To Gi Or Not To Gi ?

K

Kenpolane

Guest
To Gi Or Not To Gi Is The Question:shrug:

I talk to more and more people who say, " you know I would love to study Kenpo if I didn't have to wear that uniform". I like the idea of the Gi. As Mr. Sullivan says, when you put on your Gi that's the signal to your brain...it's time to get down.
I hear the complant from Women and young Men alike. I had one guy ask if he had to wear those PJ's.
I have not seen or heard of any Kenpo school teach without the gi, how about you guys?
 
Originally posted by Kenpolane


I have not seen or heard of any Kenpo school teach without the gi, how about you guys?

We don't tend to wear full Gis much, we wear either black or red full contact trousers and then most people wear a black t-shirt, although somepeople weart black gi tops or those tops that are v-necked but you pull on over your head.

Or then again, a lot of people like to wear a black vest in Summer because it gets so warm when we're training.

I don't like gi tops, I seem to spend all night tucking it back in and making it look presentable, t-shirts are a lot less faff :)

Ian.
 
Many studios train differently. If you are a studio that perscribes to a fair amount of freesparring....... then a heavy weight uniform is about all that will hold up and not be ripped to shreds. I am in Arizona, I personally like and have all my students wear a Full Heavy Wt. Uniform. The feel is strong and it allows for good physical interaction without destroying clothing and or grabbing on skin. I do bend the rules sometimes in the "Summer" and allow t-shirts for the classic workout portions of class but not for technique lines or sparring class.

If your studio perscribes to a more forms or technique oriented type mode... then I have seen many just wear light weight pants and t- shirts. Some even wear sweat pants and t-shirts. Still others I have seen wear Chinese style clothing similar to Tai Chi.

:asian:
 
During the summer, i allow and wear a black -shirt, it allows me to avoid turning on my AC for a few extra weeks. I also allow, if someone wants to wear Otomix "Kenpo" pants, but for the most part I require a full black GI. IT gives distinction.
 
Always can have a few exceptions...... but for the most part I am really into uniformity......... it's just more Professional.

:asian:
 
Not to mention the 'snap' you get out of a heavy wght gi. It's pretty cool and it gives good feedback that your techniques are sharp.

Also the self slapping part of our art would hurt alot more w/o a heavy wght gi.
:D

Rob
 
The problem is, you aren't going to be wearing a gi if someone jumps you...

In my eyes, it pays to learn how to move in what you wear most often, like a t-shirt.

About once every 6 months we do a class in jeans, t-shirts, boots/trainers and such like, as you would have on in a bar or on the street.

Anyone who hasn't tried it should, it's a world of difference!

Mind you, my spinning back kick is bloody crap in bare feet, and lethal with my boots on, but that was about the only thing that was easier!

Ian.
 
I think you find in the garage dojos people have adapted because they are battling the elements along with the training. For the last 5 years I've trained in an environment where we did excessive amounts of sparring with a t-shirt and gi pants. Only got one arm slash from finger nail that would have been avoided with a gi top, all my other injuries had nothing to do with not wearing a gi top. Sometimes we wore belts but, most of the time we didn't. For a small group you knew who lined up where.

There are pluses and minuses to this. One plus was that there wasn't any belt posturing like at my old school in the mid 80's. Everyone was super belt conscious. In the garage it didn't matter, when lined up across from a guy to spar your skill told the story not your belt. The problem I had with it was that the new belts didn't friggin know how to tie their belts. That is embarasing. I feel like newbies should make the knot every class and someone with a new belt should want to make the knot so they can break it in and get that training spirit good and ground in to it.

I grew up in a traditional school, bowing into the training area, full gi, belt all the time...at our school when you made orange you could get a black gi, etc...

When I was introduced to the wonderful world of the home dojo the rules changed, the commitment was the same (if not more), but certain things were allowed to slide. It took a while to adjust, but in my mind there are some traditions that must carry on even if only for tradition sake.

jb :asian:
 
Originally posted by satans.barber

The problem is, you aren't going to be wearing a gi if someone jumps you...

In my eyes, it pays to learn how to move in what you wear most often, like a t-shirt.

About once every 6 months we do a class in jeans, t-shirts, boots/trainers and such like, as you would have on in a bar or on the street.

Anyone who hasn't tried it should, it's a world of difference!
. . .
Ian.

