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Old 05-08-2003, 01:39 PM   #1
Michael Neal
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Adidas attempts to corner Aikido market?

This is a repost from someone at Aikido journal:

Quote:
I was recently told by a friend that the Adidas corporation is coming out with a line of aikido wear- hakamas, gi's, etc.- and they're attempting to corner the market by getting exclusive contracts with dojos and aikido federations. This was very disturbing news to me because they could put out of business the smaller companies like Bujin Design, owned and operated by Ginger and Hiroshi Ikeda Sensei (7th Dan, ASU). I know that the Ikedas and their staff have devoted much to building and maintaining Bujin as a company with integrity and quality. Although they could increase their profit margin by sending work overseas they choose to employ local workers including aikidoka.
My judo club pushes Adidas and their judogis have a stripe on the shoulders, I am wondering if their hakamas will have stripes down the sides, it would look kind of funny.
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Old 05-08-2003, 01:55 PM   #2
sean mcdonnell
Dojo: Bucks County Aikido
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If that's what adidas is really doing, I think that's complete BS. I would have thought they would have chose something a little more mainstream like karate. I mean why Aikido? I mean the last thing people need is a big corporation like Adidas taking over the small Ma and Pop Aikido manufacturers.

"Sad? What do I have to be sad about?" -Sephiroth
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Old 05-08-2003, 02:08 PM   #3
Dave Miller
 
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I can't imagine that there'd be enought of a market for Adidas to make hakimas. Karate gear I can understand but the Aikido market doesn't strike me as all that large.


DAVE

If you're working too hard, you're doing it wrong.
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Old 05-08-2003, 02:14 PM   #4
Michael Neal
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Aikido is probably as large as if not larger than judo, in the US at least
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Old 05-08-2003, 02:26 PM   #5
rachmass
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It is hard to imagine that Adidas can be enough of a force to drive out the mom and pop shops in this market. I would NEVER buy anything from a conglomerate when I could get something from someone involved in my art. Therefore, I support Iwata, BuJin, and the like. Would imagine that the vast majority of aikidoka out there feel similarly.
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Old 05-08-2003, 02:28 PM   #6
Dave Miller
 
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Quote:
Rachel Massey (rachmass) wrote:
I would NEVER buy anything from a conglomerate when I could get something from someone involved in my art...
I'm with you 1000%!

DAVE

If you're working too hard, you're doing it wrong.
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Old 05-08-2003, 02:47 PM   #7
gamma80
Dojo: Avon Kempo & Aikido Academy
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Adidas

If you ever shop at Walmart you're supporting the very same concept that Adidas is doing with martial arts wear. Big guys out market and eventually out sell the little guy. Little guys can't compete, little guy goes out of business. Happens every day in our own towns. Support Bujin, et el and wave to WalMart as you pass them buy to shop at your local mom and pop stores and markets!

Chris
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Old 05-08-2003, 02:50 PM   #8
rachmass
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Yeah, I don't shop at WalMart either. Still do almost all my grocery shopping at the local farmer's type market, and try to spend my money with local merchants, even if it is a bit more expensive; this is what keeps the local economy healthy. Same goes for the merchandising of martial arts equipment.
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Old 05-08-2003, 02:59 PM   #9
MikeE
 
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Adidas is sending me a gi to try to get my schools as an account. I currently use Hayashi and Neeron exclusively.

I'll let you know what it's like

Mike Ellefson
Midwest Center
For Movement &
Aikido Bukou
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Old 05-08-2003, 03:46 PM   #10
Joe Jutsu
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Appeal to aikidoka who make theses decisions

Please keep BS captitalistic globalizing corporations out of the dojo!!!

(Sorry to mix politics which are inherently impure with an Aikido forum that strives for the opposite).

Plus !
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Old 05-08-2003, 05:05 PM   #11
mj
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Keep things in perspective. That company has been providing MA supplies for decades.

Would you rather have Nestle or some chemical giant doing it?

Personally I only wear plain white gi, so stripes are out for me. I laugh at the attempt to 'brand' a gi with a corporate logo.

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Old 05-08-2003, 05:28 PM   #12
paw
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Since this was cross posted, interested folks may want to follow the discussion in the Aikido Journal Forum

Regards,

Paul

edited due to my poor spelling
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Old 05-08-2003, 10:51 PM   #13
Mr. P
 
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In France, I'm pretty sure I've seen some Adidas hakimas in store...

