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Brad Darr
10-05-2004, 10:47 PM
So I was looking through some old ATM magazines and noticed an ad for hemp gi's. Anyway I was wondering if anyone has purchased one or knows one who has one? Or if any body knows of another place to buy hemp gi's? Thanks for any help.

p00kiethebear
10-05-2004, 11:31 PM
Do you know of any places online? I know my hippie / rasta friends would love to see some of these.

Jeanne Shepard
10-06-2004, 07:40 AM
What I'd REALLY like is a silk hakama...

Jeanne :p

Janet Rosen
10-06-2004, 08:49 AM
Silk Hak is easy; talk to Peter at Mugendo Budogu http://www.budogu.com/
Brad, the hemp gi is made by Machiko up in rural Lake County. I've met her, and trained w/ her daughter when I've visited Aikido of Ukiah. Her daughter wears the hemp gi; they are beautifully made and the fabric is unbeatable. I don't know of any other source save do-it-yourself.

AsimHanif
10-06-2004, 09:26 AM
What are the advantages of a hemp gi?

John Boswell
10-06-2004, 09:41 AM
(In my best Cheech voice:)

"It's like... all safer for the environment and stuff. People will be all like, "Ah MAN! You got a hemp karate outfit, y0! That's all baaaad, man!"

Then they pass you the bong, Man!" :D

Brehan Crawford
10-06-2004, 09:54 AM
One fella at my dojo has one, I think he said his wife gave it to him as a birthday present, and that it was pretty expensive as gis go. It's beautifiul looking, and very tough, and he says it's also quite warm.

AsimHanif
10-06-2004, 10:01 AM
Somehow I knew I was asking for that, John.

Jack Simpson
10-06-2004, 11:20 AM
Actually I've been chatting with Machiko via email after contacting her via the address on HempUtopia (http://www.canada-shops.com/stores/hemputopia/c14996p169822.2.html)
I'm going to be ordering a gi soon. She has been very prompt, polite and easy to work with as far as questions, etc, about the gi's.

I'm a fan of hemp as it is much more ecological for growing with respect to depletion of water resources as well as boosting 3rd world economies. If you want to really get into the why's of hemp, check out: hemp facts (http://www.earthrunnings.com/history.html) and related sites.

I've just had fairly cheap gi's up till now, and thought that I'd splurge on what I call my "anti-Adidas" gi.

Cheers,
Jack :ai:

L. Camejo
10-06-2004, 11:37 AM
Hmm, hemp dogi eh?

Makes you wonder what other intoxicating, smokeable herbs one can use to make gis with. I think I need to give my rasta pals in Jamaica a call and do some experimentation.:p

Just a thought.
LC:ai::ki:

John Boswell
10-06-2004, 01:00 PM
Sorry Asim... but I was busy being funny, and struggling at that. ;)

Getting back to the real thing... $250 bucks??? WTF? :yuck:

If Hemp is so wonderful, why is it so expensive? Novelty? Rare? Hard to manufacture? I'm all for recyclling and saving the world and stuff, but damn...! :eek:

I would like to know why the price is so high. If anyone (Jack?) knows why the price difference, I'm curious to learn more. :confused:

Thanks!

PS: Smiles = Cool :D

Janet Rosen
10-06-2004, 04:11 PM
Hemp fabric is somewhat expensive, but the main reason for the cost is this is a handcrafted gi, not an assembly line gi. I know what I have to charge for my custom weapons bags, given my labor, and I know how long it takes to make a gi....that is what you are paying for when you order from Machiko.
Re: why hemp? Besides ecological reasons as noted by others, it is an incredibly strong fiber, more resistant to light, water and mineral than cotton and while it gets softer with laundering it does not seem to weaken.

AsimHanif
10-06-2004, 05:10 PM
Hmm. I might have to invest in one. I'll do the research. I thought about getting one a long time ago but I too thought it was rather pricey.
Thx.
BTW- great avatar John.

jk
10-06-2004, 09:59 PM
US$250 for a handcrafted hemp dogi sounds like a bargain compared to the 70000-yen "supreme quality" hand-stitched aikido gi jacket from Tozando. Heck, the Mizuno Yawara judogi (which I'd love to try on) costs around US$290-330.

