Protocol mishap or fashion faux pas?

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by shesulsa, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. shesulsa

    shesulsa Columbia Martial Arts Academy

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    Greetings, TKDin.

    I was seated at a local restaurant which is situated very near a popular (and expensive) TKD school. We were wrapping up dessert when in walked two women (I'd say in their 40s) wearing their full dobaks and belts, carrying Coach purses and mat shoes. Ironically, the words "Black Belt Club" was emblazoned upon the lower rear panel of their dobaks (appearing as though on their butts).

    Once seated, they arose again, walking all the way across the restaurant to view the dessert display case, and then back across to be seated where they ate their entire meals and eventually departed still wearing their uniforms.

    I really thought virtually every martial art carried the protocol that you do not go out and about in your uniform, let alone *eat* in it!

    Please know I'm not trying to start anything nasty, but I noticed that most of the people I see out and about in full uniform are usually from Tae Kwon Do schools! Since I train in a Korean art as well, I thought protocol such as this is native to the country of origin ... am I wrong here?

    Do you and/or your students go out and about in your uniforms and belts? Eat in them???

    Thanks!
     
  2. ETinCYQX

    ETinCYQX Master Black Belt

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    I've done that a lot. Mostly when I was competing.

    Training like an athlete, it's necessary sometimes. You have limited opportunities to get food into you.
     
  3. ralphmcpherson

    ralphmcpherson Senior Master

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    Im with you on this one. I wont go anywhere other than the dojang in anything that looks even remotely martial arts related. In fact, I was on my way home from class one night and my wife asked me to stop in and get some milk and bread on the way home. I still had my kick pants on but had a t shirt on instead of the dobok top and I flatly refused to get out of the car and go into the shops. She didnt understand it, and still has a go at me about it to this day. On another occasion I was out at the football on a cold winters night and was only wearing at t shirt and I was freezing. I had our nice warm club jacket in my car but I decided I would rather freeze to death than parade around in a martial arts jacket. Some people think Im crazy, but to me its just a hard and fast rule.
     
  4. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Master of Arts

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    Unacceptable at my club in the UK, and not something I would do here in Germany either, for the following reasons:

    1) The Dobok has special philosophical significance and should be treated as special

    but even if that wasn't true

    2) It's both cold and smelly in a sweaty dobok

    and

    3) Certainly where I lived in the UK, I likely would get challenges over what I was wearing from the local youth element, which could easily escalate

    and

    4) The way that those kids in dobok conduct themselves in the supermarket reflects on the club. It just doesn't look good from a PR perspective.

    There is ALWAYS time to change clothes. It takes 2 minutes.

    The worst thing I sometimes see is seeing people smoking in a dobok, which just feels wrong somehow.
     
  5. mastercole

    mastercole Master Black Belt

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    Taekwondo, really?

    Oh, OK :)
     
  6. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    The TKD club near us also has people wandering around the supermarket, McDonalds etc in thier uniforms. Only our children wear gis and they are told to change them before they leave or to put jackets/hoodies and tracksuits trousers over, for safety's sake as much as anything else. However I was told by a chap who does TKD here that they are encouraged to wear their kit outside as it's advertising for them, they wear their uniforms and belts outside, lots of patches and the name of the club in big letters on their backs. It may be advertising as hesays but not in my mind for the better, it doesn't as Gnarlie says, reflect well I think.
     
  7. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    I think if I actually witnessed this, I would burst out laughing. I am so sorry. :D
     
  8. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Watching small kids with overlong belts wrapped round them half a dozen times shouting 'kihap' ( who teaches that anyway, actually saying the word?) and air punching their way around supermarkets is amusing for a few seconds, then it's very annoying!
     
