Frequently Asked Questions
- What are those uniforms martial artists practice in?
The uniforms are called Keikogi, a Japanese word which means 'uniform for training.' This term describes the garment which is worn for traditional martial arts class, consisting of a jacket and pants (typically white). In English, the term keikogi is referred to simply as the 'Gi,' which would be wrong use of the word in Japanese, meaning 'clothes.' Different martial arts have different types of keikogis, often a reflection of the traditions or techniques associated with particular styles.
- Aikidogi : Aikido uniform
- Jujutsugi: Jujutsu uniform
- Kendogi: Kendo uniform, usually consisting of a Kimono and a Hakama
- Taekwondo uniforms are known as Dobok (Korean)
- Do I have to wear a uniform when I first start?
Not at all. We recommend wearing 'workout' attire (sweatpants and rugged t-shirt) for your introductory classes. On the off chance that you don't care for the program(s) you are in, or don't think martial arts is for you, you'll have saved yourself the expense of purchasing a uniform. Once you decide you'd like to study one of our arts, you should speak with your instructor regarding a uniform. Martial Arts of Tucson is happy to arrange for the purchase of a suitable, quality uniform through the dojo, or if you'd like to 'stay on your own,' simply ask your instructor for some advice on where and how to go about it.
- What can I expect to pay for a uniform?
Depending upon the martial art style you choose, you can expect to pay anywhere from $30 upward to $120 for a heavy-duty custom Keikogi with embroidery. The best bet is to go with something relatively inexpensive at first. Once you become more dedicated to the art, you may find that you'd prefer to upgrade your uniform to something nicer or more durable.
- Can I wear the same uniform for different arts?
Initially, yes. But if you decide to further your commitment into an additional art, it is appropriate to purchase a suitable uniform for that art as well.
- Can I wear the same belt for different arts?
If it is white, then yes, since a white built is a 'universal signal' martial arts designating 'no rank.' Wearing your colored belt into a new style of martial art will often by viewed by your instructor and other students as disrespectful, and perhaps even arrogant, because holding rank in one art is often almost meaningless in the new art, where movement, strategy and techniques may all be wildly different.
So, that being said, it's a good idea to keep you white white belt as you progress in your favored art – you never know, you may need it again someday as you step up to the challenge of tackling another martial art discipline!
- What is a Hakama and who wears them?
Hakama are a type of traditional Japanese clothing, covering the lower body and resembling very wide, pleated pants. Hakama were originally worn by Samurai, and had the function of protecting the legs and clothing of horsemen as they rode through the brush - very similar to 'chaps,' the trouses worn by trouser protectors worn by cowboys of the old west.
Today, Hakama are also regularly worn by practitioners of a variety of martial arts, notably, Aikido, Kendo or Kenjutsu. It is said that the flowing fabric of the hakama can disguise the movements of the warrior giving an advantage in combat, and the Hakama's Koshiita (the firm yet flexible backing) provides the student with increased awareness of body alignment since it presses upon the lower back when one maintains proper posture.