View Full Version : Rolling Rolling Rolling

13th June 2002, 17:42
What do you think about people rolling their Gi Sleeves/ Pant Legs up?

13th June 2002, 17:58

13th June 2002, 17:59
Why what?

13th June 2002, 18:48
I do it all the time...what's wrong with it? And I'm not alone. Rolled up to my elbows, usually a bit lower. Sleeves have a nasty habit of getting in the way, and when they do, or I suspect they will, I'll just roll 'em up. I wear a dogi to train, not to show off, so the only thing I really care about is that it fits and that I can make the best use of it (yes, I use it for nasty tricks, taking blows and kicks, tying [sp? 'to tie'], strangling, beating, around my arms for protection, for distraction etc., same with my obi, but usually I try to keep my pants on ;)) and that it won't get in my way...I've seen dogis with patches and many nice colors, silk, but all they do is get in the way..and break. BTW, I roll my sleeves up outside the Dojo as well, so isn't it good to train with them rolled? I don't always roll them, and usually in Taijutsu they don't stay up very long anyway. I don't roll my pant legs simply because I'm a pretty tall fella, so there's no need for it. But maybe it's just me, and this definately is just my .02 €.

This poll really surprised me and I looking forward for reasons NOT to roll up sleeves/pant legs. So may I also ask the question "why?", why'd you ask this? Your own opinions?


13th June 2002, 18:59
IMHO there are several reasons I asked.

As a traditional school, we prefer our students to have fitted Gi and not roll up sleeves and pant legs. It has a better appearance.

On a professional basis (I fix computers) I never roll up my sleeves. Plus in class, sleeves can protect your arms (and legs) from certain types of injuries that can occur from everyday training.

On a personal preference basis, although comfortable, I don't and I don't expect my students to.

Obviously, there are other thoughts out there. The reason for the poll was to see how varied the people of e-budo was on the subject.

13th June 2002, 19:44
Originally posted by Amphinon
Why what?

Why would you roll up your sleeves?

A uniform is there to make everyone the same, so what's the point of some up, some down, some with patches, some white, some blue, some red, some short sleeved...

Comfort? Do we seek comfort when we train now?


BTW, I roll my sleeves up outside the Dojo as well, so isn't it good to train with them rolled?

That's why its good to train with and without a dogi.

Steven Malanosk
13th June 2002, 20:01
Ok, now there are different ways of looking at it.

In the 60's, when I was a kid, you didnt dare show up in front of the judges or testing panel with sleeves rolled up.

That is, unless the sleeves where cuffed so as not to cover the hands if it so happened that your gi fit a little long in the sleeves.

Later, in our system, it was thought of as the American symbol of getting down to work, just as the hachimaki is in the East. Yet my teacher will always be seen with his sleeves down in pictures.

Different groups have various regulations.

With uniformity in mind, I see the point.

In Florida, many of us roll our sleeves up. I encourage my folks to have their sleeves hemmed as is done with Kyokushinkai uniforms.

While living in Okinawa, I never heard of any regs. about this, in any of the places I went.

13th June 2002, 20:34

I might be better to seperate the comments that two members make so as not to confuse the issue.

BTW, I roll my sleeves up outside the Dojo as well, so isn't it good to train with them rolled?

We have street clothes workouts also. This helps bring a little bit of reality to it. A female finds out that she cannot kick as good in a miniskirt and high heels and she must alter her own techniques.

That is where we train without our Gi.

13th June 2002, 21:01
Well, different arts, different attitudes.

Formal occasions are different, of course..but during training!

It's the idea behind it. We don't do group kata demonstrations, so it's enough to just know we're all humble, equal followers...

Comfort? Dogi is training gear, and training should take care of the comfort problem, not the wear. If one needs additional discomfort, then they're free to wear uncomfortable dogis, it's all fine with me.

Image? "That guy has shorter sleeves, he must be a ninja master" Definately, that's it :).

The question was about rolling up sleeves, not taking off the jacket, but there was a little sarcasm in it.(Then you wouldn't be all the same! :eek: )


Shitoryu Dude
14th June 2002, 01:12
Personally, I think you should go get your dogi altered so you don't roll them up. I also understand that not everyone can afford to do so. I would also like to get rid of lightweight dogi, but I'm prejudiced. They look atrocious and after getting used to a real dogi I would never go back to the filmy cotton/poly crap you can get for under $40.

I hate having my arms covered, so my dogi sleeves come down to my elbow or slightly above. My pants are also altered so that they only come down a bit over halfway down the shin - mainly to keep cool and to keep from tripping over them.


