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cbiazak
10-02-2000, 09:48 PM
I've always been told not to wear my gi while going to and from class (in the car, in the parking lot, etc.). I told this to a kohai, who did not understand. Am I wrong? What should I say?

-CJ Biazak

AikiBiker
10-02-2000, 10:54 PM
Mainly to keep people from trying to start a fight with you. It is a sad fact that in a lot of places in the USA folks think they can prove their manhood by getting into a fight with somebody in a "Krotty" uniform.

There ia an old Police axiom about street fights: the loser goes to the hospital, the winner goes to jail.

Either way something to avoid.

Later

Nick
10-03-2000, 04:04 PM
indeed, bad heiho. Let's face it, someone in white pajamas and a colorful belt walking around sticks out like a sore thumb... plus, say your tire blows out on the way home. What do you think your nice clean dogi will look like after changing a tire?

To quote a samurai adage: "Show him nothing."

Hope this helps,

-Nick

chrisinbrasil
10-03-2000, 04:25 PM
Hi,
VERY TRUE post Joel!! Something seems to click inside peopleīs heads when they see a martial anything. When I first started MA back in the day, I was given similar advice for the reason Joel stated. Another good reason might be the fact that thereīs no reason to wear my gi to and from unless the dojo is mine or directly next door. What would the point be? To show people Iīm learning how to defend myself so "donīt mess with me"? Seems I might be a tad insecure. hehe I only did it once...
At your service,
Christopher

guest1234
10-03-2000, 10:32 PM
it would also be nice to keep your gi clean, since it will soon roll around on a mat that your face will eventually land upon...wearing it to the dojo picks up dirt from the street and your car (plus the fries you eat on the way, etc) and then tracks it onto the mat. i know keeping things clean is sometimes looked down upon by some folks, like they won't be real men if their gi is clean and the locker room neat, and yet are often the first to talk about 'budo' and aikido as a MARTIAL art. i guess they are unaware that soldiers then, as now, knew the importance of keeping your uniform and surroundings as clean as possible, to prevent or decrease the chance of infection if wounded, or contracting a disease, which always wounds and kills more than the enemy does. a warrior--then as now--whose uniform/clothing is dirty and in poor repair will undoubtedly have a weapon that also is not in top form, and will lack in other areas of training as well.

Nick
12-09-2000, 06:45 PM
reminds me of when I first started budo, long long time ago, when I was 5... ate Wendy's on the way over, and I was 5, so it was rather messy... I was embarassed to go into the dojo that night...

Nick

Nick
12-09-2000, 06:46 PM
reminds me of when I first started budo, long long time ago, when I was 5... ate Wendy's on the way over, and I was 5 as mentioned, so it was rather messy... I was embarassed to go into the dojo that night...

Nick

crystalwizard
12-09-2000, 09:06 PM
plus you lose something...something insubstatial at least to me. There's a defining line for me at least when I take street clothes off and put my gi on that lets me close the door on the world and concentrate just on Aikido practice. Mental permission if you will to relax, let go, and deal with every day worries later. I'd hate to lose that by not having to change at the dojo. kinda silly maybe.

ian
12-10-2000, 04:44 AM
Yep, I feel the same Kelly. When you've had a break in aikido and go back to it, there is nothing so beautiul as feeling that crisp white gi in your hands as you put it on - instant relaxation.

I have found at summer schools, when you stay in your gi between sessions, I'm more relaxed and attentive than I would normally be. Maybe I should be like that all the time?

Ian

Chuck Clark
12-10-2000, 09:18 AM
Greetings and Safe, Happy Holidays to all,

The keikogi is specialized attire for practicing budo. It should not be worn enroute to the dojo, etc.

I think the more important reasons are that it is a "special training tool" which should be respected and taken care of. (this can be way overdone by some!) You may have a flat tire, or have to stop somewhere on the way, etc. It is very traditional Japanese values to not want to stand out from the crowd and create anything which takes away from the balance. Someone may take it as a "challenge" or "Hey, look at me!" message which is not what budo is about.

