The Karate Gi that Wouldn’t Smell


Karate Gi…and How Clothes Make the Man

I put on my first gi back in 1967. It was pretty cool, my school had actually found a company that could supply us regularly. Very difficult to find sometimes, back then. We didn’t mind the $15 we had to pay.

It was yellowish, too short, looked ridiculous, but I found something interesting: it taught you how to focus. When you punched right it ‘popped!’

So I made everything I did pop, every kind of kick and punch and even block that I could…I popped.

I bought my first Tokaido, and it was a day in heaven. I’m not a clothes hound, but when I stepped on to the mat in that Tokaido, I felt…BIG!

And, my techniques were better. It took more power to pop, the material was thicker.

Of course, I had to buy the Tokaido, I had been made into an instructor, and I was told to look the part, or else!

I wore that uniform til it literally disintegrated. I went through the ‘don’t wash’ period, for a couple of weeks. Then the smell made me realize that I wanted to wash it, and I used to wash it and press it and fold it with absolute devotion and respect.

Yet I knew, always, that it was always in my mind. It was my uniform, my way of ‘preparing’ for my mock combat, my lessons in mortality and immortality.

Don’t want to wear one? That’s cool. Choice.

But look inside the uniform first, look under the skin. Check out to see whether you have the requisite pride, and in the proper degree and form, before you hold them in disregard.

As for me, they’ll have to pry my gi from my cold, dead…body.

Have a great work out! Al from monstermartialarts.

Don’t forget to check out the new Kenpo Karate Instruction Manual!

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