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Old 12-13-2013, 07:53 AM   #9
Keith Larman
Dojo: AIA, Los Angeles, CA
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,604
Re: Belts sticking out

Had some kids come for a while once. Brother and sister, mid-teens. Both came from a striking art that apparently had a lot of programs that generated patches and what-not. Generally most stuff like this just makes me smile because while I don't have any use for it, well, whatever floats your boat. And I'm sure the parents were proud of their "integrity" patch or whatever (although I'm not sure how they test or qualify for that -- maybe they did a good deed). Anywho... The one thing that I just couldn't quite get over was the fact that each kid's gi had their name on the back -- large lettering. But not just that. It was "John Smith - Black Belt". I wanted to ask them if it was so they didn't mix up their gi (brother and sister) and whether the "black belt" part was in case they forgot which belt to wear... The kids looked like Nascar drivers...

Now, all that said, we walk around in freaking riding pants. Or are they better described as Cullottes (sp?)? I tell the kids I teach that they're magic pants of power.

So all that said... It's tradition. We let students wear the hakama at 2nd kyu. I've seen a few folk over the years let their belt hang out a bit more once they pass shodan. For a little while. Doesn't really bug me and I honestly don't remember if I did that as well. I've also noticed a few 2nd and 1st kyu work really hard to wrap the hakama straps around the brown belt as much as humanly possible hiding it away. But whatever. It's all kinda silly on one level or another. And frankly if they stay long enough usually all this stuff just becomes what you wear when you train.

A few years back I horrified a kids class by suddenly pulling off my hakama. They were getting footwork wrong and I wanted them to watch how I was moving. The kids giggled and screamed accordingly. And yes, I was wearing pants underneath. So it's kinda funny to me that they thought it was funny that I was teaching partially undressed even though in the end I was wearing exactly what they were wearing... I had one of the older kids who arrived early for the next class tell me she hardly recognized me wearing "normal" stuff.

And now I have no idea where I'm going with my post... Mostly I'm just relaying what the voices in my head are saying. Nice to have them back -- excellent.... Sorry, carry on...

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