I don't think keikogi should ever be used as halloween costumes or worn to costume parties, etc.

These may be traditional values from another society and time, but somehow, it seems "right and appropriate" to me.

Listen to your sensei and their sensei.

Regards,

Nick
12-10-2000, 09:39 AM
"Some budoka think that wearing their uniform to and from may make them look more 'serious'. But Priests are serious, and they do not wear their vestaments to church. Baseball players are serious, but they do not wear their uniforms to the stadium on game day."
Dave Lowry

Still hoping I don't get sued for always quoting his books,

Nick

minasaek
12-10-2000, 03:37 PM
First of all you can ask him why does he want to wear the gi outside the dojo area...
then i believe its silly just to wnat a gi in the streets because it is irritating and foolish...
Then again we all live in cities, not in Japan at 1000 b.c....
tell this kohai of yours to go to Japan if he wants to do it easilly..

Erik
12-10-2000, 10:16 PM
Look, just tell him/her that Erik think's people who wear their gi's around town look like "moroons", whereas on the mat, they are damn stylish critters, particularly, with a blue hakama swirling around their hairy legs.

If he/she doesn't stop wearing it after this (and buy a blue hakama) I don't know what else to suggest. There is probably no hope for him/her.

PS: I used to know a blind guy who wore his gi to class. We let that one go.

[Edited by Erik on December 11, 2000 at 12:38am]

Chris Li
12-10-2000, 11:56 PM
The keikogi is specialized attire for practicing budo. It should not be worn enroute to the dojo, etc.

It's a sweat-suit, basically, created by Jigoro Kano and Kino Yasuda (?) for the same reasons that sweat-suits were developed in the west, because normal clothes are uncomfortable and not very practical when working out.

You may have a flat tire, or have to stop somewhere on the way, etc. It is very traditional Japanese values to not want to stand out from the crowd and create anything which takes away from the balance. Someone may take it as a "challenge" or "Hey, look at me!" message which is not what budo is about.

I don't think keikogi should ever be used as halloween costumes or worn to costume parties, etc.

These may be traditional values from another society and time, but somehow, it seems "right and appropriate" to me.


It's not at all uncommon to see kids in Japan going to or coming from training fully dressed in their keikogi. You don't see adults doing this too often, but you don't see adults wearing their sweats back and forth to the gym, either, they change in the locker room - the same way that most people do in the US.

Best,

Chris

Nick
12-11-2000, 10:01 AM
minasaek wrote:
Then again we all live in cities, not in Japan at 1000 b.c....


If my history lessons serve me correctly, there was no Japan in 1000 b.c... and no dogi till the late 1800's-early 1900's...

Nick

wayback
12-11-2000, 01:33 PM
Gi or hakama, neither looks good with big boots on underneath, and the wind blowing this time of year goes right through multiple layers of gi & hakama....

From a "weather" stand point, wearing a gi to class is not very practical, especially if you need to push someone out of a ditch! (which i last had to do while wearing a dress and boots, so i guess i shouldn't say anything!)

besides, then the hem of your hakama gets wet and it looks silly when you roll.

--sharon

Aikidoka2000
12-12-2000, 04:55 PM
Someone mentioned a few posts back that it is quite common to see people wearing thier Dogi to/from the dojo in Japan. Strange, I have never seen that. It it quite known that to wear a dogi outside the dojo is foolish and as we say "Dasai".
Translation: Not cool. Very dumb. Baka.
Perhaps you saw this in Tokyo. I would not be surprised in the least.
If this was a place other that Tokyo, then I would say that thier mom is quite baka.
Atarimae! You do not wear dogi outside the dojo!
Again I say , Atarimaejyan! :P
-Tomu

Chris Li
12-12-2000, 05:41 PM
Aikidoka2000 wrote:
Someone mentioned a few posts back that it is quite common to see people wearing thier Dogi to/from the dojo in Japan. Strange, I have never seen that. It it quite known that to wear a dogi outside the dojo is foolish and as we say "Dasai".
Translation: Not cool. Very dumb. Baka.
Perhaps you saw this in Tokyo. I would not be surprised in the least.
If this was a place other that Tokyo, then I would say that thier mom is quite baka.
Atarimae! You do not wear dogi outside the dojo!
Again I say , Atarimaejyan! :P
-Tomu

I've seen it in Tokyo, also places outside of Tokyo. I don't know whether it's "dasai" or not, I suppose it depends where you are.