If you're still for recycling and saving the world, but are too much of a cheapskate to buy a hemp dogi(like yours truly), you could always consider training naked... :)

Brad Darr
10-06-2004, 10:19 PM
Thanks to everyone who responded, especially Jack for the link. As for my reasons my best friend is big into hemp products and she has educated me on the benefits of hemp, by the way you can get hemp soap, shampoo and lotion at most health products stores. I needed a new gi that is soft yet extremely strong and hemp is the best way to go. Thanks again, I'll post something about the quality of the gi when I get one.

John Boswell
10-07-2004, 09:34 AM
Asim,
Thanks for mentioning that avatar! I think its cool as heck and I'm excited I was able to figure out how to post it. (computer ignorant here) "Borrowed" it off of someone on another site. Pretty slick, eh? :D

Brad,
Looking forward to your feedback on it. I'm 2.5 years into aikido and my first pair of pants are about ready for trash. I've considered re-enforcing the knees, but I think I'd rather just invest in a better Gi. This thread has been very educational. :) Good luck with it and keep us posted!

Jack Simpson
10-07-2004, 10:20 AM
As JK points out, the Mizuno and Tozando double weaves are as much or more than the hemp gi that is being discussed. As well, Janet makes the excellent point that this a made-to-order item and as such, is hand-crafted and you're paying for the craftperson's skill and time.

I also have a hand-made hakama, done by a very nice lady from Woodstock, NY, and the quality is easily apparent over some other mass produced ones that I've seen. Plus there's the feeling of knowing the person (and training with them in this case), that makes it special.

From everything I've read, hemp will wear much longer than cotton and should prove to be about as indestructible as a gi can be. I have a hemp bag (a "man purse" if you're into Seinfeld) that I've had for going on 10 years and it's still holding up fine. It's pretty amazing actually. I also use a hemp oil hand cream that is wicked good for dry skin in the winter, which I picked up at the Body Shop. Just in case your knuckles need extra attention after prolonged time with the makiwara ;-).

Why is hemp fabric expensive? That's basically due to the fact that it's not mass produced in this country and must be imported to a large extent. It's also due to laws that really shouldn't be there as hemp is not psychoactive, but is "mistakenly" listed as a "drug" in this country. I won't soapbox here, but there's really nothing but benefits that could come from opening hemp trade. For those who want to read more you can check out more hemp info (http://www.votehemp.com/index.html) .

Don't get me wrong, while I'm definitely a tree-hugging, whale-saving, birky wearing liberal, I've got plenty of mass produced, conservative skeletons in the closet (and a turbo-charged Audi in the garage :rolleyes: ). But my training in aikido is supposed to make me focus on something else, perhaps more natural. For me, trying to help on this small front seems ok.

To each his own, have fun and train hard!

Cheers,
Jack :ai:

Bronson
10-07-2004, 12:39 PM
...but there's really nothing but benefits that could come from opening hemp trade.

Unless you happen to grow cotton for a living ;)

Bronson

Jack Simpson
10-07-2004, 12:54 PM
well, yeah, there is the whole "putting-the-cotton-industry-out-of-business" thing, but other than that , it's all good..... :D

Jack :ai:

tony cameron
10-07-2004, 02:15 PM
hey, how about a chainmail dogi. y'know, just for ceremonial purposes;)

tony

Janet Rosen
10-07-2004, 03:40 PM
Cotton growers don't have to go out of business. They can adapt to other growing techniques and/or pressure the government to re-legalize the growing of hemp domestically. There is some wonderful organically grown cotton coming out of Texas these days plus the foxfire green cottons.

Jack Simpson
10-08-2004, 11:50 AM
HAH! There we go, it's back to being all good again and no one is going out of business :cool: !

I mailed off my order to Machiko today. Full reports upon receipt.

