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Lt_Action
30th October 2007, 06:14
Hello all,

First off, I do not study Kenpo and don't actually plan to anytime soon, I just had a question that's been eating me for a while.

I've seen a few videos of Kenpo demonstrations on youtube (which by internet standards makes me an expert ;D I'm merely asking to see if YOU know) and every now and then there'll be a dude wiping the floor with everyone else involved in the embu AND he's wearing what looks like a blue tunic with a thick rope wrapped around his waist.

Is this some kind of acknowledgment of rank in certain Kenpo circles? Like how some Aikido dojo won't let you wear hakama until shodan? Or is it a kind of formal wear in the same way that an instructor might wear a nice kimono to an embu instead of his usual dogi?

Just curious :D

Also, I apologize to the mods if I've managed to post this in the wrong section.

Lt_Action
30th October 2007, 06:47
Apologies, I've made an unintentional generalization in the use of "Kenpo". It's apparently Shorinji Kenpo and the uniform I'm reffering to can be seen here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuLTizxFFMM

I still pose the question, though :D

Anders Pettersson
30th October 2007, 13:58
Is this some kind of acknowledgment of rank in certain Kenpo circles? Like how some Aikido dojo won't let you wear hakama until shodan? Or is it a kind of formal wear in the same way that an instructor might wear a nice kimono to an embu instead of his usual dogi?

Since you already figured out it is used within ShorinjKempo, the garment is called a hōi [法衣].

In the old days, I've been told (long before my time), it was only for those who had entered the sōseki [僧籍] (priesthood) and held a sōkai [僧階] rank. But today there is no formal rule, but the informal rule is that only Yūdansha may wear it.

The hōi is not used during normal practice, only at cermonies and demonstrations etc.

I hope this answer your questions.

/Anders