Little House In Ise

The Home-Made Gi
July 17, 2008, 17:26
Filed under: Aikido | Tags: , , , , , ,

Dave over at Aikithoughts is making a hakama. Though, I find the fact that he even considered it impressive and that he is following through just this side of incredible, I am not inspired to imitate him and take up the needle. This isn’t about machismo — I think he’s doing something cool. The problem is, as a child, I had a traumatic experience with home-made martial arts clothing. I’m never going there again.

As a young couch potato, I watched every episode of Kung Fu the TV series. David Carradine was one of my heroes (before I knew that Bruce Lee should have had the job). At any rate, I was very much a martial artist wannabe. So, when the captain of the guard at the local prison opened up a Tae Kwon Do class at the National Guard armory, I waddled over and signed up.

Details vary between my version of this story and my parents’ but on one key point we are in agreement: my parents did not want to shill out for the clothes. After a few weeks in the class the instructor made it clear that I needed to start wearing a gi instead of sweats and teeshirt. In response, my mother made one for me (Yay!).

Students at that school wore very cool looking black karate style gi. Mine was custom tailored and, aside from lacking “snap” when I punched, it was beautiful. I was terribly excited to wear it to class.

I lined up with the rest of the class and we did the regular stretches and warm up exercises. After the mundane push-ups, sit-ups and such came the good stuff: punching and kicking practice! Punches seemed just fine though there still wasn’t any snap in the sleeves. Low kicks were fine too. Then on my first high kick of the evening, the crotch of my pants split.

This was not a little tear. It was a stem-to-stern, tweenager’s nightmare riiip heard by everyone from one end of the class to the other. To make this horror of horrors all the worse, there were girls from my school present. The rest of what happened that evening is a blur though I know I sat out the rest of class. The horror of that moment lasts on in my psyche…

OK… Maybe it was only slightly worse than a bad zit on the first day of high school but I’m still not even going to think about wearing a home-made hakama! Hell, with my luck, it would probably spontaneously combust during a test!

Anyway, good luck Dave! (and keep a fire extinguisher handy …)


5 Comments so far
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aaah, please make a nice post of today’s budokan event, myself got what i expected in the morning, – for some reason a thought came to me that there might be someone who(‘s parents) did not know or forgot the event, and – the first thing i saw by a dojo was a lonely boy with tears in his eyes. who actually offered to give me his card when i went to him. but got a little present from me instead. damn, i should be able to speak japanes by now.

hope to practice with you some day, am going to regular classes too now, tuesday morning? promise not to hurt your hakama, though cannot make the same commitment about my body parts, my toes ended up in sensei’s mouth today, don’t ask. not the name of the sensei nor anything else 😀 except that of course it was during practice!


Comment by kadi

Toes in sensei’s mouth? Um… Kadi… that sounds more like marital arts than the martial arts. This isn’t a public announcement about something more interesting than Aikido is it? 🙂

See you Tuesday!

Comment by Eric Holcomb

No it’s not a public announcement about smth more interesting, because there IS nothing more interesting than Aikido 😉

Comment by kadi

Hardcore! Respect!


Comment by Eric Holcomb

I will never, and I mean N E V E R, forgive myself for that blemish on your psyche, son! Why do you think I became a psychotherapist? At any rate, it is time to put that story to rest if only to assuage your mother’s conscience, okay?

mama mia

Comment by Ita

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