Polycotton vs Cotton Gi

Bill Mattocks

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Just like watches - at a certain price point, it had better be Swiss made (unless it's a Grand Seiko).

Don't get me started on Swiss watches. Oh wait, you already did. OK, stand by for a rant.

Prior to WWII, American wristwatches were considered the best in the world, not Swiss watches. That's because of the rail system in the USA. We had major accident with a lot of deaths due to train station masters not having synchronized time, so two trains met head-on. The government got involved, standards were set, and watch manufacturers rose to the challenge with pocket 'Railroad Watches' that met very high standards with regard to accuracy. Eventually there were railroad standard wristwatches as well.

The Swiss were copiers of American technology but they were not considered to have really mastered the mass-production standards that the Americans had, not with our kind of accuracy.

Then WWII happened. The US government asked the watch manufacturers to turn their efforts to manufacturing watch-adjacent kind of things like altimeters and bomb part timers and so on. They did. To make room in their factories, they even pushed their equipment out into the parking lots, where they rusted to pieces.

In the meantime, the Swiss were neutral. They happily picked up the slack by making wristwatches for everybody. Yep, they sold their Omegas and Rolexes to all comers. Didn't matter which flag they flew or side they fought on.

When WWII ended, the US government did not extend assistance to the American watch manufacturers to help them get back to their original business. So that pretty much ended the American watch manufacturing industry and dominence.

So now we say "Made like a Swiss watch" and without a trace of irony, since Swiss watches are actually made like American watches (were) made.

Feh. I own a lot of mechanical wristwatches. Mostly American, mostly pre-War. A pox on Swiss watches.

My irony is now that I require medical devices to keep track of my heart, I am wearing a Chinese 'smart watch' that can keep track of my pulse rate and such. My beloved American watches sit in a box, awaiting my demise to end up in a thrift store.

End of rant.
 

Gyakuto

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So now we say "Made like a Swiss watch" and without a trace of irony, since Swiss watches are actually made like American watches (were) made.
Were being the operative word.
Feh. I own a lot of mechanical wristwatches. Mostly American, mostly pre-War. A pox on Swiss watches.
How very dare you! My Seamaster is lovely!
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My irony is now that I require medical devices to keep track of my heart, I am wearing a Chinese 'smart watch' that can keep track of my pulse rate and such.
And Xi Jinping probably knows your credit number, your browsing history (dirty man) and your inside leg measurement!
My beloved American watches sit in a box, awaiting my demise to end up in a thrift store.

End of rant.
Funny a US agency decided to send a Swiss watch to the Moon. Ive got one of those too!

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isshinryuronin

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Its called marginal gains the idea being that even tiny positive changes can combine to make significant improvements. Endurance cyclists, for example, shave their legs to minutely improve aerodynamics (and to reduce infection risk after cuts and scrapes), they don helmets with sweeping, air-funnelling profiles and of course, take copious amounts of performance enhancing substances

Since kata competition has a large, subjective element to its judging, an extra crisp and loud snap as the contestants punches and kicks might subconsciously sway a judge in the contestants favour.


In the video above, Riku Usama creates a lot of her snap by slapping her hands/fists against her torso: notice how the punches and kicks themselves are fairly silent!
I have noticed this not only from Rico, but numerous others on video. She is pretty amazing, but her adding sound effects by this slapping is - disappointing. Disappointing because someone of her talent relies on cheap tricks to win the big trophy. Another one often seen is flicking the punch out in a slight backfist motion adding to the gi snap.

Disappointing also that the judges consider such things in their scoring, whether consciously or subconsciously. I consider such things as well - by deductions. Yes, I realize that even in traditional tournaments kata has devolved into performance art playing to the spectators'/judges' perception of karate skill. This is disappointing as well.
 

Gyakuto

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I have noticed this not only from Rico, but numerous others on video. She is pretty amazing, but her adding sound effects by this slapping is - disappointing.
It could be unintentional. I attended a McDojo for few month for a bit of fun about 10 years ago and wore tracksuit bottoms and a t-shirt. The instructor couldnt understand how my punches produced a snap. After a bit of analysis I worked out that I was slapping my fist heel into my sternum as I did hikite! Totally unintentional and sloppy technique, but it sounded great!
Disappointing because someone of her talent relies on cheap tricks to win the big trophy. Another one often seen is flicking the punch out in a slight backfist motion adding to the gi snap.
Do you mean the elbow flaring out as one punches rather than remaining directly behind the fist during its travel?
Disappointing also that the judges consider such things in their scoring, whether consciously or subconsciously.
Unconscious bias is hard to deal with unless youve been forced to go on a a special course by your employer!
I consider such things as well - by deductions. Yes, I realize that even in traditional tournaments kata has devolved into performance art playing to the spectators'/judges' perception of karate skill. This is disappointing as well.
I like what Rita san does. It looks better than most other kata performances. I dont like her later ones where she does her kata whilst on fire. Thats going too far!
 

isshinryuronin

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Do you mean the elbow flaring out as one punches rather than remaining directly behind the fist during its travel?
Exactly. This results in a loss of power as well as looking a little sloppy. While this can be done to increase the snap sound, it is often just a result of carelessness. I have seen even higher ranked senior dans being guilty of this, a bad habit that can easily creep in, born out of not having another sensei observe and correct them or seeing themselves on video - one of the pitfalls of being highly ranked if one is not careful, regardless of skill level. Even I have been guilty of this on rare occasions, a mistake I quickly notice and correct. Basics must always be kept prominently in mind while practicing.
Unconscious bias is hard to deal with unless youve been forced to go on a a special course by your employer!
I disagree here. If the judge is well trained with high standards and a critical eye, IMO, there will be no room for bias to sneak in.

