There are a number of people looking into buying bogu right now. We recommend using one of All-Japan Budogu (http://www.alljapanbudogu.com/), AOI (www.budo-aoi.com) or Tozando (http://www.tozandoshop.com/). Please note that if you use AOI, you should mention our club name as we are entitled to a discounted price.
Recommended All-Japan Budogu sets:
Note: we have no direct experience with the Raiki model
Recommended AOI sets:
Recommended Tozando sets:
3mm Fit-stitched: $US685
Note: we don’t have direct experience with these sets, but previous Tozando equipment has been very good.
All prices were the price in US dollars as of this writing, including any current sales. All-Japan and AOI offer free shipping. I have included the budget sets from all three companies. If your budget is very low, try the Raiki set from All-Japan. It should be fine. If you are willing to spend a little more money you can look into more expensive sets. Note that All-Japan frequently has sales: you should never buy from them unless they are offering at least 20% off their normal price.
AOI and Tozando sets are of conventional construction. All-Japan Budogu sets are a more modern design with shorter flaps on the men and a different stitching pattern. AJB bogu tends to be lighter and more flexible at the expense of protection. The AOI 4 mm sets (MS-4 or FD-4) are probably the most protective of the lot.
Don’t forget to budget for a bag. Budget another $60 or so for brokerage/duty if you go with All-Japan or Tozando; AOI is a Canadian supplier so hopefully there is no brokerage, but sometimes they ship direct from the supplier in which case you may pay brokerage.
If you are confused, ask to have a look at various member’s sets. We have examples of All-Japan and AOI sets in the club. Also, please be sure to get my help in taking the measurements.