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Old 08-29-2013, 11:06 AM   #142
Peter Boylan
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 291
Re: Is is it still Aikido if you take away the Japanese clothes, etiquette and other things?

Christian Mikkelson wrote: View Post
Yes, I also know HNIR people who also like samue. When he does demonstrations, however, the soke wears traditional Japanese clothes, not uwagi. The same is true of many other koryu. This is contrasted with kendo, where demonstrations will be performed in uwagi. My point is that uwagi is not "traditional training clothes," otherwise it would be worn by koryu for demonstrations. So if it is not traditional, where is it from? It comes from Kano, who started a trend away from wearing regular clothes to wearing specialized training clothes. The karate and aikido people are not wearing judogi, they are wearing keikogi. The karate ones and the aikido ones are different from the judo ones, and all of those are different from the kendo, jukendo, naginatado, etc ones. But they are all keikogi, and all have their roots in Kano's design.
I'm a little confused. Uwagi are just the top garment, your shirt or jacket. It's a more general term than keikogi. The standard blue keikogi is what most of the koryu people I train with demonstrate in. At the Budosai in Kyoto every May all the koryu weapons demonstrators are in keikogi, most indigo, a few in white or undyed. The fancy clothes come out for the iai demonstrations after the koryu weapons demonstrations are finished. The blue keikogi goes back to some point at least in the Edo period when indigo was a common color for workers and cloths that would get dirty (training gear). Historically, the Aikido people who don't wear hakama wear judogi. The things being sold as "aikidogi" are very new. I could go back though my collection of Meirin Sangyo catalogs and tell you exactly when they started selling them, but it was less than 10 years ago. And most aikido people just buy judogi. Calling it an aikidogi is 98% marketing. They change a couple of seams so they have something to sell.

Peter Boylan
Mugendo Budogu LLC
Budo Books, Videos, Equipment from Japan
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