Black/White Gi's?

Discussion in 'Kenpo' started by hunnysan, Jul 28, 2005.

  1. Tripitaka of AA

    Tripitaka of AA Valued Member


    There is no Japanese word "Gi". If you're going to use Japanese terminology, you really ought to use correct Japanese. It reflects upon your attitude toward training as a whole - do you study the technique kote gaeshi (for example), or "that wrist-twist thing".

    Coloured belts. Coloured dogi. Other garments; hakama, hoi, tabi... even hachimaki! You do whatever your style dictates. It may be redundant to point out, but your organisation's choices of uniform can reveal a lot about the way the organisation "thinks".

    For any uniform, I would suggest that the design serves just a few purposes; allows a participant as great a range of movement as the activity requires, covers a participant for modesty, protects a participant from harm, eg. friction burns :)eek:), standardises the appearance of students to allow easier comparison, identifies the group to which the student belongs.
    Have I missed any?

    There are many solutions, even for the most common roles (think how many answers there are for "what does a soldier wear?"), but they'll all need to match the criteria I listed above.
  2. Dave Humm

    Dave Humm Serving Queen and Country

    you’re absolutely correct in 90% of your statement.

    The Aikikai statue (which I don't agree with I might add) only permits Yudansha (or Ikkyu if granted permission) to wear hakama, the colour of which must only be solid black or solid indigo.

    Our Keikogi must be white. No coloured belts are worn. Now that said, I myself have seen all manor of variations worn (from people outside of the Aikikai) but, it does seem that students associated with their respective Hombu in Japan all seem to maintain the same keikogi format.

    Speaking from my experiences within Aikido, I've seen instructors wearing very formal hakama (wool pinstripe types) with judo gi; these people have IMHO done this for one reason... To look different from everyone else. This is a very obvious 'visual' sign that these people want to look different when, in reality there isn't any need at all.... Other than personal gratification and Ego.

    One or two people in this thread have already mentioned the "business" side of teaching, I think I must say that in these circumstances, I cannot argue with these people and their 'business practices' of selling their own equipment and clothing etc to their students, business is business as they say. I do however have issue with people who might otherwise 'rip people off'.

    Thanks to everyone for the replies and opinions, it’s a pleasure to discuss topics like this with people from other arts without being seen (me) as a source of flaming (which wasn't/isn't the intention)

    Regards as always
  3. Dave Humm

    Dave Humm Serving Queen and Country

    You will note a three of things from my website...

    1. Aikido is practiced using the statue regulations as per Hombu Dojo.

    2. Batto-ho is practiced using the standard associated with study of the Japanese Sword, Hakama and Kendogi for all who study.

    3. No one wears coloured belts other than Yudansha who naturally wear a black belt if they choose under their hakama.

    The two standards are not intermixed between Aikido or Batto-ho.

    "Several uniform combinations" is somewhat an over-statement, we have two regulations, one each for the two arts practiced within my dojo.

    Just a side note for those looking at the Shotokan Karate link. I have nothing to do with this dojo, I merely rent the space from the owner of the dojo (The Karate Sensei) Therefore have nothing to do with their belt/Karategi regulations.

    Regards as always
  4. Flashing Dagger

    Flashing Dagger Valued Member

    Badges, patches and colored uniforms may be great for children, but I think the serious adult kenpo student would not rely on the ego-gratification of these outward things to provide motivation. Still there are reasons why kenpo uses the black uniform. Personally I took off any patches from my uniform about a year ago because I wanted my motivation to come from within myself.

    The kenpo literature generally states that it was Mitose who introduced the wearing of the black gi for the upper students and instructors as a way of signifying authority. At that time only Judo and perhaps Karate were known by the general public and the kenpo guys in Honolulu wanted to distinguish themselves through the black uniform and say, "this is not Judo and this is not a sport". They wanted to distinguish themselves from the better known Japanese styles which used the color symbolism of Shinto (I think). Most of those early kenpo guys were street-fighters and trouble makers. They were not really interested in using martial arts to purify or better their own characters. I think that the black uniform also meant to say, "this is a war art". You could use kenpo to improve your character through hard training, concentration and so on, but that was not it's main purpose.
  5. KenpoDavid

    KenpoDavid Working Title

    Lots of great info, thanks everyone. I wanted to add that our black uniforms taht we upgrade to at 5th kyu are also much heavier material than the white uniform you get for free when you jon the club. The techniques start to get a lot more aggressive at this level and the thinner material rips too easily.
  6. dbmasters

    dbmasters Valued Member

    Yeah, I am starting to notice that myself, after constant washing and constant tugging, pulling and smacking for a few months, my light weight black gi is getting a bit tatered, it's likely my christmas present to myself will be a higher quality gi :)
  7. Dave Humm

    Dave Humm Serving Queen and Country

    Cheers guys, thanks for the conversations...

    Regards to everyone as always
  8. hunnysan

    hunnysan Valued Member

    wow I didn't think my topic would get such a response....espeically since it started off so slow..I like to see a lot of posts in this Kenpo forum....

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