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Old 05-04-2002, 11:37 AM   #26
erikmenzel
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Dojo: Aikidojo Leiderdorp
Location: Leiden
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My first belt I washed. That was kind of a mistake as it shrunk, got wrinkly and turned ugly.

After that I never washed my belt again, but to dry it properly I hang it in the sun (in summertime) which keeps it cleaner (maybe germs hate sunlight??) and also bleaches it back to white again. (For those wondering, at our club we dont use any other belt than white, not for beginners, not for advanced and not for teachers).

Concerning other hygene topics raised here:
1) we clean the mats before every training (as part of our cleaning the dojo before every training).
2) we clean our feet before training (and use zori to reach the mat)
3) everyone is expected to train in a clean gi (and those who forget to do so, are told to do this in a friendly manner), consequently a lot of our club members have multiple gi (four of five is not unheard off)
4) most people take a shower afterwards.

To us these are just normal things, not strict rules.

Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
Personal:www.kuipers-menzel.com
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Old 05-05-2002, 08:42 AM   #27
Tim Griffiths
Dojo: Nes Ziona Aikikai
Location: Suzhou, China
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I grew up in one of them thar 'coloured belt' aikido clubs, that had the tradition of dying the belt after each grading, rather than buying a new one. This led to some interesting shades of green and blue.

I still use the same belt I started with, and wash it whenever I wash my hakama. A couple of years ago it got to be more of a ratty grey-purple belt, so I sewed up the ends and redyed it (Noted Ego Alert: Suddenly I looked like one of them newbie yudansha again - I'm sure my aikido got worse until I'd washed the belt again a few times).

In merry olde Englande I could go 2-3 classes without washing my gi. Here in sunny Israel you really have to wash your gi after each class.

Tim

If one makes a distinction between the dojo and the battlefield, or being in your bedroom or in public, then when the time comes there will be no opportunity to make amends. (Hagakure)
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Old 05-08-2002, 05:55 PM   #28
Tony Peters
Dojo: Mt Tantalus, Kaimuki Judo club
Location: Honolulu hawaii
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wash it

I live in a warm climate and I sweat I always hang my belt up to air out after class. Since I've switched to Judo I'm back to being a white belt and it gets real dirty (Judo people grab the belt and anything else) and at times bloody. Washing it is a weekly affair when I'm training. Hygene is very important in Judo.

Peace
Tony
Suck, Squeeze, Bang, Blow
That's what makes my Thumper go
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Old 05-15-2002, 06:40 PM   #29
Gopher Boy
Dojo: Takemusu Aiki Sydney City Dojo
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Hygeine is number 1 - I agree. Without much experience, I am of course eager to follow traditions (even silly ones) in an attempt to immerse myself in Aikido. However, cleanliness and hygeine will always come first.

I tend to sweat a bit too but have found a great deodorant (speedstick) and I always wear a t-shirt under my gi. This means that I can use it for a few training sessions (the gi - not the shirt!) and then wash it on the weekend. As for belts - being a beginner I don't much know but I have a good quality one and can't forsee me needing to wash it. This is for two reasons - one the t-shirt and two - I will hopefull be out of it before too long. (It is only white!). As for my pants - I wash them as often as possible!


Phill.
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Old 05-17-2002, 01:56 AM   #30
batemanb
 
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Smile

Here in Tokyo, I wash my belt once a week, mainly because the amount of sweating that I do in the temperature here. I do of course wash my gi after every training session, there is no way that it would be fit to wear otherwise

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 01-31-2003, 08:01 AM   #31
Kevin Masters
Dojo: Woodstock Aikido
Location: Mount Tremper, NY
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I was wondering what was up with this tradition. The idea of all those crawling bacteria swarming around my waist is kind of creepy.

"Are those midi-cloriates, master Qui-Gon, Sir?" Heh.

Does anybody know how ultra-violet light would affect germs? Maybe you could hang your belt in a black light to kill the bacteria but keep your nice "Ki-Power" stains.

As for me and MY obi, when it starts to smell I'm washing it.