Cheers,
Jack :ai:

oudbruin
10-10-2004, 01:44 PM
Let's see.... we've talked about silk, hemp, cotton & chainmail..
Frankly, i wanted my dogi in rubber or leather(black of course)..
Maybe a mauve silk hakima?
Seriously, i have a pair of pants and a shirt made outta hemp, they don't wear out, and my wife is murder on fabrics.
When my current dogi wear out or i loose enough weight to justify the purchase, I'm sending michiko a check and my measurements.
One of the reasons i like what she has to offer is that guys with 29 inch inseams and 38 to 44 inch waist lines are hard to shop for. That and a pronounced beer gut(which is disappearing, slowly)

thomas_dixon
10-15-2004, 12:06 AM
Rayon...we need to talk about Rayon.

JJF
10-15-2004, 02:53 AM
"Frankly Sir, I'm not as big a fan of velour as you are."... (Commander Kiff, Futurama)

Hemp gi - heavy sweating - wil that produce fumes that wil get everyone high ? Could result in a very interesting training-session..... Sorry - I know - It's not that kind of hemp.

However I would love to try out one of those hemp-gi's. Not that I'm a tree-hugger (well okay - I'm kind of a semi-hugger). It's more the tales of long lasting fabric that can take the wear and tear of hard training that catches my interest. Personally I think that growing hemp for industrial use could be a really good thing - mind you we have litlle or none cotton-farmers here in DK.

Jack Simpson
10-27-2004, 11:02 AM
"This is velvet, not velveteen. A gentleman should know the difference" - the Hank Hill Show (USA).

Just got my hemp gi from Machiko yesterday. She has been a real pleasure to deal with, including email updates on my questions as well as very prompt service. I really didn't expect to see the gi this soon (roughly 2.5 weeks from when I mailed the check).

The fabric is a twill (she sent a swatch when I initially inquired), that is about the color of unbleached cotton gi's. It feels quite soft, even without washing. The weight is about that of a single weave judo gi and the pattern is taken from that design. The collar is well reinforced and the shoulders and chest have two layers of fabric. The jacket has a very nice fit to it.

I asked for extra length on the jacket (for hakama tucking) and to have the knee pads extend to bottom hem of the pants. Done at no extra charge. I don't have one pair of gi pants where the knee pad rests right on my knees when I'm doing suwariwaza, so having the knee pads go all the way down insures that won't be a problem. I have found this feature in some more expensive double weave judo gis and it's nice.

I also added a little extra size as I figured the gi would shrink. Machiko noted in the gi's "care and feeding" instructions that she pre-washes the fabric before sewing, so we'll see how much it changes.

Now the down side. I was injured in class last Saturday and until the x-rays confirm or deny a broken rib I can't take the gi out for a test drive :uch: . Drat. But I promise to check back in as soon as I get it on the mat and let you know how it moves.

I can say that I'm very happy with the service and the product so far and can highly recommend sending Machiko an inquiry if you're interested in saving the world, one hemp plant at a time ;) .

Cheers,
Jack :ai:

Janet Rosen
10-27-2004, 12:18 PM
Jack, thank you for the update! and here's hoping you "only" pulled muscles (do give them time to mend) and are back in your gi and on the mat "toot sweet"

Jack Simpson
10-28-2004, 09:03 AM
Merci Janet. X-rays came back negative and my wife won't let me leave the house with a gi, hemp or otherwise. I'm even passing on taking ukemi for the testing that's happening this weekend. Hopefully I'll be right as rain soon.

Cheers,
Jack :ai:

Janet Rosen
10-28-2004, 11:08 AM
Your wife is a wise woman (smile). But please DO post update on how it feels to train in the gi and how it holds up after laundering (I've trained w/ her daughter so know that a well-worn one continues to look and hold up beautifully, but your first-hand experience will be most welcome data!)

Jack Simpson
10-28-2004, 02:44 PM
Will do.

