Quick question about uniforms

terryl965

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Why is it that alot of Tae Kwon Do school refer to the uniform as a GI since that is Japanese for uniform when Dobak is the correct word in Korean? Just curious it is like when they call there forms Kata instead of poomsae or theycall the workout area a dojo instead of dojaang.

Since we teacha Korean art should wenot use the korean langauge when possible.
 

Dao

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I have no clue, I think it's a death wish if you said GI in front a korean Tae Kwon do grand master. I have also read the belt coloring system was started by japanese karate. I don't know if it's true or not.
Usually I use hear english version "uniform"
 

Carol

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I have no clue, I think it's a death wish if you said GI in front a korean Tae Kwon do grand master. I have also read the belt coloring system was started by japanese karate. I don't know if it's true or not.
Usually I use hear english version "uniform"

Almost. The colored belt system was started by Judo founder Jigero Kano, who built it in to his system, along with the kyu/dan system of levels that was borrowed heavily from the competitive ranks used that grew out of the old (and still widely played) Japanese game of Go. Kyu and Dan both mean step or grade in Japanese, but the words have different characteristics. Dan is also used to indicate "degree", which is why it is used for black belt ranks. This was adopted by the Korean arts as well, with the terminology changing to Gup/Dan. :asian:
 

Rich Parsons

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Why is it that alot of Tae Kwon Do school refer to the uniform as a GI since that is Japanese for uniform when Dobak is the correct word in Korean? Just curious it is like when they call there forms Kata instead of poomsae or theycall the workout area a dojo instead of dojaang.

Since we teacha Korean art should wenot use the korean langauge when possible.


Terry,

We teach out of a Co-op like environment. There are FMA's, JMA's, KMA's, and CMA's all being taught at the same location. The original owners of the place taught Judo and Karate. So it was known as the Flint Judo and Karate Club or the Flint Dojo even though over time (* and for over 20+ years *) the KMA's and FMA's have been taught on the same matts as the JMA's. Now in the KMA's club time, they most likely will call it the Korean terms, but, when people call and ask for the Korean arts, they still look up Flint Dojo in many phone books and refer to it as the Flint Dojo.



Could it be that the JMA's had a presence first in American Culture?

Terms such as Karate and Dojo and Gi have become common reference to any martials for those who are not truly on the inside.
 

Twin Fist

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I use them because my instructors have always used them.

said it before, and will say it again, when jhoon rhee started teaching, he used ALL japanese terms, not Korean terms.

He called it Korean karate, not TKD

the only jump-spinning kick was the jump spinning back kick and the jumping/flying side kick.

the original TKD was just Shotokan with a different name.
 

AMP-RYU

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My style is based off of TKD but has a lot of japanese influence. My grandmaster was korean but he has mastered many different art forms in which he has included into his style. Note the Ryu in my styles name which is.....japanese, also I call my uniforms Gi's this is the way I was trained and the word I like, I also call my "katas" forms so there is no influence here. I call my TKD, Karate because children notice this word quicker. Ask a child who never has taken martial arts what TKD is and most are clueless, ask them about Karate and their quick to answer. Just the way I do it.
icon10.gif
 
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terryl965

terryl965

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Terry,

We teach out of a Co-op like environment. There are FMA's, JMA's, KMA's, and CMA's all being taught at the same location. The original owners of the place taught Judo and Karate. So it was known as the Flint Judo and Karate Club or the Flint Dojo even though over time (* and for over 20+ years *) the KMA's and FMA's have been taught on the same matts as the JMA's. Now in the KMA's club time, they most likely will call it the Korean terms, but, when people call and ask for the Korean arts, they still look up Flint Dojo in many phone books and refer to it as the Flint Dojo.



Could it be that the JMA's had a presence first in American Culture?

Terms such as Karate and Dojo and Gi have become common reference to any martials for those who are not truly on the inside.


Rich you are probaly right, I was just wondering.
 

Kacey

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Why is it that alot of Tae Kwon Do school refer to the uniform as a GI since that is Japanese for uniform when Dobak is the correct word in Korean? Just curious it is like when they call there forms Kata instead of poomsae or theycall the workout area a dojo instead of dojaang.

Since we teacha Korean art should wenot use the korean langauge when possible.

I've run into several school that teach TKD of some variety, but call themselves Karate or Korean Karate, and use Japanese terms rather than Korean. Generally, these schools have been around long enough that they used "Karate" and Japanese terminology rather than TKD and Korean terminology because no one knew what "Taekwon-Do" meant on a sign - kind of the way "Kleenex" has become generic for facial tissue. Certainly, that doesn't explain all schools that use such terminology, but it does explain some of them.
 

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Why is it that alot of Tae Kwon Do school refer to the uniform as a GI since that is Japanese for uniform when Dobak is the correct word in Korean? Just curious it is like when they call there forms Kata instead of poomsae or theycall the workout area a dojo instead of dojaang.

Since we teacha Korean art should wenot use the korean langauge when possible.
Our sabum nim is fairly forgiving on this aspect - so long as you're a white belt who's in their first week of ever taking TKD. :) After that, you get very sternly reminded that it's "DOBAK", not "GI". And, afaik, blue and red belts get 50 push-up, black belts get 100. At least, that's what I've heard. I've only heard the term "gi" used once in my time there.
 