Actually, if you can't convince someone not to buy Adidas ones, you may just tell that they aren't nice to see . I've seen much people wearing Adidas gis : they look like generals or something !! Just medals missing ...

Mr. P

Never pay attention to someone using smileys...
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Old 05-08-2003, 11:08 PM   #14
PeterR
 
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Re: Appeal to aikidoka who make theses decisions

Quote:
Joe Prophet (Joe Jutsu) wrote:
Please keep BS captitalistic globalizing corporations out of the dojo!!!
You mean like the Aikikai
Quote:
(Sorry to mix politics which are inherently impure with an Aikido forum that strives for the opposite).


In any case - what's the big deal. Adidas hasn't managed to corner the market in any other area where it makes sports apparel. I buy local and pay a little more because I'ld rather support smaller companies and am usually more happy with the product but if someone would rather go with a big name brand - their choice.

Last edited by PeterR : 05-08-2003 at 11:12 PM.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-09-2003, 12:40 AM   #15
acot
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I would have to agree with Peter. It a personal choice where or what to buy. I would have judge by the quility of the product. Also I support my dojo. If they are selling Adidas because its helping their bottom line, well I don't have a problem with it.

Ryan
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Old 05-09-2003, 01:20 AM   #16
Kelly Allen
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Who cares what brand Gi or Hakama a dojo endorses so long as the dojo doesn't have a policy that their students MUST wear that brand. I have already been down the road of you have to wear our expensive gi or you can't train here. Needless to say I don't train there any more.
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Old 05-09-2003, 01:34 AM   #17
cindy perkins
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Where you buy anything is a personal choice, but it is also a moral choice. I don't think a dojo should be telling anyone what gi they HAVE to buy, but I think a dojo should keep in mind who they're helping before they join in a promotional deal with a giant company.

If Adidas can price a gi so low that the dojo keeps a good cut and the retail is still reasonable, they're doing it one of three ways: a) They make a really lousy cheap gi, which given their usual quality, I doubt; b) They're using really cheap sweatshop labor, which they can afford to do because the shipping costs are insignificant when they're shipping by the container-ship load; c) They're taking very low or no profit during this promotional period, with the intent of driving the small competitor under. Given the observed behavior of multinational corporations, I would suspect both b & c.

Therefore, O dojo leader, for the sake of the aikidoka making gis for aikidoka, do a carwash or something rather than making a deal with any corporation...
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Old 05-09-2003, 02:43 AM   #18
Edward
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I have actually seen adidas aikido gi but never a hakama. They are plain white, no stripes, judogi kind of material, and they feature the "approved by the aikikai" logo.

However, at least from the ones I have seen, I thought the quality and the fit were quite poor.

As far as I am concerned I will stick to my fine artisanal quality Tozandos'.
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Old 05-09-2003, 04:01 AM   #19
Duarh
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The way I see it, the issue is pretty much the same as in any large producer vs. small producer debate. There are two questions - those of quality and price. If Adidas can possibly provide competitive quality at a competitive price, i see no reason why not to support adidas and, by extension, efficient production. If it can't - or if i want exclusive 'luxus' items - i can buy from anyone else I wish.

IMO, supporting a producer just because he's in the art is BS. Railing against a large producer just because its large is also BS. I don't buy half-rotten potatoes in the Riga market just because they're produced locally. I buy good & tasty Polish potatoes at the supermarket instead. The question is, can Adida or any other large company do work of higher quality than the individual producers? It may very well be that the answer is 'no' - but the answer isn't 'no' by default. Make educated choices.

*grin* Rant of the day completed.
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Old 05-09-2003, 04:18 AM   #20
Duarh
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Ah, also, I agree on the point that dojos shouldn't make agreements with corporations - unless those agreemnts include some very substantial benefits for the dojo. You can still buy from a producer without having an agreement with it - therefore, don't enter into a relationship that is absolutely unnecessary. Leave yourself and everybody choice.

Regarding sweatshops and whatnot else - you're not going to stop it. You're not going to affect it. You don't know whether any particular company is doing it. There are other ways to keep costs low besides using sweatshops. There is, actually, such a thing as an economy of scale. Fixed costs make it much more expensive for a small producer to produce than for a large producer.