  9. Jaeimseu

    Jaeimseu 3rd Black Belt

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    In Korea it's quite common to see kids wearing their dobok out in the street. Many kids go from home to the dojang and back in their dobok, and sometimes that involves other stops along the way. I don't think I've ever seen adult students do this, but they tend to be coming from work and so they normally are dressed in office attire and carry a bag with their dobok. I often see instructors wearing dobok outside their dojang, walking to the corner market or going to the dojang van to pick up students.
     
  10. andyjeffries

    andyjeffries Master of Arts

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    In general reply, I wouldn't feel happy going out for a meal in my dobok nor going out on a major shopping trip, but I don't have a major issue with it for quick en-route stops. I teach at a local junior school. There is one toilet near the hall and no changing rooms (there are other toilets throughout the school, but I don't want the students wandering the school hall unsupervised at a weekend). So therefore the kids and I (and my assistant) travel to/from in our doboks. There is one child who always goes out straight after Taekwondo so he gets changed afterwards in the single toilet.

    If I am on my way back from teaching and I need to stop at a small supermarket to get something in my dobok, I have no problem with it. If I had to do an hour's shopping or something I'd go home and get changed first, but if I need to pop in and get a loaf of bread or something then it's fine.

    I disagree with this. My dobok has no special philosophical significance. It's the clothes I wear when performing my special art, but the clothes themselves are just stop people looking at the naked man punching and kicking. We have a uniform in Taekwondo so everyone looks "the same" and I enforce uniform standards at my club; but we aren't a secret sect of ninja who can't let people know that we exist.

    I agree with this. When I trained at a club in the evenings with others (as opposed to teaching on a Saturday morning) I always showered afterwards and got changed. However, even then if I had a very rare occasion when I had to stop somewhere to pick something up by a certain time and didn't have time, I would throw a coat on over the top and quickly go and then get showered at home.

    On Saturday mornings there isn't much of this where I live in the UK :)

    If I trained on a Friday/Saturday evening it would be a bigger/real concern but on Saturday mornings and Tuesday/Thursday evenings it's not a problem.

    I can see this, but what they do outside of class is not my business directly. I try to teach them to behave respectfully, but it's down to their parents when they're in a supermarket. Kids are kids, if people think badly of a club because kids are misbehaving (as all kids do at some points) then they are probably too narrow-minded to worry about in the first place.

    It does, but with 20+ students and one toilet, I can't really afford to waste 40+ minutes for the last one to leave to lock-up...

    I think smoking should be banned anyway, so this may go off-topic - but when I was younger I was always horrified when training with Korean coaches to see them go outside and smoke (it seemed to be very common amongst the coaches).
     
  11. andyjeffries

    andyjeffries Master of Arts

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    I don't know, but I agree I wish they'd stop. I've had adults do it as well until I take the mickey out of them by shouting the word "SHOUT!" as I kick/punch (and then when they ask what I'm doing, I tell them I'm doing the same thing as them but in English). They get the message pretty quickly (and because I have quite a jokey sense of humour - which is obvious when they train with me - they have, up until now, always taken it in the right way).
     
  12. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm lost; what point were you trying to make here, mastercole? Shesulsa described something she saw. It happened to involve a taekwondo school, in her case. I've seen similar things myself; martial arts students in full uniform, running errands or grabbing a meal. In my experience, also, it has mostly involved taekwondo schools, often but far from exclusively, children. I can kind of see the parents dropping the kids off, then taking them home, and the kid is in uniform. As to the mostly taekwondo -- I think that's as much a result of the huge prevalence of commercial taekwondo in my area.

    Personally -- I don't like the practice of people wearing their uniforms outside of training. I generally change completely before class, and after. Even at seminars or camps, I generally would take the jacket & belt off in favor of a simple t-shirt or sweatshirt if leaving the training facility for a meal or to run an errand. I don't even want to get into the unfortunate location of the black belt club banner on the uniform...
     
  13. mastercole

    mastercole Master Black Belt

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    Whatever.
     