14th June 2002, 01:54
Now that I really start thinking about it, back when I used to do TKD, it was common to roll up the sleeves of your dobak. I remember rolling mine up when I started toying around with the sais, as the end prongs got caught in the cuff. This dojang was completly a "skill" dojang (though the skill there was extremly sub-par).

Now I train in more of a fighting dojo, where we actually train. We have hard workouts everynight we train. There is, for the most part, no talking, and it is a very serious atmosphere. I have never, nor have I ever seen, anyone roll up their sleeves there. I never even thought about it until this thread popped up, b/c when we train, we are too focused on the task at hand to even think about something like rolling up the sleeves. Just a thought...:D

Bustillo, A.
14th June 2002, 09:19
I encourage students to cut off most of the sleeve so that it reaches a few inches above the elbow.

I have, for the most part, eliminated the idea of what is suppose to be or considered formal when wearing a gi. Instead, I choose to dress for practical reasons. --Re color, I understand that originally a certain shade of blue was considered traditional. I do prefer white uniforms. Outdoors, for me, it makes sense to wear black.--

Either way,I don't see anything wrong with rolling them up. People have different physiques and the same size gi will fit different on different people; some baggy, a little shorter, longer, loose or just right. So, instead of tugging, hiking it up, or readjusting the damn thing every other move while training, in some schools it is a display of getting down to business if you roll the sleeves up. The idea of, make sure you don't waste time readjusting it too often during class.

(...for the record, most of time I just wear sweat pants and t-shirt to train. In an informal class in a dojo, gi pants and a plain colored t-shirt. No ads on t-shirts.)


14th June 2002, 10:49
Maybe I should cut the darn sleeves off, but then again, then there's no way you can get it back to "formal" again (although it does look formal when you don't have to roll anything..)
Usually I roll 'em up before class/session starts, but they don't stay up too long anyway. Harvey mentioned that he doesn't like having his arms covered, and now that I start to think about it, I do feel a little uncomfortable with my arms covered as well--I have the habit of pulling up the sleeves of my wool sweaters (cardigans??) when I'm chopping wood outside where it's freezing. Now just about every time I'm wearing only a sweater, I pull the sleeves up.
In Shotokan Karatedo, I didn't roll anything, that's true, however I wouldn't mind if people would have rolled their sleeves up in the Dojo while training. Nevertheless, there's one thing I have trouble coping with: unequal ends of obi!!! :D


Budoka 34
14th June 2002, 10:54
In WKF competition is forbidden to role the sleeves. Your sleeves must come to, at least, mid forearm. Because of this, I try to train with them down during Karate, unless we are working self defense.
The problem is I have Jiu-Jitsu immediately after karate and I need to roll my sleeves for that because, I work with alot of new students.
Got to protect those fragile fingers!:D


14th June 2002, 13:52
To roll or not to roll . . . . .That is the Question:

I think it depends on the “culture” of the Dojo.

I have been in some dojo where rolling the sleeves
up is a big NO NO. It would be a serious breach of etiquette.
Especially if your sleeves were higher than the Instructor’s!

On the other end of the continuum, I have also been in Dojo where
the Chief Instructor came over and told me to roll my sleeves up.

So there is everything in between and all the shades of gray.

Personally, my current thinking is “When in Rome. . .”
Seriously, I think the Instructor, Style, and Organization should
set the standard for this type of thing.

If an instructor does not want students rolling up sleeves, let them
all know it is not an accepted practice, be a role model and soon
all new students will be indoctrinated by the more senior students.
If rolling is okay, that can also be taken care of in the same manner.
*As long as this is consistent with what others in the style do, and
what the parent organization practices everything will be all good :-)

Some of this is also going to be impacted on “what” is being done.
i.e., if having long sleeves gives your opponent an advantage in a
competitive atmosphere, get those sleeves up (or off) !
Fighters in the Shidokan for example fight with sleeves completely
ripped off so there is less for the other person to grab on to.
But I wouldnot show up for “traditional” training with a shredded Gi. LOL.

Personally, like Antonio, when doing my own training, I prefer the
casual Gi Bottoms and T-Shirt. We do this for fighter’s training too.
But if I am instructing, I remain in my Gi.
Rolling is ok in my dojo, some of my Gi also have the Hemmed sleeves.
But if I visit a different dojo, (as a guest) and see everyone else
has their sleeves down so will I.

My $.02

Best Regards,

Paul Thoresen
P.S. *If an individual dojo is doin something different than everyone
else in that organization, then that would lead to unnecessarily awkward moments.

14th June 2002, 21:17
IMHO, this whole discussion is stupid. My teacher doesn't care what we wear to class ... I wear shorts in the summer, he doesn't care. We all wear tee-shirts, all different. He cares about how we move, not how we look. For demos, we wear nice outfits if we choose. He doesn't care about that, either, as long as we move well.