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terryl965

terryl965

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Our sabum nim is fairly forgiving on this aspect - so long as you're a white belt who's in their first week of ever taking TKD. :) After that, you get very sternly reminded that it's "DOBAK", not "GI". And, afaik, blue and red belts get 50 push-up, black belts get 100. At least, that's what I've heard. I've only heard the term "gi" used once in my time there.

I tend to educate my students about Korea and the language just so they understand the difference when people say oh you do Karate.
 

dancingalone

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At the risk of taking this thread off-topic, I would ask what difference does it make what one calls a uniform considering everyone who has posted so far is likely a westerner teaching or practicing in a western school with other westerners who have English as their primary language? Dobak or gi (properly do-gi if we want to get technical), what does it matter?

If we want to honor the Korean heritage of taekwondo, I'd suggest studying Korean literature and history, or possible Confucianism, which played a huge role in Korean culture.
 

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If you practice a Korean martial art, use Korean terms. That's one of the reasons why the Kukkiwon developed its unique style of dobak-so that people wouldn't confuse their uniforms with karate gis (a la ITF uniforms).
I used the term gi for my uniform once in the presence of my instructor and got the Lecture. Never did it again. For me, it's a matter of pride to use the Korean term in the Korean martial art.
 
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terryl965

terryl965

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At the risk of taking this thread off-topic, I would ask what difference does it make what one calls a uniform considering everyone who has posted so far is likely a westerner teaching or practicing in a western school with other westerners who have English as their primary language? Dobak or gi (properly do-gi if we want to get technical), what does it matter?

If we want to honor the Korean heritage of taekwondo, I'd suggest studying Korean literature and history, or possible Confucianism, which played a huge role in Korean culture.

Well then lets use the western term then which would be form not GI. Still it would not be calles a GI, either way it does not matter it was just a question.
 

dancingalone

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If you practice a Korean martial art, use Korean terms. That's one of the reasons why the Kukkiwon developed its unique style of dobak-so that people wouldn't confuse their uniforms with karate gis (a la ITF uniforms).
I used the term gi for my uniform once in the presence of my instructor and got the Lecture. Never did it again. For me, it's a matter of pride to use the Korean term in the Korean martial art.

TKD owes its origins to a hodge-podge of sources... I don't think it's an insult to use a loan word from another language than Korean in light of that, unless one is bound by nationalistic concerns. Still, the KKW style dobaks are indeed very distinctive and IMO it would be a bit odd to call it a 'gi' considering no karate-ka would wear one.

Funny story for the Korean stylists here: The current edition of one of Mas Oyama's karate book has a TKDist on the cover. He's wearing one of the KKW pullover dobaks. Another irony is that Mas Oyama himself was a native Korean, although he headed one of the most popular karate styles in Japan.
 

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Taekwondo was developed from a variety of sources, but was born in Korea from Korean instuctors. Therefore, Korean terms should be used. Also, Mas Oyama (Yong I Choi) was born in Korea but moved to Japan during the Occupation to make a better life. He thereafter lived and thought as a Japanese. Pretty common in those days. Even after Korea became independent and re-established a Korean identity, Oyama continued to be Japanese.

I don't buy this "well Taekwondo originally came from karate, therefore it's okay to use Japanese terms." That's malarkey. By that argument, we should be speaking with British accents since we were originally a British colony.
 

dancingalone

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Oyama wasn't quite as a dyed in the wool Japanese as you color him as. He reported was quite torn when General Choi asked him to return to Korea to become a leader in the taekwondo movement. Ultimately he stayed in Japan, but it was clear he thought a lot about the opportunity to 'go Korean'.

Call it a dobak if you like. As I said originally, it's really a minor point and cloudy in authenticity anyway. It's a far better homage to Korea to actually learn and teach something meaningful about Korean culture rather than being super strict about a mere word. In the United States, at that.

I will concede it's much easier just to tell your students to use 'dobak' under the threat of pushups, though. :)
 

CDKJudoka

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I will concede it's much easier just to tell your students to use 'dobak' under the threat of pushups, though. :)


Threat of push-ups is too lenient. I prefer to tell them that they will be used as the blast shield for our roundhouse and side kick drills.

Now on the topic of uniforms and what not, how many of you KMAers use single wrap belts?
 

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Taekwondo was developed from a variety of sources, but was born in Korea from Korean instuctors. Therefore, Korean terms should be used. Also, Mas Oyama (Yong I Choi) was born in Korea but moved to Japan during the Occupation to make a better life. He thereafter lived and thought as a Japanese. Pretty common in those days. Even after Korea became independent and re-established a Korean identity, Oyama continued to be Japanese.

I don't buy this "well Taekwondo originally came from karate, therefore it's okay to use Japanese terms." That's malarkey. By that argument, we should be speaking with British accents since we were originally a British colony.


Actualy you are speaking with the original British accents as well as using the original English spellings of words. It's us who have changed not the Americans. You should read Bill Brysons works on the English language.
 

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Too bad they didn't have sound recording devices back in those days. Would have been fascinating. I forgot you are British. Wasn't attacking Britain by the way.
 

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