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ChpsahoySE
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 14 Oct 2020
Posts: 13

Styles: Shorin Ryu TKD Shotokan Jujitsu Muay Thai

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:05 pm    Post subject: Do you ever see the use of a Gi and belt obsolete? Reply with quote

Do you see the use of Gis and belts being totally done away with in the future of martial arts? (Especially Karate). Maybe just training in comfortable clothing knowing what ranks status is within dojo? Of course one would hold a diploma or any official transcript showing you are proficient in the level you are described as, but would most of you not care if things officially head in that direction or would you fight to keep the tradition?
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15162
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Entirely?? No, not in a billion years because human beings want recognition, they are starved for it in some shape, way, and/or form. Gi and belts are badges oftentimes for both the wearer and the observer; the exclamation of ones own self-esteem, and the lack thereof.



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Wado Heretic
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 23 May 2014
Posts: 453
Location: United Kingdom, England, Shropshire
Styles: Wado-Ryu , Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu (Kodokan), RyuKyu Kobojutsu

PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think we should perhaps consider the Dao in some ways: there was a long time where keikogi as we know them did not exists, and people trained in martial arts easily enough. We live in a time where many people do not train in a formal set of keikogi. The wide use of keikogi did not happen in Okinawa until the 1950s, and that was the birthplace of Karate. Simply put, the training suit we now associate with karate is a modern contrivance and has never been essential to training.

I rarely train in formal Keikogi at home. I often train in a rash guard and shorts, or just shorts, if training alone. For self-defence classes, I just ask people to wear comfortable street clothes they would wear at the gym, and I have a few Judo Jackets I hand out as needed when we are training holds on clothing.

In the Dojo in a Karate or Kobujutsu training situation though, no, I do not see Keikogi becoming obsolete. They are just a form of training wear and they are very effective in the venue they were designed for. Indeed, as the application of kata movements, and the recognition of the grappling aspects of self-defence have become more popular I feel that Keikogi has become more useful. They allow one to train against the use of one's clothes as handles in such close proximity fighting to state the most immediate advantage.

Aside from that keikogi are solid year-round wear, suitable for warmer climates as well as colder. Similarly, to reiterate and support to Sensei8's point: they do also give a sense of belonging and recognition which a shared uniform gives, and the visual aspect of the Obi gives.

With that said, I do hope aspects of the use of the Obi fall out of fashion. I do believe a lot of erroneous, egotistical beliefs have become conflated with the belt system. I also feel the sheer number of belts has stopped reflecting actual, meaningful skill development: especially at the rate they are given out. As a system, those of us using it, do need to take responsibility to make it work if only within our own sphere of influence.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28559
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think there are a couple of advantages to the belt system and uniforms used in what we like to refer to as "traditional" systems. 1) The belt system provides the instructor a quick reference of what each student should and shouldn't know, and what material that student should be working on. B) Putting on a uniform/dobok/gi has kind of a psychological aspect to it; the student knows when the uniform goes on, it's time to train. It helps to set the tone of the class, that we are here to train, and the student sets their mind to the task at hand.

Now, with that said, I believe that serious training can be conducted without changing clothes. I also believe that the belt and uniform system are heavily tied to the modern form of training that we use based on the idea of testings/gradings for rank. We learn material, we test on it, and we earn a belt; rinse and repeat. So long as we keep testing like this, I see the belt system sticking around.
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ChpsahoySE
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 14 Oct 2020
Posts: 13

Styles: Shorin Ryu TKD Shotokan Jujitsu Muay Thai

PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel very different when training in a gi vs no gi..

Its like my technique is off when I see my self without a gi lol
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1830

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is easy to understand why some might think the traditional training clothes are obsolete. If the majority of East Asian martial arts maintain them it is mostly for the sake of uniformity. Originally the martial arts “uniforms” were based on the everyday clothes people would have worn in those countries around the time martial arts were developed.

One must not be too preoccupied with uniforms or training clothes. What really matters in the end is whether or not one can effectively apply the techniques of whatever system one is learning regardless of what clothes one might be wearing. The best way to do this is for students and instructors to take or make time to train in plain clothes or whatever they habitually wear.
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RW
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 377


PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel the Gi and belt defines traditional martial arts for the average person.

Many people would not have walked into a dojo and inquired about a trial lesson or whatever had karate not had Gi/belts. We know karate is much more than that, but from a marketing aspect, the gi/belt is a powerful marketing tool.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15162
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RW wrote:
I feel the Gi and belt defines traditional martial arts for the average person.

Many people would not have walked into a dojo and inquired about a trial lesson or whatever had karate not had Gi/belts. We know karate is much more than that, but from a marketing aspect, the gi/belt is a powerful marketing tool.

Solid post!!



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advfhorn
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 49
Location: NJ - USA
Styles: Goju Ryu, Shorin Ryu

PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2020 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No I think as long as there "karate" there will be a Dogi and Obi

Story: In the 7 years prior at my old school (that Sensei's age is about 40) sometimes people would forget their belt and they would usually just wear a dojo T-shirt and stand at the end of the line when we lined up (lower rank than white belt). I came to my new school (Sensei is about 70 yrs old) with no belt one day and the Sensei said "no how are you going to hold your gi closed?" ... I replied I was not going to wear it, just a dojo T-Shirt .... all I will say is .... Learn learned!!
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28559
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2020 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

advfhorn wrote:
No I think as long as there "karate" there will be a Dogi and Obi

Story: In the 7 years prior at my old school (that Sensei's age is about 40) sometimes people would forget their belt and they would usually just wear a dojo T-shirt and stand at the end of the line when we lined up (lower rank than white belt). I came to my new school (Sensei is about 70 yrs old) with no belt one day and the Sensei said "no how are you going to hold your gi closed?" ... I replied I was not going to wear it, just a dojo T-Shirt .... all I will say is .... Learn learned!!
Sounds to me like you assumed the way your previous dojo did things was going to be similar. Best to always ask the instructor how to handle these "what if" scenarios.
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