View Full Version : Aiki and iai clothin/accessories
10-22-2000, 06:26 PM
In my web searching and magazine reading I have noticed that clothing and accessories for aikido and iaido are REALLY expensive. Aikido gi selling for hundreds of dollars U.S., etc. Now I realize swords and armor and the like are going to be expensive, but I have to wonder, what is it about aikido that makes gi so costly? Is it that aikido is popular and there are lots of New Agers out there willing to shell out big bucks to look cool as the practice? Are iai obi REALLY worth what they cost?
10-22-2000, 09:04 PM
To some extent you you get what you pay for, I have two Hakama's a cheap $60 (relativly) poluester one that I use when I'm someplace really warm; I used it a lot in Guam. And a nice middle weight Bujin Design one that I use for almost everything these days. The Bujin Hakam wasn't cheap, about $100, but worth every penny and then some. When I did Aikido I used Judo Gi's the best the I found for wear and cost were Juka and Tiger unbleached single weight but then I'm tough on gi's and went through a few others while these two shined on admirablly. Right now I use a Kendo Uwagi (about $40) for a top in both Iaido and Jodo and I am extreamly happy with the way it feels/works with its 3/4 sleeves. I have used up or worn out too many gi's especially gi pants to consider buying cheap ones I now use an extreamly heavy cotton duck pair of Gi pants that came from a tournament Karate gi when I do grappling style M.A. it doesn't really match but then it doesn't ripe through the crotch either. For Iaido and Jodo I usually just wear shorts under my Hakama (I live in Hawaii). Good equipment does make a difference whether that be a bokken or a uwagi ripping a sleeve off because you chose a cheap gi is both embarassing and it wastes training time. plus you're not saving money if you have to buy a few cheap gi's beacause yours keep falling apart. As for an Obi. I made my first Iaido Obi. It was a learning experience, sewing a straight line for 12 feet 9 times was a lot more difficult than I though it would be. though in the end it worked (the stiching isn't straight but close enough) I recently picked up a traditional tubular obi in japan that I use for Iaido and Jodo. It is not a piece of martial arts clothing but works quite well none the less. I think it was 2200yen which at the time was about $19 or there abouts. Again not cheap; my home made obi was maybe $5 in fabric and thread but I like both and still continue to use my home-made one especially if I'm not practicing with an uwagi on. Good equipment costs more but then it lasts longer so it is a trade off. Should a beginer go out and buy the latest greatest whiz bang super gi? no, but do buy as high a quality as you can afford that way your training won't take a back seat to a visit to a tailor because someone ripped a sleeve off or the crotch of your pants decided to give you a draft...aft, most em-bare-assing, pun intended.
10-22-2000, 09:10 PM
I agree with Tony, you get what you pay for, but...
If you are just looking for keikogi, then go haunt the 2nd hand stores. You can find good to great condition keiko gi (judo and karate) for very cheap, under $10 bucks if you want to take the time to look. MOst of the time you will find more tops then pants, people seem to keep the pants. But if you wear a hakama like I do, then no big deal.
For hakama and iai, check out kendoshop.com. Very well priced decent quality gear. The kendoshop.com products are Korean made I believe, but the pricing is well below equivilant made Japanese products in my opinion.
not so much a matter of looking cool as feeling cool. I had been using Century Dogi (with my dad's membership, they were about $30 apiece) and I didn't really know any better. About I month ago I got a single stitch Mizuno dogi, which was not all that costly, and compared to the Century dogi, it's like wearing a nice blanket.
As stated before, you get what you pay for- look at Century's $9.95 doorsteps (I mean bokken) then compare it to a $50 shiro kashi bokken. It's a world of difference.
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