Info for Martial Arts School Owners and Instructors

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  1. Dan

    Love the white Gi of course. England is still a much more traditional and reserved country and Japanese Karate the most popular Martial Art over here, but almost all martial art are taught over here.

  2. Rebekah Nutter

    Most kids in our program – and those who come in to talk to us – are over the moon happy to have a traditional white uniform. It’s what they associate with martial arts, and for them the uniform helps them see themselves as a martial artist. Occasionally we have a child with sensory issues, a child who can’t bear the feel of a uniform, and in those cases of course we try to accommodate so that the student feels comfortable. In any case, we have a provision that allows students to wear karate pants and a school t-shirt for most classes, only needing the white dobak for testing and special events. Works for us. But the question is worth asking, and different schools may have different conditions.

  3. Chicken Recipes

    I have to disagree that the GI would be a reason to not take martial arts – perhaps a symptom of a mindset about many things however. Our program has about 5% Adult Women in it – our Kickboxing program is all barefooted (but regular clothes) – 85% women.

    If the Gi and bare feet is what is in the way of an adult female taking karate, well then taking away the Gi and allowing shoes just leads to the next issue – My breaking nails, messing my hair, or sweating off my makeup….

    Karate is a sport in this country – obviously mostly focused on kids – but for the same percentage of adults who play soccer, softball, volleyball, karate is an option…

  4. Matt Frey

    The gi stays! What is the alternative? Letting them wear their skin tight leotards or stretch pants from aerobics? They’re okay wearing those, but a gi is unreasonable? Students have enough distractions as it is and it’s getting harder to keep their attention where it belongs. Gi pants and a t-shirt have typically been reserved for really hot summer days. If you go back far enough, the gi was just the Samurai’s underwear. But isn’t it a more modern tradition to wear the gi in order to temper the ego? Don’t the Buddhist monks all shave their heads to rid themselves of ego and vanity? I would think the practice similar so you’re focusing on training and not distracting other students.

    • John Graden

      Hi Matt,
      The gi was the samurai’s underwear? I didn’t know that. I would think the training is far too important to let samurai underwear to get in the way. :0)

      Would you have been as excited and devoted to training as you have been (for a long time :0), if the apparel was different? I imagine you would be, but only you would know.

      In my school, gi pants, belt, and a school t-shirt were the option that virtually 100% of the students took. Only on belt exams would a full uniform be required.

      It’s the gi top that puts 10-lbs on and looks unattractive.

      • Matt Frey

        I read this on Wikipedia. Maybe I’m misinterpreting what they mean by underpants.

        The top part of the keikogi is called the uwagi (上着 uwa means “upper”). The pants of the keikogi are called shitabaki (下穿き), which literally means underpants (or zubon (ズボン), which means pants or trousers).

        • Matt Frey

          I always thought of them as undergarments of some sort, because they usually wear a heavier or more colorful kimono and the hakama over them.

  5. Douglas Nybell

    Well, you certainly got my attention. If that is supposed to be a legitimate ad, that person or agency should be fired. I agree it is ugly. It looks like two models were given random gis and obis and told to put them on (without instruction). If I saw someone wearing a black belt like that I’d certainly questions their legitimacy. This looks like a Jim Carrey parody. The obi should be worn over the hara (center) and in our system the ends only extend about halfway to the knees. I wore gis like this in the 60’s when we had to get them from India or Japan and they didn’t make them to fit Americans. We mix and match pant and top so they fit right and our students feel proud to wear them. In over 50 years I’ve heard very few (I can’t recall any) complaints about wearing gis. Our new students are very anxious to get their first gi and are very proud of it. I think it helps set the mindset that they are there to train. I agree with Matt Frey non-traditional dress would create too many distractions. In the summer school t-shirts are optional and only a few students wear them.

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