the EPAK black gi "tradition"

tarabos

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saw a similar thread on kenponet and figured i'd get some input on it here. is it a tradition at all to anyone anymore...was it ever? i to be honest don't know exactly what the deal is behind it. sure, i've heard plenty of stories...but that's all they are to me...stories. i've heard everything from how it shows who is the instructor and who is the student, how it was just worn to solve the problem of dirty white gis, or even that it just sets kenpoists apart (or used to) from other arts and maybe even makes them look a little more intimidating. maybe someone here has the real lowdown (Mr. C? Dr. C?), maybe there's no real lowdown to really have...

additionally, what is your schools stance or "tradition" when it comes to the black and white gis? i see many schools these days with everyone wearing a black gi no matter what rank they are.

my school, for example, has everyone wear a white gi up until blue belt. you were then allowed to wear black pants and a white tope and you usually upgraded to a heavier, higher quality gi. then when you reached brown you were permitted to wear all black or of course all white or the combo.

we have never allowed the wearing of any other color of gi either. i know the red top/black bottom combo seems to be popular with some schools. another more extreme combo (while technically still a completely black gi) is to wear a faded black top (gray) and dark black pants lately.

myself, i prefer to wear a totally black gi most of the time. every once and a while i will go back to white just for a change, but it seems more traditional and more respetful to EPAK to wear a black gi if you are an instructor to me.

true...it's no big deal in the long run and there are many here that would prefer to wear no gi at all...but i'm in both a bored and curious mood today, and if there is/was a true tradition in EPAK once, i'd like to know about it.
 

jfarnsworth

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People are required to wear white gi's until 3rd brown. After that then you can wear black gi's. Personally I wear all black or a combo. white/black depending on whatever I grab.
 
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KanoLives

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At my dojo you have to wear an all white gi until you reach the purple belt level. Then you can wear an all black or all white gi. The mixing and matching can only be done by the instructors. :asian:
 

True2Kenpo

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Tarabos and others,

In our studio white gis are worn by those Purple Belt and below and then Black gis (or mix of both) can be worn by those Blue Belt and above. Red gis then can be worn by Black Belts only.

I do not know much of the history behind the black gi other than it did in fact set American Kenpo apart from other systems. I would say more often than not that the gi color did not set the student apart from the instructor though. I would guess the belt knot helped solve this issue between be able to tell who is who. However, today those traditions have faded in some schools and in others they are still recognized

So I am not sure if that helped at all. To be honest I have a few gis in different colors and though alot of people like to stick with the basics... I think it is just personal preference.

Good journey sir!

Respectfully,
Joshua Ryer
UPK Pittsburgh
 
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hatamotoyoshi

Guest
hey tarabos,
do you still think my alias is hilarious?
anyway at my school and my previous school it was white up to
first degree BB then you got a black gi.
red and black were only for someone who had taken a first in an
open tournament, and only to be worn for tournaments, open or
interschool.
i wanted a black gi like crazy when i started, but now i don't care as long as i can perform my techs like the guys and gals with the black gis.
do all you folks wear your belt knot to the left side or is this just a local trad.?
we only wear our knots in the center when grading or during
tournaments (fighting).
keep on chop sockying
yoshi:asian:
 
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Billy Lear

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In Pasadena and West Los Angeles we are to wear white gis until we reach 3rd degree brown belt and black gis afterwards. That's Mr. Trejo's and Mr. Hawkins' way of doing things.
:asian:
 
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BillPiper

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In my group everyone wears black. We also occasionally work out in street clothes and this summer we will allow students to wear a club t-shirt and gi pants sometimes.

Really it is more important for them to show up and train even if they can't afford a gi right away I will let them work out in black sweats and a t-shirt.

Guys who want to compete in tournaments are required to purchase a traditional white gi before their first meet.

But that is just how we do it.
 
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hatamotoyoshi

Guest
Mr. Piper,
i think your attitude is great!
not the almighty dollar but passing on the art is more important to you!!
refreshing to say the least.
i guess we should all remember the gi is just a tradition,that it was actually everyday garb for the original japanese practitioner.
they might actually find it quaint and amusing that we don't train
in jeans t-shirts and sneakers, or three piece suits for that matter.
that said i like the gi no matter what colour , it helps me get in the right frame of mind to practice and learn.
kind of a physical world reference to what i am doing.
if that makes sense.?
once again mr. piper its great that you place the training ahead of the trappings.
wish i lived closer to texas.
 

Goldendragon7

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Originally posted by tarabos
What is the "correct" scoop on the wearing of Black vs. White uniforms, is it a tradition at all to anyone anymore...was it ever? If there is/was a true tradition in EPAK once, I'd like to know about it.

