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Old 11-29-2002, 09:44 PM   #1
Dean H.
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 45
No Gi?

Does anyone practice without a Gi, either regularly or just occasionally?
Have Gi's always been a standard item involved in Aikido training?
Does anyone believe there will come a time anywhere that Gi's are not used in Aikido?
Thank you very much!
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Old 11-29-2002, 11:01 PM   #2
Jeff Tibbetts
Dojo: Cedar River Aikikai
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 142
I think most of us trained a few times when we first started, I know I did. What I quickly noticed was that I would think about the clothing once in a while, not the technique. I think this is what the gi is good for, it's not as though you're learning to train in a gi only, but you don't have to worry about your shirt or pants or whatever, they're made for what you're doing. I think it would be a good idea to train in plain clothes once in a while to get a feel for what it's like, but I don't think it's neccessary. For one thing, I don't think many of the techniques are that physically akward at all, so if you use your plain clothes most of the time then you can be reasonably assured that they would be fine for Aikido. And really, if you ever did have to use your Aikido on the street or whatever, I certainly hope your clothes would be the last thing on your mind (unless it's your wedding tuxedo or something, and even then I think you'd better be worried about other things). I can't possibly imagine that one day they wouldn't be used, for much the same reasons that most of us speak Japanese in the dojo and bow and everything else. Sorry if I didn't answer your questions, just my opinion.
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Old 11-30-2002, 02:09 PM   #3
Dojo: Aikido of Norwalk
Location: CT
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 205
Beginners where I train aren't required to buy gi until the end of the beginners' class (approx. 10 weeks) if they know they want to continue on. However, most buy them after the second or third week. I think it's a good policy.
Jeff Tibbetts wrote:
I think it would be a good idea to train in plain clothes once in a while to get a feel for what it's like, but I don't think it's neccessary. For one thing, I don't think many of the techniques are that physically akward at all, so if you use your plain clothes most of the time then you can be reasonably assured that they would be fine for Aikido.
Wearing gi vs. wearing, let's say, a tee-shirt and jeans doesn't make much of a difference. However, I think people would find it very interesting to try to do techniques sans uke in shoes, especially on concrete. It really does have a completely different feel.

Sarah, who finds that sliding your feet and keeping contact between them and the ground is fine on the mat, but if you get outside in sneakers, you have to pick up your foot slightly to pivot, etc.

Out of clutter, find simplicity.
From discord, find harmony.
In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.
-Albert Einstein
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Old 11-30-2002, 07:45 PM   #4
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 97
I think one of the problems of training in t-shirts and shorts is that it leaves your elbows and knees exposed. Because of all the falling and knee walking we do, these types of clothing are not the most appropriate for training.
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Old 11-30-2002, 10:10 PM   #5
Location: Bangkok
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 803
I personally am against training in casual clothing. Beginners should be allowed to watch as many classes as they want before they make up their mind. But once they decide they want to do aikido, they should buy a gi and wear it for the first training.

As for why? Please do not ask me because I don't know It's just my personal preference. I have always felt uneasy at dojos where some guys are wearing gi trousers and a sleeveless T-shirt. It just looks bad.
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Old 12-01-2002, 12:54 PM   #6
Bronson's Avatar
Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,677
We don't require people to wear a gi until they test...which also isn't required. But like Arianah said, most people get one before that. It makes me think of something I've heard coaches say "If you you want to feel like a team, look like a team." Some of the people in class have remarked how their training felt somehow different after getting a gi. It was like they had this little ritual of going to the dojo and putting on the special uniform that helped to bring them into the right frame of mind.

Just some thoughts...


"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 12-01-2002, 11:29 PM   #7
Josh Mason
Dojo: Ronin Bushido Aikido Club, Winchester Ky
Location: Paris, KY
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 31
It felt awkward for me my first class because i was just wearing my regular clothes and everyone else had a Gi on. I felt like the odd man out. It is comfortable for me to wear my street clothes to practice in, but wearing a Gi makes me have a sense of belonging, like the guy said above.

Those who are skilled at combat do not become angered or afraid. Thus, the wise win before the fight, while the ignorant fight to win.
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Old 12-02-2002, 05:23 AM   #8
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
Location: Barnegaat, NJ
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 893
A couple of times I had the "senior moment" and either left my gi unpacked or entirely forgot my bag, and it really didn't make much of a difference in practice.

We used to regularly have plain clothes days when I trained in karate, and it wouldn't be such a bad thing to have at least two plain clothes days a month in your dojo. It tends to make the practice more down to earth, and connect each person to the reality of putting that pracitice into your daily life.

We also commonly have practice in the parking lot when the center is taken over with art shows, flea markets, and the like. We don't do throws that require ground work, but then the other side of aiki-ken and aiki-jo on real outside ground situations does enlighten you to working on other surfaces beside the dojo mats, or dojo floor.

The practicality of wearing practical clothing is, of course, another factor to be considered when working out either in the dojo or outside.
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