ISSHINRYU TOURNAMENTS: Katas and Sparring

J. Casey Pendleton

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In watching some tournament point fighting on youtube, it appears that some folks are competing in the traditional gi for katas, and then changing into a sparring style uniform for the kumite, is this the case? I would think that the sparring uniform would provide a less restrictive movement. If so, what sparring uniform do you recommend?
 

Bill Mattocks

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In watching some tournament point fighting on youtube, it appears that some folks are competing in the traditional gi for katas, and then changing into a sparring style uniform for the kumite, is this the case? I would think that the sparring uniform would provide a less restrictive movement. If so, what sparring uniform do you recommend?

First, welcome to MT.

It depends very much on the individual tournament's local rules and perhaps to the Isshinryu organization which sponsors it. You should probably reach out to the organizer of the event to get answers. If you are an Isshinryu student yourself, consult your sensei and see if you can get a sense of what to expect.

I am an Isshinryu karateka myself, in SE Michigan. I have attended quite a few events. Seldom have I been to a closed IR tournament that had sparring style uniforms, although I see them frequently at open tournaments where IR karateka may compete. However, it does vary, so you should ask ahead of time.

In my experience, sparring uniforms are typically the realm of the less-traditional styles of martial arts, and often belong to individual teams, rather than lone competitors.

Also, just as an aside - if you intend to compete at an IR tournament, you probably should be an IR karateka. Some of them are a bit particular about whom they permit to compete at a closed tournament, and want to know who your sensei is. Ronin or self-trained usually don't get in unless they're known to the organization involved.
 

JR 137

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In watching some tournament point fighting on youtube, it appears that some folks are competing in the traditional gi for katas, and then changing into a sparring style uniform for the kumite, is this the case? I would think that the sparring uniform would provide a less restrictive movement. If so, what sparring uniform do you recommend?
Whats different about the sparring style uniform compared to the ones theyre wearing during kata?
 

Bill Mattocks

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Whats different about the sparring style uniform compared to the ones theyre wearing during kata?

Colored uniforms of silk and nylon, team names, lots of flash. Kata typically done in traditional white gi. But like I said, I usually don't see the flashy stuff at a closed IR only tournament.
 

isshinryuronin

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In these days of acrobatic, leg splitting, back flipping, interpretive dance katas and baton twirling, phony lightweight weapon using katas, bright rainbow silk and nylon gi's fit right in. I'd like to see fringe and sequins, too, just like figure skating. If you're nodding your head "yes" right now, I hope you're not Isshinryu, and you better hope you don't compete anywhere I'm a judge, regardless of style.

Back in the day, my dojo had a sparring team with special gi's - olive green with the dojo name across the back and our patch in front. We didn't care about entertainment value in kata - just solid, disciplined, effective techniques. Unfortunately, at many open tournaments, judges don't seem to know the difference.
 

drop bear

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Whats different about the sparring style uniform compared to the ones theyre wearing during kata?

Given a choice I would choose a heavy weight gi that snaps and just has more gravitas for Kata.

And a mankini for sparring.
 

CB Jones

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Whats different about the sparring style uniform compared to the ones theyre wearing during kata?

My son competes in a open style organisation but it is still very traditional.

For Kata, alot prefer a heavy crisp gi but for sparring will switch to a lighter weight more breathable gi.

Jacob likes the Ki orange or yellow label for kata, but likes the lightweight Punok gi for fighting sense it'd lighter and cooler.

The Punok gi is kinda cool...it has small little bumps on the inside that helps keep it from sticking to you when you sweat and helps it breathe and its super light weight but durable.....but probably wouldn't hold up to grappling.
 
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