Of course, now that I think about it, the last time I was at Aikikai hombu I saw *Doshu* walking down the street to the dojo in his dogi...

Best,

Chris

Aikidoka2000
12-13-2000, 11:00 AM
I suppose the bottom line is,
If you want to be half-ass, then by all means wear your dogi to walk down the
street, at parties, to lounge around in at home, play sports in it, heck, why not
sleep in it? Just because one sees another doing it, even from the Hombu dojo,
does not make it any less wrong, or disrespectful to yourself, others, and your
art. I usually do not exert my opinion on many subjects as this, as i am a strong
proponent of "to each his own". But as it is now, there is too much confusion with
traditional Japanese customs "We call it "Ogasawara" and "Aisatsu". I just wanted
to point that out. Unfortunately even in Japan, there are many people who are
ignorant of these issues as well. Someone has to keep this things going. It may as well be me, even if no one else seem to cares.
-Tomu

Chris Li
12-13-2000, 03:53 PM
Aikidoka2000 wrote:
I suppose the bottom line is,
If you want to be half-ass, then by all means wear your dogi to walk down the
street, at parties, to lounge around in at home, play sports in it, heck, why not
sleep in it? Just because one sees another doing it, even from the Hombu dojo,
does not make it any less wrong, or disrespectful to yourself, others, and your
art. I usually do not exert my opinion on many subjects as this, as i am a strong
proponent of "to each his own". But as it is now, there is too much confusion with
traditional Japanese customs "We call it "Ogasawara" and "Aisatsu". I just wanted
to point that out. Unfortunately even in Japan, there are many people who are
ignorant of these issues as well. Someone has to keep this things going. It may as well be me, even if no one else seem to cares.
-Tomu


Well, I don't wear my sweat suit to parties or on the way to the gym, but that's not because it's sacred or disrespectful, just that it's not practical. I wouldn't wear a bathing suit to play baseball, either, and that's not because I'm afraid of disrespecting a swimming coach.

Is it wrong or disrespectful to wear your dogi outside of class? I don't think that's necessarily true. Basically it's a sweat suit for martial arts training - and that's exactly the purpose that it was created for 100 years ago. There's nothing really sacred about it. Some Japanese feel the way you do, but many don't, even those who aren't "ignorant" of the issues.

So the real issues are why would it be wrong, and who decides? As far as I can tell there is no "standard" of behaviour for this in Japan. As for "tradition", the dogi itself is only around 100 years old, and wasn't even created until well into the modern era by Jigoro Kano. Would you call Judo a "traditional" martial art?

Best,

Chris

Erik
12-13-2000, 05:19 PM
All this talk about sweatsuits. My standard daily attire is a pair of shorts and a sweat shirt or t-shirt depending on the weather. Yes, I've gone into work like this although I work at home these days. I had no idea I was such a rebel. Jeez, and I go all over the place in such attire. Who knew all the consternation I was causing. I thought I was just showing off my sexy hairy thighs and calves but now I know better.

If you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go buy a leather jacket and take up smoking because it just seems appropriate somehow after reading more of this thread.

minasaek
12-13-2000, 05:51 PM
My friend Nick, your history lessons do not serve you correct..


Best of intentions
Aleksander!

Nick
12-13-2000, 06:29 PM
Sir, might you tell me where?

As far as any of my research has shown:
The "official" birth of the nation of Japan is listed at 600 B.C., and Kano invented the dogi shortly after founding judo.