Originally, everyone wore White uniforms (even Ed Parker) but as time went on this was altered. When sparring Mr. Parker noticed one class that a side kick was thrown by a student but not in his sight..... yet there was a foot print on the front of the opponents (White) uniform. Thus for competitors after that it was suggested to not wear white so as to not enhance a persons strike.

This was additionally accented by wanting to not become classified with the "Japanese" Arts, so the next modification came in which was that Instructors could wear Black Uniforms. From there
it was relaxed down to Brown Belts.

Since many studios allow lower colored belts to start and help with classes..... they were then allowed to wear the uniform. Then, with the influx of many studios opening, and competition becoming more popular, different color uniforms and combinations were allowed at several different studios. Mr. Parker had the kept the policy of Browns & higher and instructors wear Black, but did not enforce it strongly. Today, 13 years after his death.... pretty much what ever your individual organization or studio allows, is what goes. So there is no national or global standard.

Originally posted by tarabos
Additionally, what is your schools stance or "tradition" when it comes to the black and white uniforms?

I personally, with the I.K.K.O., stick to the Assistants (under brown), Brown and Black Belts only can wear Black uniforms. Brown can wear brown piping and Black Belts can wear red piping.

Special Competition or Tournament Uniforms can be different from the traditional look.

:asian:
 
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tarabos

tarabos

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Originally posted by Goldendragon7
Originally, everyone wore White uniforms (even Ed Parker) but as time went on this was altered. When sparring Mr. Parker noticed one class that a side kick was thrown by a student but not in his sight..... yet there was a foot print on the front of the opponents (White) uniform. Thus for competitors after that it was suggested to not wear white so as to not enhance a persons strike.

This was additionally accented by wanting to not become classified with the "Japanese" Arts, so the next modification came in which was that Instructors could wear Black Uniforms. From there
it was relaxed down to Brown Belts.

Since many studios allow lower colored belts to start and help with classes..... they were then allowed to wear the uniform. Then, with the influx of many studios opening, and competition becoming more popular, different color uniforms and combinations were allowed at several different studios. Mr. Parker had the kept the policy of Browns & higher and instructors wear Black, but did not enforce it strongly. Today, 13 years after his death.... pretty much what ever your individual organization or studio allows, is what goes. So there is no national or global standard.

gracias...:D :asian:
 
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SPP333

Guest
I've noticed that in all of the photos of James Mitose I've ever seen, he always wore a black gi. Does anyone know if this had an influence on the introduction of the black gi to American kenpo? Also, does anyone know why Mitose chose this gi color? Just wondering if anyone had any info on this.
 
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liam

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In the kempostyle that I practice (shin gi tai) everyone-from white belt on- has to wear a black gi.
 

satans.barber

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In our club, everyone wears the same colours, but for some odd reason you can only wear a heavy gi once you reach Brown Belt level (Glen says that higher belts traditionally tend to wear heavy gis in gradings because the heavy material makes the techniques sound better! But, I don't own one...).

When I started, the colours were red trousers and a black top, but that's since changed to black all over. There's nothing to stop people wearing their old red trousers if they want though, although mine are pretty knackered now! I only wear them if I can't get my others washed and dried between Monday and Wednesday, if it's raining.

Also, you can wear pretty much whatever you want on your top as long as it's (predominantly) black, such as a wrap around gi, slip on gi, vest, t-shirt, sleeveless t-shirt etc.. Doesn't look that uniform, but since we only stand in lines for the salutation it doesn't make a whole load of difference (kenpo's not about making clones anyway, so why all dress identically? hehe)

We also have normal clothes nights from time to time.

Ian.
 
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Ninja D

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it has always been, White Gi until 3rd Brown, then Black pants and white top until 1st Black. At 1st Black, you wear all black. Mix and match uniforms are allowed at tourneys only.
 

michaeledward

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. . . and don't see a need to change anytime soon. The studio where I train has relaxed the dress code quite a bit over the last couple of years. The owner had a 'Black Belt Club' and allowed members of this group to wear the black gi's.

Because the black gi looks so cool, I think, some parents wouldn't start training unless they were allowed to wear black. So, we have some yellow belts in black now.

Anyhow, my real contribution to this thread, is that I thought the Red Gi was for the head instructor only ... although, after reading this post, I understand that is not a hard and fast rule.

Still in white ... Mike
 
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Kenpomachine

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We've been wearing black gi's since white for 20 years or so in the FEK. Now one of the instructors has joined the LTKKA and we've returned to white gi's until brown, in which we wear a black gi.
People who began last year and bought a black gi are allowed to wear it regardless of degree :)
 

Klondike93

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Where did these come from? My instructor, a 3rd Dan, wears one when he teaches. Other times he wears a red top, I have yet to see him in a black top.


:asian:
 
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