Uniform Standard

Wilde

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What is your school's uniform standard? We wear a white V-neck with black trim dobok with black pants.
 

Kenposcholar

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Our school uniform in Springfield, Missouri is a black Gi jacket with our black school shirts underneath. Black, traditional draw string pants that go down to the ankles. The gi in our school goes beyond the waist by a couple inches but not down to the thighs. Although it is an American Kenpo school, we do not don the AKKA patch, American flag, or even a school patch. All of our uniforms are solid black without logos. Our black belts do not have names or titles on them either and only ever have the stripes placed on them.

Example of a standard uniform: 14 oz. Heavy Weight Ironman Uniform
My personal uniform of choice: KONGO (SAB) Heavyweight Black [SAB] - $270.00 : TOKAIDO, The Worldwide Standard
 

Buka

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Under belts wear black gis. Black belts wear whatever they want.
 

Dirty Dog

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New students wear comfortable workout clothing until they earn their white belt.
Geup ranks wear white V-neck dobaks, although we have had the occasional transfer with a wrap-type Gi, and we don't get all excited about it.
At chodanbo, a white dobak with a black collar.
Dan ranks wear whatever they want. Black pants are popular, mostly with a white V-neck dobak with a black collar. I mostly wear black pants and a diamond pattern top, usually white, but sometimes red or black.
 

SahBumNimRush

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We where traditional Moo Duk Kwan uniforms (White, geups trimmed or untrimmed tops, black belts trimmed tops). The Moo Duk Kwan, as I understand it, were the first Kwan to use a trimmed uniform. It is a nod to the Hwa Rang warriors, as they wore trimmed uniforms to signify their status. Or at least that is what I have been told.
 

TrueJim

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Short answer: solid white V-necks, with trimmed-collar for dan ranks, school logo on the back.

Long answer:
  • If you're just "trying out" a few classes to see if you like taekwondo, you can just wear regular workout clothes...but if our school thinks you're more likely going to be sticking around (for example, because you already have family taking classes in the school) they usually just give you a free white V-neck uniform on the first day anyway.
  • During the first few days of class: solid white V-neck, school logo on the back, with no belt at all. (You have to earn your white belt at our school, within a few days of practicing, by knowing some really basic stuff: how to bow, salute the flag, punch, get into horse-riding stance, stand at attention, etc.)
  • The geup uniform has two patches: Korean flag on one shoulder, USA flag on the other.
  • Then once you have your white belt, you start learning poomsae (3 Kibon then the Taegeuk) and other stuff...and continue to wear a white V-neck with the appropriate geup belt colors.
  • At bo-dan, it's still a solid white V-neck uniform with a red-black belt (black on top)
  • -
  • Finally at 1st dan, you get to wear a V-neck with black-trimmed collar.
  • While at 1st dan rank you start to learn Palgwae forms and more complex kicking combinations: each new form you pass allows you to sew a star onto onto the back of your belt (so our belts are embroidered with school name, student name, dan rank of course, then same-color stars sewn onto the back to denote how much progress you're making on learning all the stuff 1st dans are supposed to learn).
Members of special teams are allowed to wear their team uniforms to class if they'd rather (and many do):
  • Poomsae Team: solid blue V-necks (the Poomsae Team attends regular classes, plus a mandatory 4 additional hours of special class each week)
  • Demo Team: black V-necks with yellow trim (the Demo Team attends regular classes, plus a mandatory 1.5-hour additional class each week, plus special 3-4 hour practices in the weeks leading up to a performance)
  • Leadership Team: red-and-black V-neck uniforms (the Leadership Team attends regular classes, plus a mandatory 1-hour additional class each week, plus is required to assist at 2 regular classes per week)
  • Sparring Team: normal uniform, but the sparring team is on hiatus right now (our coach relocated)

Bottom line: it tends to be a fairly colorful class, but the classes tend to be quite large, so the combination of uniform types and belt colors makes it easier to know who should be working on what, and who you can ask to help with what.

QUESTION: What's the origin of the diamond-patterned tops? I often see those in photos, and have wondered if there's a story behind their origin. Why a diamond pattern?
 

Dirty Dog

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QUESTION: What's the origin of the diamond-patterned tops? I often see those in photos, and have wondered if there's a story behind their origin. Why a diamond pattern?

Good question. I don't know, but I suspect it was like any other uniform change; someone thought it looked cool (I agree...).
Pure speculation, rumor mongering, and Urban Myth spouting:

The word "keumgang" carries connotations of indestructibility, immovability, and 'hardness', is the name of a mountain which has spiritual significance to Koreans, and was the name (or part of the name) of a legendary warrior. Since one of the translations of keumgang is "diamond" perhaps this was part of the reason it was chosen.
 

dancingalone

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QUESTION: What's the origin of the diamond-patterned tops? I often see those in photos, and have wondered if there's a story behind their origin. Why a diamond pattern?

They are most associated with the Jidokwan, which has its origins when Chun Sang Sup returned to Korea and began teaching inside of an existing judo school, the Chosun Yun Moo Kwan. The skirt of a judo top has a similar diamond cross stich pattern. The Jidokwan adopted that stich pattern throughout the entire dobak top as a nod towards their history.

You frequently see hapkido practitioners also wear a diamond uniform top. Perhaps the reason there is similar to the Jidokwan story.
 

Buka

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So, underwear only? Skirts? Shorts?

Bwahaha! But, you know, if they could fight, I'd probably let them. :)

More like this, though. We were never big on fashion.

1z6vy47.jpg
 

Azulx

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white side tie gi tops and white pants for colored belts, black gis for black belts. I am sure I could wear my white gi if I wanted to when I become a black belt.
 
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Wilde

Wilde

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New students wear comfortable workout clothing until they earn their white belt.
Geup ranks wear white V-neck dobaks, although we have had the occasional transfer with a wrap-type Gi, and we don't get all excited about it.
At chodanbo, a white dobak with a black collar.
Dan ranks wear whatever they want. Black pants are popular, mostly with a white V-neck dobak with a black collar. I mostly wear black pants and a diamond pattern top, usually white, but sometimes red or black.
One thing that drives me crazy these days is that there is no universal uniform standard for black belts, the freedom is nice, but the only standard I've seen is the black trim dobok.
 

MI_martialist

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One thing that drives me crazy these days is that there is no universal uniform standard for black belts, the freedom is nice, but the only standard I've seen is the black trim dobok.

Our standard is simple...everyone wears white, clean, pressed, no tags...this is the standard and what is done starting with the day the student earns the right to wear the keikogi. In fact, the more senior one is, the less give or tolerance is accepted with the keikogi.
 

gpseymour

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Our standard is simple...everyone wears white, clean, pressed, no tags...this is the standard and what is done starting with the day the student earns the right to wear the keikogi. In fact, the more senior one is, the less give or tolerance is accepted with the keikogi.
This is closer to our approach. In the mainline schools, they use white gi (usually with association patch and AI and KI patches). In Shojin-ryu, we use black gi (someday we'll add patches). Hakama are encouraged starting at orange belt (second earned rank) and must be worn on specific occasions (as a training tool) starting at brown (third earned rank).

I'm relaxed about folks prior to yellow (first earned belt). Most wear street clothes for a month or two, and I'll allow white gi up to that first belt.
 

TrueJim

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Why change to a black gi??

I like tradition as much as the next person, but if you think about it objectively: wearing solid pure white as a workout outfit -- especially a workout where you might be on the floor a lot -- isn't the most practical choice. That's not as bad as wearing white sneakers to mow the lawn, but it's close. :) Still, at our school the geup ranks wear white unless they're on a special team.
 
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