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Old 10-13-2003, 09:01 PM   #1
Dojo: Okinawa Yoshinkan
Location: Okinawa, Japan
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 19
Question Practicing in street clothes

I was wondering, Has anyone every trained in normal street clothes?

In our dojo, and I suspect in most if not all, we wear our dojo gi (with or without hakama.) New people wear gym clothes until they buy their gi. I have trained in sweats a few time but never in jeans and a t-shirt.

If anyone has were you able to execute movements fluidly? Were the clothes too restrictive? Was finding your center easy? Was foot work with shoes a problem or easier ( NO TOE CATCHING!) ?

I'm just curious as to how it may differ from normal dojo training.
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Old 10-13-2003, 09:40 PM   #2
Dojo: Aikikai Dobunkan/ Icho Ryu Aikijujutsu
Location: Indiana
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 247
I've never done aikido in street clothes, but one of my old karate teachers made us train in street clothes from time to time. Getting kicked in the pocket with your keys in it really really sucked.

Aside from that, I found I was far less flexible, and needed to tie my shoes tighter to keep them from flying off (or maybe if I should have worked in my aim...that could've turned into a coll technique)
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Old 10-13-2003, 09:41 PM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 40
I play around quite a bit in my regualr clothes. I don't know that I do any really strenuous training, per se, but maybe a dozen or so rolls on the grass, some touchy-feely-slappy with a friendly partner, so on. I don't find it particularly difficult (moreso than normal training) because of the clothing, but I do think it's different. For instance, I wear my pants rather large, and I have to pull the front up slightly to initially get my knees bent.

The biggest difficulty for me comes when I kneel down for a pin. The shoes pinch my toes, and get uncomfortable after awhile. However, for most of the sliding and walking, it's just fine.
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Old 10-13-2003, 10:07 PM   #4
PhilJ's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Bukou
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 240
Once in a while, I take a class out into the gravel-strewn parking lot and see how well we all do irimi in tennies.

I think it could provide potential insight into some actions, but I don't know if it does.


Phillip Johnson
Enso Aikido Dojo, Burnsville, MN
An Aikido Bukou Dojo
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Old 10-14-2003, 04:22 AM   #5
Dojo: Ren Shin Kan
Location: Birmingham
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 357
United Kingdom
I have done Aikido on a few ocassions in street clothes and agree its a "different feel"; less flexible and more restrictive.

However its useful as it shows you where your movement is too stiff. If Aikido is about natural movement then wearing clothes shouldn't matter.
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Old 10-14-2003, 05:05 AM   #6
PeterR's Avatar
Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,319
Philip Smith (philipsmith) wrote:
I have done Aikido on a few ocassions in street clothes and agree its a "different feel"; less flexible and more restrictive.
It's only because its different and therefore self conscious. I was quite proud of myself the first time I was given an impromtu lesson in street clothes in a field - everything came togeather nicely. Imagine the consternation the next time the environment was different and I fell apart. The first time the person who took me out knew what he was on about, the second time the senior person (me) did not. Once I understood the difference it becomes a valuable lesson and does not have to be repeated regularly.

We get real comfortable in our uniforms don't we?

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 10-14-2003, 05:22 AM   #7
Yann Golanski
Yann Golanski's Avatar
Dojo: York Shodokan Aikido
Location: York, United Kingdom.
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 406
United Kingdom
It's been said that Tomiki sensei sometimes used to train in three-piece suits. He would just come into the dojo and start training. O-sensei did the same as well. There are some nice pictures of him doing self defense in a dockyard. Lastly, there are some self-defense techniques illustration in one of Shioda sensei book all done in officeware.

I've trained at times in street cloths and found it did not really affect my training at all. Then again, I was wearing combats and a t-shirt at the time so they were comfortable and lose clothing. I've even trained outside and ukemi is fun on grass but not so fun on asphalt -- it burns.

Now, the _real_ question is do you pick cloths (and footware) to wear based on whether or not you can do Aikido in them?

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
yann@york-aikido.org York Shodokan Aikido
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Old 10-14-2003, 09:43 AM   #8
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
Maybe the gi and hakama are a bit stupid to train in if we are training for self-defence. Admittedly pockets could catch fingers and t-shirts get ripped and trousers could spilt. I'd prefer a standard uniform which is cool, hardwearing, not dangerous and similar to street clothes. One item, the shoes - provides a very different feel to aikido. Also I think it would be useful to train in restricted environments (bar simulations) and uneven ground (kerbs).