If my facts are mistaken, please prove me wrong.

Nick

Creature_of_the_id
12-14-2000, 02:28 AM
HI, just a little story about the time I did actually wear my dogi to the dojo.
my friends and I were running a bit late and so put our dogi on before going so we didnt have to go too and from the locker room and could go straight into the training hall.
So theer we were, 3 of us in dogi in te car driving along when I am comming to a junction and the car didnt want to stop. We slid for quite a while over the junction and into the side of a van.

the van driver got out, looking a little angry, took a look at us and stopped. He then simply asked "are you insured" and when I politely replied yes he got back into his car without any other fuss and without creating a further scene.

So actually I didnt wear my dogi to the dojo that day as I didnt make it to the dojo, my car was too much of a mess.

I'm not gonna get into the whole wrongs and rights of wearing dogi to or from the dojo. Cus I cant really see much of an issue.

Kev

Aikidoka2000
12-14-2000, 08:22 AM
Sigh...Kids today.
Chris, every proper martial artist in Japan knows not to wear dogi outside of class.
try not to analize it to much. Just accept it. Are there exceptions? Absolutely. Mostly with kids and older people. Is it still wrong? I feel it is.
Have you really deeply thought about why most folks feel it is wrong?
Anyway, enough ranting.
-Tomu

crystalwizard
12-14-2000, 09:02 AM
Creature_of_the_id wrote:

the van driver got out, looking a little angry, took a look at us and stopped. He then simply asked "are you insured" and when I politely replied yes he got back into his car without any other fuss and without creating a further scene.


*snicker* hmmmm maybe you've hit on the cure for Road Rage?

BC
12-14-2000, 02:07 PM
We had over 17 inches of snow fall on the ground in the span of three days here in Chicago followed by sub-zero temperatures. I can honestly tell you that even if I had been previously inclined to wear my gi to the dojo in the past, I would not do it now! No way, no how! Besides being against tradition and common courtesy, it is totally impractical.

Chris Li
12-14-2000, 02:28 PM
Aikidoka2000 wrote:
Sigh...Kids today.
Chris, every proper martial artist in Japan knows not to wear dogi outside of class.
try not to analize it to much. Just accept it. Are there exceptions? Absolutely. Mostly with kids and older people. Is it still wrong? I feel it is.
Have you really deeply thought about why most folks feel it is wrong?
Anyway, enough ranting.
-Tomu


I've lived and trained in Japan for almost ten years and I've encountered any number of "proper" martial artists who don't feel the way you do. Just accept it :-).

Best,

Chris

Gerardo A Torres
12-16-2000, 08:17 PM
I know some aikidoka (many times my seniors) who wear their gi to class. Not to mention they treat their hakamas and uniforms in unthinkable ways.

I guess they either find it practical or believe is historically acceptable. But I ask; is such a small convenience worth all the attention and possible trouble you attract?

Chris Li
12-16-2000, 09:32 PM
gerardo wrote:
I know some aikidoka (many times my seniors) who wear their gi to class. Not to mention they treat their hakamas and uniforms in unthinkable ways.

I guess they either find it practical or believe is historically acceptable. But I ask; is such a small convenience worth all the attention and possible trouble you attract?




I think that the "attention and possible trouble" issue is way overblown. It's a matter of common sense, I suppose - if you're walking across Times Square it may be an issue, if it's a 5 minute drive in a small town than it probably isn't.

Besides, weapons bags are probably more attention getting than a dogi anyway - just try carting around a naginata or a spear :-).

I'm not sure what you mean by "unthinkable". I think that, on average, Japanese people tend to be more finicky about care of dogi and hakama then westerners, but that has nothing to do with budo and everything to do with the fact that Japanese are pretty finicky in general.