Social bias is more subtle, I'll grant you that.
 

Gyakuto

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Exactly. This results in a loss of power as well as looking a little sloppy. While this can be done to increase the snap sound, it is often just a result of carelessness. I have seen even higher ranked senior dans being guilty of this,
My teacher used to do it. Suzuki Tatsuo 8th Dan Hanshi!
a bad habit that can easily creep in, born out of not having another sensei observe and correct them or seeing themselves on video - one of the pitfalls of being highly ranked if one is not careful, regardless of skill level. Even I have been guilty of this on rare occasions, a mistake I quickly notice and correct. Basics must always be kept prominently in mind while practicing.
Some Okinawan senior teachers suggest that its a simultaneous block/slip and punch 仄
I disagree here. If the judge is well trained with high standards and a critical eye, IMO, there will be no room for bias to sneak in.
Unconscious bias. Were all guilty of it because its unconscious. Maybe Riks Usama has been lucky and only been judged by poorly-trained, lower standard, uncritically-eyed judges.
Social bias is more subtle, I'll grant you that.
 

isshinryuronin

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Some Okinawan senior teachers suggest that its a simultaneous block/slip and punch 仄
This is definitely a thing - block, deflect and strike in a single motion, but very different from what we're talking about here.
Maybe Riks Usama has been lucky and only been judged by poorly-trained, lower standard, uncritically-eyed judges.
While such judges exist, Rika is amazing (her ability is evident) as I said and doesn't really need to add sound effects. For me, it cheapens her performance. She could win without using such "tricks." The fact she does is a commentary on modern competition.
 

Buka

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Its called marginal gains the idea being that even tiny positive changes can combine to make significant improvements. Endurance cyclists, for example, shave their legs to minutely improve aerodynamics (and to reduce infection risk after cuts and scrapes), they don helmets with sweeping, air-funnelling profiles and of course, take copious amounts of performance enhancing substances

Since kata competition has a large, subjective element to its judging, an extra crisp and loud snap as the contestants punches and kicks might subconsciously sway a judge in the contestants favour.


In the video above, Riku Usama creates a lot of her snap by slapping her hands/fists against her torso: notice how the punches and kicks themselves are fairly silent!
Im a big fan of her, like watching her Katas.

But something seems fishy about this piece of film.
At first I thought it might be the acoustics of the room as much as her slapping the Gi. But her Kiai made me discount that or it would have sounded louder. Much.

My guess is somebody enhanced the videos sound.

I hadnt seen that particular vid before. If I had I would have thought the same thing. Ive judged a ton of Kata back in the day, in tons of places. None of which sounded anything like that. Not. Even. Close.

Seems theres trickery afoot.
 

Gyakuto

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Im a big fan of her, like watching her Katas.

But something seems fishy about this piece of film.
At first I thought it might be the acoustics of the room as much as her slapping the Gi. But her Kiai made me discount that or it would have sounded louder. Much.

My guess is somebody enhanced the videos sound.

I hadnt seen that particular vid before. If I had I would have thought the same thing. Ive judged a ton of Kata back in the day, in tons of places. None of which sounded anything like that. Not. Even. Close.

Seems theres trickery afoot.
I think shes a fairly snappy exponent.



 

Gyakuto

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Heres another thought about keikogi: have them custom made by a seamstress. All mine are custom made from a cotton material I chose and I even have hidden flashy flourishes sewn into the inside for my viewing pleasure! A keikogi would cost me 瞿50 including the material. My seamstress just took an old jacket apart to precisely workout their construction (kimono style for Iaido). They are great and I have slightly heavier versions for gradings lighter versions for warmer weather.

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isshinryuronin

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I think shes a fairly snappy exponent.
It sounds like she has a couple of mics in her gi. Buka may be right. Sounds too loud and crisp. Maybe there's a good directional dish mic off-camera connected to the video recorder. Too much hocus-pocus these days, don't know what to trust. I think karate should be done like the old pre-gi days - loin cloth and tank top. Not much snap sound, but the visuals would be interesting.
 

EJC

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If we are talking fabric alone, cotton breathes better than a poly-cotton blend. However, the newer, high quality poly-cotton blend uniforms are designed to breath well. Looking at the uniforms used in the olympics last time, nearly all of the kumite dogis were a polycotton blend, as well as the kata dogis. I sweat a lot, and I don't get overly heated in them. I think it just boils down to preference.
A poly-cotton dogi feels like one is practicing in a plastic garbage bag. I'll take a 100% cotton dogi any day.
 

opr1945

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In looking at the information supplied on line by sellers ther looks to be no standard on poly cotton Gis. I have seen them as 55% cotton/45% poly material. and 95% cotton/5% poly. and others. So is 5% poly enough to make a difference? what is the point of adding such a small amount of poly?
 

gyoja

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In looking at the information supplied on line by sellers ther looks to be no standard on poly cotton Gis. I have seen them as 55% cotton/45% poly material. and 95% cotton/5% poly. and others. So is 5% poly enough to make a difference? what is the point of adding such a small amount of poly?
Wrinkle resistance
 

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