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is there a requirement to wear Gi and Hakama?

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  • is there a requirement to wear Gi and Hakama?

    I've only been to one practice so far and my gi and Hakama have already arrived in mail, and i was wondering if i can just start wearing it to practice... is there some kind of basic requirement required? The practice is in eight hours, i'd be really happy if someone can reply before then.... thanks!

  • #2
    The best policy is to ask your instructor. I prefer to have a beginner practice in gym clothing (sweats, etc.) because a hakama makes it too difficult to see the student's feet.

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    • #3
      ^ oh, i see... yeah that makes sense. I guess i'll just go in gym cloth today and ask my sensei before wearing it to the dojo. Thank You!

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      • #4
        Most people say we wait to make teaching footwork easier, and I'm sure that's the big part of it, but anectdotally my opinion is that there is another good reason to wait as a beginner: it is a nice sense of accomplishment -- a nice benchmark in your development -- to feel like you have improved enough to wear the wears. (It also helps people know how beginner you are; i.e., how much to expect for warm up, line up, etc.).

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        • #5
          Always ask first. Don't acquire anything - shinai, clothing, bogu, etc. - without sensei's advice and consent.

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          • #6
            Aside from the idea of not wearing gi and hakama so its easier to observe footwork it also helps cut down on your startup costs. Better to use gym clothes and make sure you enjoy what you are doing enough to lay out another hundred bucks.

            Not to mention that once you put that stuff on you will be a lot warmer!

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            • #7
              Best is to wait for your sensei to tell you to get gear. Some dojo's order gear a few times a year so they get discounts and that way it can add up.

              The other important reasons have already been mentioned.

              What kind of gi and hakama did you get?

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              • #8
                We have people that have been with our dojo for more than a year and are still not kendogi. (mostly because they skip weeks at a time of practice), but point being second practice is probably way to soon.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jjcruiser View Post
                  Most people say we wait to make teaching footwork easier, and I'm sure that's the big part of it, but anectdotally my opinion is that there is another good reason to wait as a beginner: it is a nice sense of accomplishment -- a nice benchmark in your development -- to feel like you have improved enough to wear the wears. (It also helps people know how beginner you are; i.e., how much to expect for warm up, line up, etc.).
                  Visible signs of rank...

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bob View Post
                    We have people that have been with our dojo for more than a year and are still not kendogi. (mostly because they skip weeks at a time of practice), but point being second practice is probably way to soon.
                    same as my dojo, plenty of people practice for rather long time but they dont use kendogi, they only stay in the beginners area of training

                    in my dojo it's all up for the person to go ahead and buy the kendogi when they feel like, people who don't have it just seens to get stuck in the beginners training area forever, the sensei will never tell a person who doesn't have the kendogi to wear a bogu.

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                    • #11
                      I think after my first day of kendo, our club admin had ordered keikogi for all of us. Wasn't much sense of accomplishment at all the first time I put it on, just mild annoyance at turning blue.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by b8amack View Post
                        Visible signs of rank...
                        Your sensei may also have certain requirements regarding your do-gi.
                        At my dojo, as well as some others here in Southern California, all mudansha (1st kyu and below) wear white keigo-gi, only yudansha (1st dan +) wear the blue keigo-gi.

                        When I started kendo, my dojo had me wear kendo-gi and hakama after being in one or two classes and officially joining the dojo. That was in Japan, where a sense of being a part of 'the group,' (ie. wearing a uniform) is very important. I also had a separate uniform for school, and yet another uniform (company shirt & jacket actually) for my job.

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                        • #13
                          Some people also apparently use coloured men himo to indicate kyu-ranks. Maybe in the future some places will "grant" you the right to match your shinai tsuru to them or something. It's all nonsense, though.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by b8amack View Post
                            Visible signs of rank...
                            Fair point. But it can still be useful.

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                            • #15
                              I see the point about being able to see the feet. And of course the budgetary reasons. But that's not the same as telling a guy who has hakama and keikogi that he's not allowed to wear them, yet.

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