Please forgive my revisiting this thread so late. I'm a Kyu-less newbie :-)
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Old 01-31-2003, 10:12 AM   #32
diesel
Dojo: Tenshin
Location: Higashihiroshima
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Quote:
Kevin Masters wrote:
Does anybody know how ultra-violet light would affect germs? Maybe you could hang your belt in a black light to kill the bacteria but keep your nice "Ki-Power" stains.
I doubt seriously UV light will kill off bacteria. Otherwise you could just leave it outside in the sun.

Eric
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Old 01-31-2003, 11:17 AM   #33
Edward
Location: Bangkok
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Well, to say that bangkok is the hottest city in the world is probably an understatement I do wash my gi after each training, but I have never washed my belt. I just leave it to dry. It doesn't smell like roses but it doesn't stink either. As for the bacteria, I don't think that a 21st century samurai should be scared be some invisible micro-organisms
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Old 01-31-2003, 12:22 PM   #34
MikeE
 
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I have a simple rule:

If the obi smells like peoples' feet...wash it.

Mike Ellefson
Midwest Center
For Movement &
Aikido Bukou
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Old 01-31-2003, 01:19 PM   #35
MattRice
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
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I don't wash the belt. I've heard it said not to, but who knows why.

When I was in karate, they said don't wash the belt.

Have you ever heard not to let your belt touch the floor though? In my karate dojo, our teacher directed (verbally and by example) that if your belt comes loose during kumite, get rid of it and continue to protect yourself. Once I did this in a tourney and one of the corner judges leapt at me screaming (eyes bulging, veins poppin' the works) "That belt doesn't touch the floor, son!!!" I sheepishly picked it back up and tied it on, quick.

So...what's the deal?
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Old 01-31-2003, 01:50 PM   #36
Kevin Masters
Dojo: Woodstock Aikido
Location: Mount Tremper, NY
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I think I remember something of that back in my teens when I studied Shito-Ryu. It's like the flag: don't let it touch the ground, display it at night only with a light on it...

So when you do ukemi doesn't your belt touch the floor? Or how about those knuckle push-ups we had to do? The tips of my belt surely were on the floor then. LOL

I read something to the effect of how pretty much everything in Japan was done close to the floor. If the floor was really such a bad place why would one be sleeping and eating from such a low altitude? :-)
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Old 01-31-2003, 05:32 PM   #37
Karen Wolek
Dojo: Kingston Aikido
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Yeah, Kevin.........please..............if your obi starts to stink, please wash it. I may be training with you sometime in the near future!

Karen
"Try not. Do...or do not. There is no try." - Master Yoda
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Old 01-31-2003, 06:21 PM   #38
Nacho_mx
Dojo: Federación Mexicana de Aikido
Location: Mexico City
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A good gi keeps the sweat inside, so the obi is never moist. However a chip karategi will be stinky after a couple of classes. I used to wash my white obi, I haven´t washed my black obi (it´s been two years)
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Old 02-02-2003, 09:42 AM   #39
norman telford
 
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in the ukau we use the colourd obi system and i have found washing each one when it is new removes the stiffness in them so they stay tied and dont stick out horizontaly but if there was an obi related stink it would get a washi nage for sure
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Old 02-03-2003, 03:49 PM   #40
Grasshopper
Dojo: Caulfield
Location: Australia
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Ooops?

Only time I've washed my belt (twice!) are when my mother slipped it into the washing machine when I wasn't looking which got me no end of teasing from the senior members in the dojo...

Personally, I can't see how belts can get so sweaty they require washing...! Unless you're training in a light gi, then all the sweat pretty much stays inside. Being female, I always wear a shirt under my gi, and I've also found that keeps the need to wash my gi down.

During summer schools, most people leave their gi to dry in the sun... Gives it a nice warm feeling without making it go all hard and crunchy like after washing.

On a similar note: Do people put softener in when washing heavy gi? I use 2-3 times as much as a normal wash for two small gi, and they still crunch... Any general tips on washing gi?

Yoroshiku!