Ian,

I agree with the comment that people should
train from time to time in street clothes. Our
club even does winter jackets and clothing
training to let you know how hard it is to move
with all that bulk on.




. . .
Mind you, my spinning back kick is bloody crap in bare feet, and lethal with my boots on, but that was about the only thing that was easier!
Ian.

Ian,

I must point this out, that in Michigan it is a
felony to kick someone with shoes or boots on.
It is assault and battery with the intent to
do great bodily harm and one can be charged with
attempted murder.

Yes, it is on the books. Just be aware of the
local customs and laws as part of your personal
self-defense and awareness.

Just my comments

Rich
 
Originally posted by Rich Parsons



Ian,

I must point this out, that in Michigan it is a
felony to kick someone with shoes or boots on.
It is assault and battery with the intent to
do great bodily harm and one can be charged with
attempted murder.

Yes, it is on the books. Just be aware of the
local customs and laws as part of your personal
self-defense and awareness.

Just my comments

Rich

The interpretation of British law with regards to self defence is something that I look into often and with interest, it pivots around the use of acceptable force.

Here, if someone goes for you, you may use whatsoever force is necessary to protect yourself, but nothing (much) beyond that.

So, if someone hits me in a pub, and I beat them to a bloody pulp, I'm in big trouble....

However, if someone hits me in a pub, and I give them my wicked backfist and maybe a roudhouse in the guts to make sure they get the message, that would not be considered unreasonable force (probably provided that witnesses could coroborate the events).

Obviously, if someone starts waving knives ot pool cues at your head, things escalate accordingly, and what is considered 'acceptable force' moves up a notch.

So in some instances, the kick would be OK, and in some instances it would not. But it is not, by default, a 'felony' as you lot like to call it.

Ian.
 
Originally posted by Goldendragon7

Always can have a few exceptions...... but for the most part I am really into uniformity......... it's just more Professional.

:asian:

My sentiments exactly!:asian:
 
At the kenpo school I go to for most of the month it's optional to wear the full uniform or not. Most just wear the pants with a T-shirt that's the color of their belt rank. If you have the right color t-shirt on it's optional to wear your belt or not. When they have "stripe week", the week of any testing going on, you have to wear the full uniform. They always wear shoes, usually wrestling type because they move a little easier on the mat.


:asian:
 
I like wearing a uniform. Martial arts uniforms are made for martial arts. personally, I make sure that my street clothes will allow me to do anything my uniform will let me do (I even made sure I could do a side kick in my PROM DRESS, LOL), but the uniform is more durable than my street clothes.

Frankly, most clothes made for working out look sloppy. you have people in untucked t-shirts, pants with holes maybe, maybe ladies in sports bras and shorts. Martial arts has a certain dignity to it, and for the most part, that ought to be maintained. if someone is thinking about taking martial arts, they walk by a studio and see students dressed uniformly, lined up by rank and all that, as opposed to people in various states of dress, some with shirts not tucked in, it might influence which school they sign up at. The school that requires the uniforms simply looks more professional.

I have taught self defense classes where uniforms were not required. It was something that just kind of started all on its own... my best friend, who's gay, asked me to teach him some techniques, just basic stuff that could get him out of a situation should he need it. LA's a pretty liberal place, but after the Matthew Shepherd thing, I think a lot of people got worried... so anyway, he asks me to teach him. I tell him "ok. put on some sweat pants and a tee shirt, and meet me in the rec room." So we spend a few hours a week working on self defense... he tells his roommates what he's up to...and they want to learn. so I say "sure, bring em along" so I now have a class of four. Two of which bring their girlfriends to my next class. so now up to six. One of the girlfriends is in a sorority and brings some sisters to the next class... now up to around twelve. people start walking by and asking to join in... I had a class of twenty five college students... and me, being the businesswoman that I am and realizing that with this many people, I needed to have regular times set aside and couldn't base workouts around "whenever I feel like it" anymore, I started charging them five bucks a class. Great income for a starving student. They all knew I wasn't a black belt and couldn't promote them officially, or anything, and that wasn't an issue because I was just teaching orange and purple belt stuff anyway. The college didn't care what we were doing because we weren't using weapons, the rec rooms are first come first serve, and we were covered by the school's insurance. It was a very casual thing. Had I known what it was going to turn into, I probably wouldn't have started it. LOL.