Jack :ai:

Jack Simpson
11-04-2004, 12:35 PM
A hemp gi report after washing and two classes:

As my lung hasn't collapsed from a broken rib, I decided that I've had long enough to "heal" and got back on the mat this week, with the new hemp gi. Lovely wife Lisa (LWL to her friends) laundered the gi in the traditional manner by beating it on stones in the mountain stream close to the house. Well, no. But she did wash it (I'm only allowed to do "whites", due to various laundry "incidents" :confused: ). The gi did shrink up some, but not as much as I thought and it will likely shrink up a little more as time goes on.

Class time. The gi is actually a little lighter than a single weave judo gi. The fit is great, but the feel is different that other karate or judo gi's I've had (cotton). It's hard to explain, but the fabric feels old (as in ancient). You get the feeling that you're tied into an earlier time. I don't want to get all spooky on you here, but it is an interesting feeling.

The gi is really quite warm for the apparent thin-ness of the fabric (again compared to a judo gi). This is likely due to the weave and may be a property of the hemp cloth. The gi drapes well, stays tucked in the hakama and the pants are heavy duty. My one complaint is that the knee pads need to be moved over a little and I may talk to Machiko about this or just try to fix it myself. Once the pads are on-line, the pants will easily become my favorites from their durable feel and fit. I also need to shorten them up a bit, but that's my bad on the initial measurement.

What this gi is not:

1) white. The fabric, as posted before, is the unbleached color (sand color) and I'm not going to hit it with bleach to change this.

2) thick. While the seams and connection bits are well done, this isn't a double weave judo gi. The shoulders and chest are double lined but there is not much "padding". It also remains to be seen how it will hold up to throws that use the gi, although I think it will be fine.

What this gi is:

1) loose. The jacket especially, has a very loose fit and feel to it, almost like a kimono and it drapes down the body as opposed to standing out like a heavy-weight gi would. This is something you may or may not like. It sort of gives me the feel of the old kung-fu television show. All I need is that wooden flute thing going on in the background. I should mention that it does stay closed well and hangs comfortably.

2) warm. Surprisingly so, as I mentioned earlier.

3) tough. From a fabric standpoint, I can see that it will take alot of abuse. As we do plenty of throws that use the gi, I'll find out in short order how the seams hold up, but the fabric itself isn't going to rip.

Final impressions: There is a Japanese word used often in Aikido circles that I'm fond of - "shugyo" . It means roughly, " the day to day struggle for enlightenment ". That's what the this gi is, the one to use for daily, hard training. It's not the pretty, snow-white gi that you have for special occasions. It's the gi to sweat in and abuse, and I think it will hold up well for that.

Cheers,
Jack :ai:

Janet Rosen
11-04-2004, 12:37 PM
Thank you, Jack.

Jack Simpson
11-04-2004, 01:41 PM
no worries, glad to help. - happy training.

Jack :ai:

Bill Danosky
01-11-2005, 02:10 PM
"Hemp gi - heavy sweating - wil that produce fumes that wil get everyone high ?

You're the one next to Holland. Check that out and get back with us. :hypno:

SMART2o
01-25-2005, 11:02 AM
>Hemp gi - heavy sweating - wil that produce fumes that wil get everyone high ? Could result in a very interesting training-session.....


I probably shouldn't be posting this, but I have actually gone to train at my dojo after inhaling cannibis smoke, and I must say, it really did help me to relax and to better utilize my ki. I don't recommend that any novice cannibis smokers follow in my footsteps, as it tends to cause confusion in new/experimental users and you will slow down class for everyone else.

Bryon Lichtenhan
01-25-2005, 12:24 PM
I'm new to the forum but I noticed this thread and felt I had something to offer. I have done a little research on the web for hemp gi's in the past and found a cotton/hemp blend karate style gi at www.nagamochi.ca. I don't know anything about it, but my personal experience with hemp clothing is that 100% hemp wears out quickly around seams. This may not hold true for the gi being discussed so far in this thread, but I am now wary of buying 100% hemp. What I would like to see is an organic cotton double weave judo type gi. If Machiko's gi holds together around the seams though I would certainly be interested

Jack Simpson
01-25-2005, 02:24 PM
Bryon,

I haven't seen any problem with the seams on the gi so far, but it's pretty new yet. So far, however, it's holding up really well to hard training.

