When individuals are required to wear the same uniform as others ( or “gi” as it is known in karate), it makes the person become part of a group. In the martial arts, the unity of students is important to training. We learn to support one another and become part of an entity, or group, that is more powerful together than we are apart.
When a student puts on their uniform, or gi, he or she knows there is a purpose for wearing it. Children will understand that wearing their gi only while training means that for a certain period of time they will be participating in a group martial arts class. For older students and adults, it means the same thing. When we put our pajamas on, it’s time for bed. When we wear a bathing suit, it is time to swim. We wouldn’t wear either of those unless there was a purpose. Our gi reminds us of our purpose.
When we wear the same thing as everyone else, we are perceived as equal. It enables us to let go of preconceived notions of another based on their appearance. Whether you shop at Nordstrom’s or Target doesn’t matter in the martial arts. Our mind has to be clear and clean in order to learn. We must let go of judgement and critique and focus solely on our class.
Differences in martial arts uniforms
The colors, features like patches and embellishments, and style are different for the traditions of each martial art. Maybe we’ll cover that in a future post, but the type and color of the uniform should not determine the style you choose! Here is a better way to make a choice: How to choose a martial arts school