  14. shesulsa

    shesulsa Columbia Martial Arts Academy

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    I confess, I've gone out in pants and tee shirt and even then usually to run the quick errand. In fact, I *prefer* for my students to arrive in their training tee shirt (which they wear under the blouse) and dobak pants, blouse and belt in hand or in bag, ready to don them and train. There is only a single-stall bathroom in the basement where we train and I frankly don't want any potential legal backlash from changing room issues, so I think shirt and pants are an acceptable compromise.

    I have been in the situation where I *had* to run to the local market for ice or a last-minute item for a test. The store in that case was 200 feet away, so I removed my rank and stuck it inside my top and took care of the matter quickly but it was such a rare occasion.

    Honestly, I'd almost like to say I've seen students from other styles do this, but ... in my area, I just haven't. I just wondered if this standard were lax in one of the federations for Tae Kwon Do specifically. It could just be that it's such a prolific style in the area that the chances of seeing this from a TKD student are far greater. :) It was hard to miss, though, the logo and the "BLACK BELT CLUB" along with all the other patches and the Korean flag patch. *shrug* I dunno.
     
  15. shesulsa

    shesulsa Columbia Martial Arts Academy

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    So ... we have two or three MMA and BJJ clubs in the area, a Buj school within 20 miles, 1 Daito ryu, 1 Shotokan, 2 in-home kenpo schools, 4 or 5 of Kung Fu schools and about 15 TKD schools in the area.

    I have seen some judo pants and tee shirts here and there, the Tai Chi guys arrive at the community center in uniform - I think this is the first class of their day and they leave the center to go right to their school, so I get that.

    You know, I was taught that the protocol we follow was Korean in nature and that being a proud people it is supposedly one of the most important things taught in all Korean arts. And I can understand the little kids missing that part of the discussion and parents just drop their kids off, mostly, so they don't know either ... but I REALLY don't get the adults - *especially Black Belt Club members.*

    So ... could this be a school mishap? One of those "I don't care what I'm wearing, I want a Reuben and some cake" kind of moments? Or is olympic TKD just kind of lax on protocol as a general rule? Please enlighten me.
     
  16. ETinCYQX

    ETinCYQX Master Black Belt

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    That particular piece of protocol does not exist to my knowledge. There is no significance to the dobok in Taekwondo that says it cannot be worn outside the training hall much like there is no significance to the black belt that says it shouldn't touch the floor.

    I would not wear my dobok to lunch because I would be afraid to stain it and it cost me a fair amount of money. It also has some significance because I bought it for my black belt grading. I tend to run errands in at least the pants.
     
  17. andyjeffries

    andyjeffries Master of Arts

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    Ha ha ha! Remember this is an international forum, to read that you went out in pants in the UK means your underwear! Personally I at least get dressed before running out on errands ;-)
     
  18. The Last Legionary

    The Last Legionary All warfare is based on deception.<br><b>nemo malu

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    Translation: Please spank me again, I like being in the Time-Out Corner. Seriously, why don't you contribute to the topic or shut up.


    I was out eating this one time, and in walked a group of freaky people. They were wearing weird outfits, talking in a strange language, they even smelled a bit funny. Silly little costumed stinkers they were. Reminded me of those Star Trek geeks who wear their "uniforms" when they go on "Away Missions" to Walmart.

    I go to the gym, I work out, I shower and change and go back out in normal people clothes. I don't drive home in my stinky sweats.
    I go to the school and train, I change into the schools uniform there, change back into normal people clothes and go home.
    I go to the Trek cons, I put on my Klingonyness there, I change back into a 'mundane' when driving home down I 75.

    Some people just use it as a fashion statement. They're idiots, in my opinion.
     
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  19. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    ...That actually hits a nail into My personal sense of humor. I suspect if I witnessed this, I would be crippled on the ground in laughter, and may require a mild sedative :D
     
  20. mastercole

    mastercole Master Black Belt

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    That was my contribution, don't like it? Don't read it, or better yet, use the ignore button :)123
     

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