Fighting sweatshops is the worst kind of charity. The people who work in sweatshops need their jobs. They're not going to be paid anything more than they earn because they're living in THEIR country, under THEIR circumstances. They're not US citizens with a certain average salary. You can't force corporations to pay them more - that would be anti-developmental and would actually harm the interests of the poor people living in the sweatshops. The countries those shops are located in have huge masses of labour. Therefore, it's cheap. There's nothing wrong with that. Those people are happy to work even at the low wages they get - they don't get ANYTHING elsewhere. It's a choice between five dollars a month and nothing a month - and that's one hell of a difference.

Depraving conditions in sweatshops is another question already. This problem has to be fought. Please understand, however, that you can't solve the problem by reducing a producer's profit. Quite to the opposite - falling profits will lead to cut costs, more production moving abroad and more sweatshops being set up. . .

Regarding the push-them-under argument - it's not very effective, really. Once the large producer's raised prices again, there's nothing to prevent the small shops from springing up again. The cost of starting a business is notable, but it's not a serious detriment in something as simple as small-scale gi production. It's much more of an issue in large-scale industry and agriculture.
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Old 05-09-2003, 08:15 AM   #21
shadow
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just on a note, i have recently made hemp dogi's. so far only three have been produced, one for me, one for my sensei and one for another woman in my class.

i am geting some more made for people in my class as they turned out really really well. strong! they get soft (after you have worn them for a while) and they tend not to hold the bad smell after training like cotton judo gi's do (plus they are environmentally friendly).

some time in the future i will try to expand if any of you out there are interested.

happiness. harmony. compassion.
--damien--
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Old 05-09-2003, 04:57 PM   #22
deepsoup
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Quote:
Damien Bohler (shadow) wrote:
just on a note, i have recently made hemp dogi's. so far only three have been produced, one for me, one for my sensei and one for another woman in my class.

i am geting some more made for people in my class as they turned out really really well. strong! they get soft (after you have worn them for a while) and they tend not to hold the bad smell after training like cotton judo gi's do (plus they are environmentally friendly).

some time in the future i will try to expand if any of you out there are interested.
That sounds wonderful. Hemp, is there nothing it can't do?

Sean
x

ps: On the subject of big corporations taking over the world, I'm not going to get into a political discussion, but I would recommend a read of "No Logo" by Naomi Klein.

Last edited by deepsoup : 05-09-2003 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 05-09-2003, 06:11 PM   #23
Thalib
 
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I've seen a couple of Adidas products for Aikido. Few fellow Aikidokas bought them while on their trip to Singapore.

First of all the Aikido-Gi that a couple of my juniors bought actually looks similar to the Judo-Gi that I bought from Jols (a martial arts store in Melbourne, Australia) 5 years ago (still have it 'til now - it's turning into strings though). Actually not just similar, it's exactly the same pattern, only one is branded Adidas and the other is branded Jols.

The hakama however, I suspect the Adidas hakama is a syndication type deal. A non-Adidas supplier that specializes in hakama actually makes the hakama and sells them to Adidas while they also sell to other stores. I don't believe Adidas actually makes the hakama.

The difference is only in the price. As soon as Adidas slapped their brand on them, the price soared almost twice.

Don't get me wrong, I like Adidas products. Back in my TKD days, even until now, I do believe that their TKD gear is the best. I like their casual wear and shoes. But... their pretty damn expensive.

I could get TKD gears that closely resembles Adidas in pattern and quality with less than half the price. Why Adidas then? Truthfully it's only for the brand. When you live here in Indonesia, one really starts getting resourceful.

As for their Aikido gears? I wouldn't buy them from Adidas. I get cheaper hakamas shipped from Japan. The hakama that my friends bought in Singapore costs about the same as the hakama that I had shipped from Japan (Adidas Hakama from Singapore => Hakama from Japan + Shipping Cost).

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--------
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Old 05-09-2003, 06:58 PM   #24
Joe Jutsu
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Damien-

That's awesome that you made a dogi out of hemp, I've been thinking for some time that there would be a market for them, and that hemp would be the perfect material to make a dogi. I have a pair of hemp pajama pants and they look and feel alot like my dogi pants. If you make more, let us know because I would definitely be interested.

Joe
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Old 05-09-2003, 07:19 PM   #25
JW
 
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Quote:
Damien Bohler (shadow) wrote:
just on a note, i have recently made hemp dogi's.

some time in the future i will try to expand if any of you out there are interested.
Oh yes yes please expand if you can! We are interested.

--JW
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