Cheers,
Jack :ai:

P.S. a note to the previous poster: if one of my students showed up for class under the influence of anything, they would be shown the door. The danger you present to yourself and especially others, by this action in a martial training envrionment is inexcusable. Get off the mat!

SMART2o
01-25-2005, 02:46 PM
P.S. a note to the previous poster: if one of my students showed up for class under the influence of anything, they would be shown the door. The danger you present to yourself and especially others, by this action in a martial training envrionment is inexcusable. Get off the mat!


If I showed up to your class after smoking, you wouldn't even know. I go just about everywhere high, including my gym and my job, and have been since I was a young child.. It really isn't a danger at all.

Jack Simpson
01-25-2005, 03:17 PM
Mark,

How you go to work is your choice. Mine is who I allow on the mat, you wouldn't be welcome.

Jack :ai:

SMART2o
01-25-2005, 03:38 PM
Mark,

How you go to work is your choice. Mine is who I allow on the mat, you wouldn't be welcome.

Jack :ai:


That's fine with me. You are entitled to allow or disallow whoever you choose into your dojo. I never travel to Maryland anyways.

aikidoc
01-25-2005, 09:02 PM
>I probably shouldn't be posting this, but I have actually gone to train at my dojo after inhaling cannibis smoke, and I must say, it really did help me to relax and to better utilize my ki. I don't recommend that any novice cannibis smokers follow in my footsteps, as it tends to cause confusion in new/experimental users and you will slow down class for everyone else.

By your statement, you contend you are no novice. Being high on the mat is dangerous for yourself and others. It slows down reaction time and impairs judgment. Most chronic pot users think it does not affect them. I agree. You would not be allowed on my mat either. I have patients come in periodically who think I don't smell it on them or can't tell by their eyes. The physiological reactions are not something you can control. I can smell the smoke easily-heck I grew up in the 60s and 70s when almost everyone was getting high.

Do yourself and others a favor-stay home when you are high.

SMART2o
01-26-2005, 07:00 AM
Being high on the mat is dangerous for yourself and others. It slows down reaction time and impairs judgment..

That's debatable. What it does in small doses is dilate the bronchial tubes, dilate the blood vessels, and it is also an anti-convulsant. These effects really do help with becoming more aware of you and your partners' ki. There is a difference between getting wasted off of it and using it in a helpful amount. Another thing, I don't train in a manner that would injure anybody. There is no reason why anyone should be getting injured on the mat. Anytime I have seen someone get hurt, the fault was on them for coming in to train with an injury already.

wsburm
01-31-2005, 09:32 PM
does anyone on the list have any idea where she gets her fabric? i am curious about trying this out for myself. i just need to know what to order from my favorite fabric shop.

william

Janet Rosen
02-01-2005, 12:40 AM
does anyone on the list have any idea where she gets her fabric? i am curious about trying this out for myself. i just need to know what to order from my favorite fabric shop.
william
I have used two sources for hemp fabrics for weapons bags:
The first is http://www.hemptraders.com/index.shtml but I had some quality issues with their dyes (should not be a problem on the natural unbleached twill) and the second one is http://www.hempsupply.com/index.htm who also has nice organic cottons.
While what Machiko makes for sale is a twill, I've seen a gi she made her daughter made from a herringbone twill that looked just amazing. I suspect both companies sell it.

wsburm
02-01-2005, 04:50 PM
thanks janet. i have seen her ad online but i cannot quite make out the gi. is the gi top of all one type of material? or is there a different woven material up top and something lighter on the bottom? if it is all on piece of twill, wouldn't it be pretty warm like it was mentioned?

Janet Rosen
02-01-2005, 04:57 PM
is the gi top of all one type of material? or is there a different woven material up top and something lighter on the bottom?
IIRC, all of a lightweight but tough twill, but Jack who is wearing one is best suited (HAH!) to answer that.

Jack Simpson
02-03-2005, 01:28 PM
best suited..... :p

Yep, it's all one type of twill for both the gi top and bottoms, and yes, it's warm, but not too bad. Besides, I work out to sweat. Not sure if it's lightweight, medium weight, etc, as I'm not a fabric shopping kind of guy, but it's definitely twill. Have fun.

