Your UniformJune 2009
The gi is the name of the uniform traditionally worn by those engaged in Karate. Even more than a uniform, it is an instructional aid. By wearing a gi, beginners immediately start to think of themselves as Karatekas (karate practitioner). Such a psychological framework allows one to move in a less inhibited manner. Freed of inhibitions, one can devote more attention and energy to learning Karate skills. The adverse effect of inhibitions upon skillful and graceful movement is seen in all athletic endeavors from dancing to boxing, but is particularly apparent in Karate where the movement forms are foreign to most people.
When the gi is worn during class no other articles are necessary. Shoes, rings and all jewelry are forbidden for safety purposes. The karate gi comes in several sizes. It is loose fitting to allow unrestricted restricted movement. Your instructor will help fit you with the proper size gi.
Karate is a body-contact sport. It is unpleasant to workout with someone in a dirty gi. Your gi must be washed after each karate training (except the belt which should never be washed). Most gi can be washed in hot water. Never use bleach and never wash the belt. Fingernails and toenails should be kept short and clean to avoid hurting others.
The color of the belt represents the level of proficiency one has attained in Karate. There are variations in the belt color assigned for each rank, and the requirements also vary with each system. In our style, Shotokan, there are eight "Kyu" belts-White, Yellow, Blue, Purple I, Purple II, Brown I, Brown II, Brown III and eight "Dan" belts-Black first through eight degree. As a Karateka progresses, each succeeding degree becomes more difficult to achieve and takes longer to acquire.
Criteria for promotion includes attendance and participation in class, exhibition of stances and techniques (and knowledge of their Japanese names), demonstration of one or more kata, and free-style sparring. Not all of these criteria are included in every examination. In addition to meeting the physical and intellectual standards, one must display to the satisfaction of his teacher such attitudes as gentleness, humility and responsibility.
If you are late getting out of the changing room and class has started, you must do twenty pushups before joining the class. After the pushups join the warm-up exercises at the far right end (closest to the changing rooms); this will avoid further interruptions in the class. At an appropriate break Sensei will instruct you to enter the lineup in your normal position (by rank). If class has started when you arrive at the Dojo wait for Sensei to tell you to go and change and join the class.Back