If appearances matter so much, why not have a standard haircut while you're at it? That would not be any sillier. Wearing a pretty uniform won't get you killed any slower, or any faster, for that matter. Pre-occupation with appearances detracts from training.

I was particularly amused by the comments about abandoning lightweight dogis -- the only kind I would wear, if I still wore them. In Houston's summer, lightweight is the only way to go. But then, dogis are highly impractical no matter what the weight.

Want to be traditional? Return to hakimas. Better yet, animal skins.

17th June 2002, 13:23
IMHO, this whole discussion is stupid.

Then why participate? Fact is, some traditional schools do not allow any modification to the Gi excent to fit it (to prevent rolling of dragging).

Budoka 34
17th June 2002, 14:57
Say what you want about tradition or a lack there of, but I would wear Dogi all day every day if I could. I'm never more confortable then when in my Gi. Think about it, roomy, cool, and stylish! What's not to love? Heck, I even enjoy wearing hakama, kimono and zori. :D


17th June 2002, 19:15
I just cut off the sleeves entirely to show off my manly muscles like Ryu in Street Fighter :)

I personally wear the heavy weight dogi all the time because I like to hear the snap. I do roll em up from time to time if I get really hot.

17th June 2002, 21:01
Mr. Kite posted: Say what you want about tradition or a lack there of, but I would wear Dogi all day every day if I could. I'm never more confortable then when in my Gi. Think about it, roomy, cool, and stylish! What's not to love? Heck, I even enjoy wearing hakama, kimono and zori.

Absolutely true, for some reason my greyish dogi is always the most comfortable piece of clothing that I can find. Not that it fits perfectly etc., but because of all the time spent in it, all the memories, the feeling. My dogi is already pretty worn out, but there's now way I'm going to get rid of it as long as it stays on! I could call it LOVE :D
(Although I don't "intentionally" wear it in public..)


Jussi Häkkinen
17th June 2002, 21:59
Well, I usually roll my dogi sleeves neatly and flatly inside, so the outer appearance doesn't look like rolled one. I simply like to have my elbows free when doing technique. Additional fun point is that inward rolled sleeves do produce a helluva snap.

However, I like the uniformity. I don't actually like the way that outward-rolled uniform looks alike, however it's nothing bad - personal choice, if the dojo allows it.

When it comes to pants...well, I wear tournament cut -dogi, so pantlegs are already comfortably short. Also, heavy fabric keeps me cooler during summer - better the fabric stays away from the skin, more cool air there is. Never would go to the light weight dogi again.

And O. Kari was absolutely correct: Dogi is about the most comfortable clothing there is to wear.

Now to the nitpick: Please, O. Kari, sign your posts with your full name, thank you.

18th June 2002, 04:52
Heavy dogi don't rip!!

When I changed schools (for a million + 10 reasons, which we won't get into:D) I had only an all black dobak. My sensei only allows white dogi, w/o any patches or anything, so I had to get one quick.

yada yada yada...I was poor, as most teenagers are, and I bought a $20 lightweight gi, which ripped during the first class we practiced o-soto-gari!!!

Cheapest waste of money I ever bought! The damn thing is practically falling apart, and I've only been wearing it like 1.5 years:(!! That's why I like the heavywieghts:) Whever I get money, I'm buying the heaviest sturdiest gi I can find. I like mine worn in!

Shitoryu Dude
18th June 2002, 05:17
Light dogi are what nearly everyone in karate starts with and in my opinion people stay with them because:

1) they don't know any better
2) the poly/cotton ones will last forever and a day if you don't really put any stress on them
3) they are inexpensive. So inexpensive that a dojo will give them away to get you to sign up for lessons.

After buying a good, heavyweight, canvas dogi it took a while to get used to it but I will never go back to the lightweight crap for the following reasons:

1) they really aren't any cooler - you sweat enough either way
2) they stick to you when you sweat
3) they don't absorb near as much sweat as a cotton canvas one
4) they look like crap - quite honestly, I think they hang funny. You look like you are wearing a dishrag
5) they don't protect you from anything rough if you start getting into it hard and heavy

Even though the dojo may give you one for free, they don't expect you to keep wearing it if you actually stick around past 90 days. The first clue you have that the lightweight ones are not any good is just by watching the senior people at the dojo. THEY don't wear light or middle weight dogi - and it isn't because they give a nice 'snap' when you kick and punch. That is just incidental - and if you do it properly, you can get that 'snap' sound with even the light stuff. They wear the heavy cotton canvas because it is more suitable for what you are doing.