"Respect your elders. Take care of your juniors."
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Old 02-03-2003, 04:01 PM   #41
akiy
 
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Quote:
Ignacio Jaramillo (Nacho_mx) wrote:
A good gi keeps the sweat inside, so the obi is never moist.
I usually wear a single or double weave judogi or a Bu Jin Design heavy dogi top and have had my belt pretty much soaked through quite frequently. Heck, I've had my koshiita on my hakama pretty much soaked through as well.

As far as fabric softener goes, it's discouraged as it causes fabrics to become softer at the expense of its losing absorbency.

-- Jun

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Old 02-03-2003, 05:38 PM   #42
Nacho_mx
Dojo: Federación Mexicana de Aikido
Location: Mexico City
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How hot and humid your dojo is? Here the temperature is almost always around 18-20 Celsius and the air is very dry (Mexico City is at high altitude). We don´t have air conditioning but the air circulation is good.

I use a Mitsuboshi, single weave and I wash it once a week (no whiteners or softeners).

Last edited by Nacho_mx : 02-03-2003 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 02-03-2003, 06:17 PM   #43
akiy
 
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Where I live, it's not very hot nor humid. It looks like the average temperature last month was 4.3 degrees celsius. The average temperature for last August was 21.6 degrees celsius, though.

We're not as high as Mexico City but we're up at around 1650 meters, I believe.

-- Jun

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Old 02-03-2003, 07:47 PM   #44
Dross
 
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Dojo: Goleta Cultural School
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I wear a double weave judogi. I wash it after every class. We use the colored belt system, so if I have to wash my belt due to StinkyFactor(TM) then I make sure to avoid washing it with my gi. We have a few newer students with yellow gis.
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Old 02-04-2003, 08:31 AM   #45
Kevin Masters
Dojo: Woodstock Aikido
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Confused fabric softener

I like having a crunchy Dogi.

It's similar to slipping into crisp bedsheets.



I didn't machine-dry my Gi this time and found it to be extra-crispy.

Mmmmmm... Extra-Crispy! Gaahhhh...
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Old 02-04-2003, 10:01 AM   #46
Fiona D
Location: Ottawa
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My gi is a fairly heavy-duty one, and gets very crispy if I allow it to dry naturally. Usually I iron it with maximum heat and maximum steam - that gets rid of quite a lot of the crispiness. Also it means I can restretch the fabric properly; I find it tends to shrink quite a bit, especially at the seams. Gi trousers that end halfway down the leg are not ideal....
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Old 02-04-2003, 11:00 AM   #47
rachmass
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
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off the subject a bit; I usually buy double weave judo gis, and I always use fabric softners (the sheet types) because I really hate a rough gi against my neck. I know this is supposed to break down the fabric, but I typically get at least five years out of a gi top (less on the pants, but thats because I wear down the knees).
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Old 02-04-2003, 12:13 PM   #48
Kevin Wilbanks
Location: Seattle/Southern Wisconsin
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I prefer the stiff canvas gi tops - that seem like they are made out of the same stuff that covers the mats. The stiffness of the fabric makes it stand out away from the skin when wet rather than sticking like a wet t-shirt. Plus, the fabric is ridiculously strong. Judo gi are simply too heavy and hot for my tastes.

BTW, has anyone ever seen stiff canvas gi tops available in that unbleaced, off-white color? I would really like to get ahold of some. I have only been able to find them in white.
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Old 02-04-2003, 03:38 PM   #49
William Boyd
Dojo: Aikido of Reno
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I have'nt log in for a while, but I found the time to look at the questions. I heard it was because of tradition. In the old days your belt went from white to black bacause of all the dirt that acualated on it over all the years of training.
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Old 02-04-2003, 03:45 PM   #50
Bronson
 
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Quote:
In the old days your belt went from white to black bacause of all the dirt that acualated on it over all the years of training.
One of the great things about the internet is that we get access to a much wider knowledge base. From what I've seen written here by people who have a much deeper understanding of martial arts history than myself, the white-to-black-belt-over-time-from-dirt theory really isn't true. The colored belt system isn't that old to begin with. I do however have one student who seems to be taking this path...the belt is now a nice pale grey

Bronson (who doesn't wash his belt because it's our dojo's traditon, and that's a good enough reason for me)

"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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