Jack :ai:

TigerJK
06-20-2006, 12:16 AM
If Hemp is so wonderful, why is it so expensive? Novelty? Rare? Hard to manufacture? I'm all for recyclling and saving the world and stuff, but damn...! :eek:

I would like to know why the price is so high. If anyone (Jack?) knows why the price difference, I'm curious to learn more. :confused:

Babylon :D

Timothy Tikker
06-23-2006, 12:03 PM
Hi,

I'm a newbie to this forum, and to Aikido (started lessons this week). I came across your forum via a web search re hemp gi.

I thought this might be of interest:

http://www.rawganique.com/Dept-Mens/hemp-yoga-karate-jacket-samui-e.htm

http://www.rawganique.com/PantsKarate.htm

Rawganique is an online store which (among other things) sells organic natural fiber goods. They specialize in certified organic hemp grown in Romania.

The above-linked items are the coat and trousers for a Karate-type gi. The trousers are available either in a 70% organic hemp/30% organic cotton blend, or 75% organic linen (flax)/25% organic cotton. Both are available in three colors, including of course a natural/ecru

The coat is about to become available again after having been out of stock for a time. The site says that they'll now take pre-orders for the new stock at the old price for an unspecified limited time.

I don't have these items myself (yet). But I've ordered other items from them and find this to be a good company. They're about the only outfit I've found that offers certified organically-grown hemp and flax linen (e.g. if you want real linen bedding).

Also, I found a hemp hakama listed on the Tozando website -- but it's for Kendo. So I asked what the difference was between that and an Aikido hakama, and got this response:

"The Koshiita Panel of the Aikido Hakama is softer than Kendo one.
Because when practicing Aikido, especially UKEMI, it is hard if the Koshiita panel is like kendo one ."

FWIW...

- Tim Tikker

PS: OK, enough of the cracks re getting intoxicated while wearing hemp clothes! Industrial hemp is essentially devoid of hallucinogens. Some argue it's even a different species than the Cannabis drug. Even if it's the same species but a different breed, just think of chihuahuas vs. St. Bernards...!

Janet Rosen
06-23-2006, 02:53 PM
timothy thank you for updated info on wonderful fabrics!

Timothy Tikker
06-23-2006, 08:43 PM
timothy thank you for updated info on wonderful fabrics!

You're quite welcome. Actually, I got a different garment from Rawganique in the mail today -- hemp/linen pajamas -- and look forward to trying them soon. They seem nicely made, though their XL is more what I'd call L -- better check their sizing charts before ordering.

"SF" - are you in San Francisco? That's my home town!

- Tim Tikker

Koren Ko
06-24-2006, 10:38 PM
err...i tot that "Hemp" is always a mistaken victim of the marijuana and very few people want to have something made of hemp on his body?

Well, is this hemp product comfy to wear of? :)

Timothy Tikker
06-27-2006, 08:56 AM
err...I thought that "Hemp" is always a mistaken victim of the marijuana and very few people want to have something made of hemp on their body?

Well, is this hemp product comfy to wear of? :)

Hemp is often very misunderstood, yes. Again, marijuana and hemp are the same species, Cannibas sativa, though there are many different breeds of industrial hemp, and they are so different that some argue they are a different species.

I have a lot of hemp clothing (and NO interest at all in marijuana, BTW!). It's a lot like flax linen. In fact, before hemp was banned, "linen" was made either from flax or hemp. I've come to love flax linen -- I'm wearing it as I write this -- because it's so cool and breathable, especially in warm weather. Hemp behaves similarly. I just got some hemp/flax pajamas and am finding them the most comfortable ever, in that I don't get too hot or cool in them in the summer.

Hemp is also the strongest natural fiber. I think that would be important especially for aikido dogis, with all the work we do on our knees.

I haven't had a chance to try hemp martial arts wear for myself yet, but with its advantages of breathability and longwear, I think it'd be an excellent choice.