣] – clothing used on the path, of life;
• Dōgi [動衣] -clothing used for movement, training uniform.
The Keikogi or Dogi is divided into three parts to form the uniform as a whole:
• Uwagi [上着] – top part, jacket;
• Shitabaki [下履] – bottom part, pants;
• Obi [帯] – belt.
Other, more specific, parts that make up the uniform are the Eri [襟] = collar/lapel, Naka-eri = middle of the collar, Oku-eri = end of the collar, Ushi-eri = behind the collar, Sode [袖] = sleeve, Sodeguchi = end of sleeve/opening of sleeve, Shita = bottom part of the Uwagi, Himô = string (Shitabaki); and finally the Zori = sandals or Geta = sandals made of wood (these are to be worn when you step off the mat as to keep your feet clean when you step back on).
In 1886 the Yūdansha [有段者] (“those with rank and experience”) began using black belts with their Kimono [着物], for at that time there did not yet exist the Keikogi [稽古衣] or Judogi [柔道衣]. It was in 1915 that the traditional white Keikogi or Judogi was introduced by Jigoro Kano, in his dojo, and following his example the keikogi was worn by many other martial arts.
The immaculate white Keikogi, represents our clean, pure minds. The white of our minds can be molded and painted with knowledge.
For Samurais, the white was a symbol or purity and death. They would wear white on their armor to show that they were prepared to die a glorious death in battle.
In some tournaments of various martial arts, the competitor may wear a uniform of different colors such as Blue, Red or Black, to more easily identify the athlete. In other case they are permitted to wear the same color keikogi but one must wear a different color belt to identify the athlete.
The belt one wears represents our character (and signals your responsibility); the knot represents our respect (one should never face our masters/professors when untying our belt).
Official Keiko Sports Locations:
Keiko Sports UK
Shipping out of Hampshire, England
Business Hours: Mon – Fri 9:00am-6:00pm GMT (+00:00 London time)
Keiko Sports Brazil (HQ)
Rua Outeiro da Cruz, 262 Jardim Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo/SP, Brasil Cep: 02041-040
Phone: 55 (11) 2950-1658
Business Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-5pm