I've done some training outside in street clothes - very similar really except things get dirty & can get ripped.

Myabe the solution is just to hav a few outdoor sessions/bar sessions every so often. (there is enough to think about alrady!)


---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 10-14-2003, 10:25 PM   #9
Dojo: looking
Location: Okinawa
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 13
It's good to practice in shoes, especially tennis shoes, since they will grip and make you trip if you tend to drag your feet. It makes you pick them up. I started in Karate when I was 8, didn't stick with it, but always kept the frame of mind that I may need to move at anytime. So I tend to dress in relaxed clothing. I used BDU pants when I first started in Aikido, before I got a gi. They're tough enough (re-inforced knees) to survive knee walking, and light and loose enough to move in.

Chris Owen
Y'know Fellas, the most important thing is...
Breathe, breathe, breathe
-Sinichi Suzuki Sensei
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Old 10-15-2003, 02:37 AM   #10
Mathias's Avatar
Dojo: Meiseikai
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 31
No I have not tried training in regular street clothes. But the first time i trained outside was an eyeopener. It feels very different doing irimi and tenkan on uneven ground, First couple of tenkan in upphill was.... strange.

But after i while i got a hang of it. I had to adjust some and found that my movement got less fluid.

/ Mathias

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Old 10-15-2003, 12:13 PM   #11
Bronson's Avatar
Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,677
Ukemi with street clothes is really "fun" if you make sure to leave everything in your pockets. I normally carry my keys, wallet, money (paper & coin), a pocket knife, and a cell phone (on my belt). The keys dig in quite nicely, the wallet even though soft is really uncomfortable, and I broke the cell phone carrier and scratched the face up pretty well


"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 10-20-2003, 05:10 PM   #12
Upstanding Dragon
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 10
Aikido in street clothes

I would imagine Aikido in street clothes wouldn't be too difficult, compared to lets say Taekwondo in street clothes

Its definately very good idea to train like that, in various clothes, maybe carrying something, like a holdall, or shopping bags etc.

Thanks, best wishes


Live, Love, Learn and Enjoy Life!

Network of Martial Arts

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Old 10-20-2003, 09:22 PM   #13
Lan Powers
Dojo: Aikido of Midland, Midland TX
Location: Midland Tx
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 660
there is a old (1953 I think) clip of K.Ueshiba and Tohei Sensei on the Kazaa website.

They both were demonstrating self-defense in full suits and ties.


Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
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Old 10-21-2003, 09:29 AM   #14
Goye's Avatar
Dojo: Satori Dojo
Location: Bogotá - Colombia
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 109
Cool Street clothes!

Why don´t we start wearing our gi all the time??,...

I think every problem would be solved in that way,...

What do you think??

César Martínez
Satori Dojo
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Old 10-21-2003, 01:37 PM   #15
Bronson's Avatar
Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,677
Re: Street clothes!

César Martínez (Goye) wrote:
Why don´t we start wearing our gi all the time??,...

What do you think??
I think Ikeda Sensei is way ahead of you

Bujin Design


"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 10-30-2003, 04:48 PM   #16
p00kiethebear's Avatar
Dojo: Tonbo Dojo
Location: Bainbridge Island WA
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 374
I've never liked any kind of jeans or any pants that make it difficult to move, i always dress in loose clothing, not because i can do aikido in it, but because it's damn comfortable.

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
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Old 11-06-2003, 04:34 PM   #17
Location: Tempe, Arizona
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 37
I once had to lead class in dress clothes.
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Old 11-15-2003, 09:04 PM   #18
Usagi Yojimbo
Dojo: Shinkikan Aikikai Aikido of Corpus Christi
Location: Texas
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 27
I've practiced in street clothes, thing is though, because of my hairy legs, I have to wear shorts most of the time or my legs get to hot and sweat. I also wear loose t-shirts, and sandals which I remove before I practice. So they don't hamper me to much. I also like to wear my Gi pants on some occasions if I feel lazy, considering it is horrendously comfortable, and I want to get a Gi to wear for regular activities and such anyways. The times I do practice in jeans, it can be a lil confining, but I can adapt, and I never practice the complicated stuff, I also wear my combat boots at times, and those suckers never come off, so they don't impede my movement. Really used to wearing them. I wonder what it would be like practicing in my ROTC uniform....

My head hurts...
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