Fashionably Fit For Class

May  2017 - Click here to Download the full .PDF pdf icon2

Many sports have a special uniform that is worn by their participants. In the martial arts it is called a “gi” and consists of a karate top and karate pants, tied with a belt. The uniforms worn in the different styles of the martial arts each have their own traditions of “style” and color. In Goju a black uniform is worn, in Kung Fu a sash is worn with a looser fitting garment and in Tai Chi the exponents often wear shoes with a pajama-style “outfit”. Here at the karate school the uniform worn is a plain white jacket (sometimes a “logo” v-neck top) with karate pants (draw string or elastic waist) and a belt that indicates the student’s rank. Black Belts are permitted to wear uniforms with their own selection of approved color and style.

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((L) Sensei George Sfetas sparring with Mr. Mason (R) in 1980)

In order to train properly it is important to have the pant leg hemmed just above the ankle. This insures the student’s safety, so that they do not trip over their feet, and also gives a better overall look to the student’s appearance. In Japan students often wear karate pants hemmed to the mid-calf to keep them completely clear of the ankles for kicking.

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A clean, wrinkle-free uniform is considered essential by none other than Sensei George Sfetas, who was my teacher when I was at University. Mr. Sfetas was famous for ironing his own uniform, a heavyweight Tokaido, and also for turning students away from class if their uniform was unsuitable, wrinkled or dirty.
So be “fashionably fit” for class by planning ahead. A second uniform is always a good idea, (one for the wash and one ready for class). Also, always remember after class to hang up the uniform (rather than stuffing it in a bag for the next time).
Martial Arts came originally from the Military Arts, where a well turned out, clean, sharp and complete uniform is always considered essential. Looking good in every respect is all part of our Martial Arts form.

Shihan Robert H. Mason © May 2017