I usually wore my uniform pants and a tank top, and everyone else was in various combinations of uniforms if they had em, sweats, board shorts, tanks, teeshirts etc. I'd wear a full uniform if I was teaching kata or wanted to do something a little bit formal and wanted to look kind of intimidating, but it was mostly just a fun little class to make walking around campus just a little bit safer. Had I been running a real studio where I was really concerned with making money, uniforms would be required. Uniforms bring a certain formality to a class that isn't always there without them. When I put on my uniform it changes my mindset from work, play, or whatever to "ok, its karate time now." and that mental shift makes a huge difference.
 
I wear a Gi, pretty much full time. I got tired of tearing up T-Shirts. As is, a heavy weight KI only lasts me about 2 years at the max, and that is cycling through several of them.

My students are encouraged to wear Gi bottoms (saves on dings and burns to the knees) and have a choice whether to wear a T-Shirt, or Gi top most of the year. In the winter I also allow sweat tops. Gi's are mandatory for testing and school events or seminars. Shoes are optional, but they must be martial arts or wrestling shoes, and I don't wear any unless it is real, real cold. Since I do not turn on the A/C or Heat, think of a really big garage, but with mats, carpet, mirrors & bags. It is warmed some by the businesses on each side and I have 3 LARGE garage-type fans for the summer.

Regarding the neat lines of students some people like to see. Yes it is professional, but not everyone is looking for this. I think I tend to get the individuals who are looking for something a little more rugged, and it is. It definitly does not look as commercial as the Tukong Wu Sool school next door ... thank goodness!

To each their own.

-Michael
UKS-Texas
 
Our studio has us wear our full uniforms (Gis) from Sept, Oct and November, then allows us to wear our studio sweat shirts from Dec, Jan & Feb if we wish.
Then it is back to full uniform for March, April and May.
June July & August we can wear our studio T-shirt if we wish!
I like this, it keeps things consistant, but allows room for choice too.
All tests and tournies must be in full uniform. and it depends on the type of seminar whether we hve to go uniform or casual.

:cool:
 
Ghi's have their place indeed, When we are teaching at the college all representatives of our Dojo wear the full black ghi, if the college students wish to buy one that's cool. It's not required though. During the summer months the black t-shirts for class are great with ghi bottoms. I, myself have been wearing the Kenpo Pants from Otomix and find I like them because they are not so loose and baggy as my ghi is and I don't get myself all caught up in the voluminous legs (guess I could get a pair of my own and quit wearing Seig's handmedowns~!!) The children's mom's saw me yesterday in the Kenpo pants and thought they were great and wants to order them for the kids (saving hemming and rolling up waistlines to keep them from dragging)
I have witnessed in all the classes at the dojo, Guys pulling their Ghi Tops together.. fussing with them, pulling them down.. rearranging them.. during techniques and sparring.. (not many females do this for some unknown reason) The Tshirt does prevent their loss of concentration of the moment of 'fixing themselves' . But in any outside function or for grappling, the ghi is a Must.
 
Originally posted by satans.barber

The problem is, you aren't going to be wearing a gi if someone jumps you...

In my eyes, it pays to learn how to move in what you wear most often, like a t-shirt.

About once every 6 months we do a class in jeans, t-shirts, boots/trainers and such like, as you would have on in a bar or on the street.

Anyone who hasn't tried it should, it's a world of difference!

Mind you, my spinning back kick is bloody crap in bare feet, and lethal with my boots on, but that was about the only thing that was easier!

Ian.

So if your a g-man, it's a suit and dark glasses when you pratice.

Sorry, just joking....


I really don't know. I cann't think of not praticing in my gi, or my pupils not praticing in a gi. But hey are free not to. We start off using the gi as a hold, but when the basics are understood, we move on to how to do it with out the hold, ie. in a t-shirt.

/Yari
 
I can see valid points in both wearing and not wearing a gi. However, for my personal tastes, I will stick with wearing one.

If it comes down to a training period where we are working on real-life type scenarios, hey, street clothes will work better. But I train at a martial arts school, and the gi is the official uniform. It is more professional and does tend to set the mindset in the right place.

As far as people "readjusting" during class, hey, I have done it, too. Something about the gi not sitting right is just downright disrespectful.

There are schools, however, that don't use the gi as a uniform. More power to 'em. Just so happens that the style that I study uses them, and I stick with it.

Just my 2 cents, YMMV.

Peace--
 

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