Warning: Angry rant below....

I need to vent. Our school has had a "dress code" forever which is T-shirts (instead of gi tops) are allowed on saturdays(all year) and every day during the summer months only (June thru September). And they have to be karate-related t-shirts. The rest of the year, full gi is what you wear. I don't think thats unreasonable. But lately at the dojo, I've been noticing some students wearing t-shirts instead of their gi top. So I asked one of the instructors what was going on. Apparently, there are some students who complained that they wanted to wear t-shirts all year. They didn't think it was "fair" that they could not. They even went so far as to threaten to leave the dojo if they couldn't be accommodated. So the policy was changed. Now, certain "winter" t-shirts are allowed all year.
You will NOT see me or my son wearing a freakin t-shirt during the winter months . I would love to know who the whiney babies are that caused this to be an issue. Why?? Is the gi top too hot? Too cumbersome? Too uniform-y? well suck it up! its Karate, for crying out loud! The gi is part of the whole experience. It just blows my mind that people have the you-know-whats to complain about these things. I couldn't imagine owning a business like this. Maybe I wouldn't have many students. I don't think I could stand all the whiney babycriers. "What? you don't want to wear your gi top? Then GO HOME!" There's no whining in karate. If you want to join a dojo, then follow their rules! don't try to change them for your own selfish reasons! Grow up!
Ok, stepping down off my soapbox now. Thanks for listening.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!


Becky said...

Boy, am I with you on this one. This is karate, wear a gi or go train in something more suited to your whininess, like ballet.

No one in the adult class is allowed to wear t-shirts, even during the summer months. Exceptions are made on a temporary basis--like if you needed to order a new gi and it hasn't arrived yet. Other than that uniform is full gi only.

Some of the kids do wear t-shirts, and sensei allows it. I wouldn't. But sensei is afraid of losing their money, so he lets them get away with it.

somaserious said...

Hmm, manipulate much? How rude is that? Karate in a dojo is performed with a gi, period. I the school were not a traditional one I could see, maybe, the reasoning. In my dojo we are allowed to wear T-shirts in summer only if the weather is ridiculously hot. However, the upper belts (brown and above) must ALWAYS wear a gi top, no questions. That's just the way it is. Yes, suck it up or go away. A dojo is no place for people like that. Obviously they just don't get it...

Merry merry!!

John Vesia said...

A lot of schools go with the t-shirt thing during the summer. Usually you have to buy one that has a logo of the school on it. I think that's fine until September. But I don't agree with wearing them every Saturday all year long.

Personally I feel strange training in karate without my gi.

Windsornot said...

My TKD school has (or had, since the rules at your school changed) as yours. The gi is on during the winter months, and in the summer, then only the ATA shirts or some TKD shirts are allowed. No exceptions. T-shirts are allowed on weekends and Thursdays and Fridays, and you MUST wear your full gi for testings and competition, and even then, it must be regulation, which is that it has to be a plain white T underneath, if you are to wear one. Guys are not supposed to wear T's underneath at all, and women are allowed (some of us fill out the front a little more, like myself, and need a little extra something underneath). It seems a pretty fair policy in my opinion, how it was at your school and still is at mine. I think those who threatened to go elsewhere over t-shirts should have been let go. As it's been said, you do lose some integrity when you don't wear the full gi at some point, or at least show your affiliation with the school (hence why we have to wear school or ATA shirts if any). If they want to wear their Linkin Park or other shirts to the dojo, then they can go elsewhere, as it seems like it'd be an insult to the school not to show your "allegiance", for lack of a better word.

Perpetual Beginner said...

We're allowed T-shirts (any kind allowed, but expect to be ribbed if it has any logo other than karate related), from the last day of school to the first (usually June - mid-August). Sensei wears a gi at all classes, and I expect that our other black belt will as well (he hasn't been here for summer classes yet).

I'm in general agreement with the sentiment - for the students to complain about a standard uniform for any reason other than direct phyiscal problems with it, seems ludicrous to me.

On the other hand - I find myself a little incredulous at the requirement for a school t-shirt. I show my loyalty to my school with my regular appearence at classes, and with working as hard as I can at being a good karateka, and with paying my dues regularly, on-time and with no complaint. I may buy a t-shirt on my own, but with a policy of "gi or school t-shirt only", I think I would simply wear a gi year-round rather than be forced into buying a t-shirt.

Steve said...

I am with you 100%.

We train both gi and no gi. Regardless of the time of year, the temperature or anything else, if we're training gi, we have to wear a gi. No-gi classes are nice in the Summer, though. Standard uniform is board shorts and usually a rash guard. Everything else is optional.

Bottom line, if you want to stay cool in the Summer, don't take up martial arts. Try surfing instead.

Amanda said...

Hmmm. I will be the voice of "a gi/dobok/whatever is not necessary to train in."

First, I agree that the whining about the dress code is dumb. Totally, totally rude.

Having said that, during regular class, most of us wear our doboks (girls and me--the sole woman--MUST wear a tank or shirt underneath). Some people wear another one of our studio shirts. We are allowed to wear studio-purchased training suits in class whenever we want. Sometimes people train in their jeans if they forgot their doboks at home.

Korea is cold. My studio is not heated. I have Raynaud's disease. Is wearing a much warmer training suit during the winter months taking away from my experience? No. Having frozen fingers and toes and difficulty breathing takes away from it, though.

Also, training in different clothing makes you more aware of your limitations. It's great that I can kick above my head wearing loose-fitting dobok pants, but can I do it in my slim-fitting boot-cut jeans? It's great when I can grab someone's jacket to do a one-step. But what if they aren't wearing a jacket?

I do know, too, that training here is much different than training, well, not here. Sometimes I read posts (out there in general MA blog land) about the formality of bowing, of taking off shoes before stepping on the mat, of showing respect by lining up in Confucian order. I expected more of that when I got here.

Instead--no matter where or who I've trained with--I find that we bow because that's just what we do, it's almost never as formal as it was presented at home. You take off your shoes because that's what you do; there's nothing about "mentally preparing" about it. I take off my shoes at work, for heaven's sake! You line up in different orders depending on the purpose of class. You LIVE your place in the social order. Respect is shown in other ways.

Wow, that was some early morning babbling...now having said that, my blog address has changed. Can you update your blogroll? :)

frotoe said...

Amanda~ I agree with you completely that it doesn't matter what you train in. And if someone at our dojo forgets his/her gi pants then they are allowed to train in their jeans also. people forget things, it happens to everyone. Mostly I was irritated by the fact that some people have the balls to put up such a stink about wearing a t-shirt, that they get the dojo dress code changed. To me that is selfish and self righteous and babyish. AND everyone is given a gi when they join. Its not like they have to buy one. Anyway- thanks for commenting and bringing those points. And thanks for telling me about the link-its all fixed now :)

Chris @ Martial Development said...

After a few T-shirts get torn off and ruined during sparring practice, these folks might agree to wear a proper dogi. ;)