Best,

Chris

Creature_of_the_id
12-17-2000, 04:13 AM
Hi,
I dont have too much to say on the whole wearing Gi to the dojo hting, I dont think it is much of an issue. Unless you really feel the need to judge someone over somethining like this for your own sake.
but, I studied japanese for a little while, and my tutor told us many times that if non japanese follow japanese customs very closely, or understand them very well then they are considered strange. I cant remember the name that they use for people who do understand but it is something along the lines of 'strange foreigner'.
So it is a little difficult to insult the japanese by not stricly following their customs, as we are not expected too. and I guess this is what it is all about, etiquette. So wearing your Gi to class, even if not considered to be very good etiquette is not really going to cause anyone harm or major upset, so again it comes down to personal preference and personal disciplin.

Kev
"There is no spoon"

Chris Li
12-17-2000, 04:59 AM
Creature_of_the_id wrote:
Hi,
I dont have too much to say on the whole wearing Gi to the dojo hting, I dont think it is much of an issue. Unless you really feel the need to judge someone over somethining like this for your own sake.
but, I studied japanese for a little while, and my tutor told us many times that if non japanese follow japanese customs very closely, or understand them very well then they are considered strange. I cant remember the name that they use for people who do understand but it is something along the lines of 'strange foreigner'.
So it is a little difficult to insult the japanese by not stricly following their customs, as we are not expected too. and I guess this is what it is all about, etiquette. So wearing your Gi to class, even if not considered to be very good etiquette is not really going to cause anyone harm or major upset, so again it comes down to personal preference and personal disciplin.

Kev
"There is no spoon"

You're probably thinking of "hen na gaijin". Of course, foreigners are often considered strange no matter what they do :-). One of the pluses of this is that foreigners in Japan can often escape some of the normal societal requirements if they want to.

I've lived and conducted business in Japan and in Japanese for a number of years, and Japanese people both expect and appreciate it when you follow Japanese customs, just like any other tight knit cultural group that you live among as an outsider. My hunch is that the kind of person that your Japanese tutor is talking about is the kind of person who attempts to be "more Japanese than the Japanese". For example, I know of a foreigner who lived in a restored 17th century farmhouse without electricity and cooked over a fire pit. He'd go on at length about how Japanese didn't understand their own culture - never mind that nobody in Japan has lived that way for several hundred years. It's sort of like moving to Alabama, instantly adopting a heavy southern accent and lecturing the local residents on how they've forgotten the ideals that made the south great. Not likely to be appreciated - just making a normal effort to follow the normal local customs is much more likely to get you accepted.

Best,

Chris

crystalwizard
12-17-2000, 10:21 AM
Of something done in the SCA called Freaking the Mundanes.....i.e. wearing your costumes off of the event site and out into public....

With that said, a bit of serious commentary. In every society we make ourselves part of..whether it be the big society that makes up the place where we live or the small society that makes up the group of friends we play cards with on friday night or any other society in between...there are a set of customs we conform to. Things that we do becaue everyone else feels it's wrong not to do them that way. Things like putting the knife on the left side of the plate...taking your shoes off in the entry way...bowing from a seated possition...not wearing a hat to the table...all the various picky rules of ettiqute of any occasion you can name.
Things which in the long run really dont matter..doing them doesn't save anyone's life and not doing them doesn't kill anyone but things which make the socioty what it is and are as much a necessary part to fit into it as breathing is a necessary part of fitting into life itself.

All these things have a 'reason' or had a reason for why they were started to be practiced in the first place...and people that feel very strongly will be quite willing to get in your face and lecture you in all seriousness on WHY they must be followed. At the same time people who realy can't see a need to do them will be just as happy to get in your face and tell you why you shouldn't be a slave to the other people's ideas.

It boils down to....if you dont mind being looked at by those in the society you are in as someone who doesn't really fit...maybe avoided...maybe even kicked OUT of the society by the rest of the members...then dont bother with the customs.

However if you do mind...if you do actualy wish to be a member of whatever society it is you're spending time being part of...then by all means bother with following the customs in the manner the rest of the members follow them.

[Edited by crystalwizard on December 17, 2000 at 10:42am]