Taking a martial arts course is a great choice for people who want to strengthen their body and sharpen their mind. Before you get started though, you’ll need to consider an often overlooked aspect of martial arts: what you should wear to class.
Finding the right uniform is tricky, as it often depends on the discipline of martial arts you are pursuing. While different styles require different attire, there are a few basics to keep in mind that will help you excel during your training. Wearing the right clothing can be crucial to your development and focus as a martial arts master, so review the tips below before you purchase your workout gear
Thinking Beyond the Gi
Most traditional martial art disciplines require that students wear a simple white uniform, commonly known as a gi. These cotton outfits are designed to be loose fitting to ensure balance and freedom of movement when performing a variety of kicks and strikes. Many gis are also reinforced to last longer throughout your rigorous training sessions.
While rules for uniforms may vary between dojos, some might have a strict “hands-off” policy that prevents you from changing the uniform in any way. If they don’t, then you can alter your gi for a better fit and easier movement. You can also sew on patches or logos to help you personalize your gi. If you want to change your uniform, it’s best to discuss these add-ons with class instructors and find the best way to blend tradition and personal style.
Comfort Equals Confidence
Just like when you are working out at the gym or taking on other physical activities, you want to make sure that you are comfortable during a martial arts class. To achieve this, make sure to wear clothing that is durable, flexible, and breathes easily. Keep in mind that you will be sweating, so wear a lighter material, especially since you may be wearing it under your gi. The last thing you want to do is overheat halfway through a session.
Your uniform may also include footwear, but while not every discipline requires shoes, for those that do, you will want shoes that are comfortable and easy to move in.
Making sure clothing is loose is also important. Since movement is key when practicing perfect martial arts moves, your range of motion dictates how easily you can learn and perform a variety of stances and techniques. Tank tops and jogging pants are perfect to create easy movement without weighing you down.
Loose, Not Baggy
Some disciplines that focus more on self defense techniques, like Krav Maga, may request that your wear everyday clothing to help you prepare to use your skills in daily situations. Keeping clothing loose and casual during these sessions is fine, but you still want to refrain from jeans that are too tight or sweats that are too baggy.
While tight outfits can hinder movement, choosing the opposite extreme with something very loose can be just as troublesome. As many disciplines involve quick movements and jumping techniques, you will want to make sure all of your pieces of clothing will stay on throughout the class. You also want to make sure nothing is too long or big, as these clothes may cause you to lose your balance or trip. Nothing will hurt your performance more than falling on your face while trying to perform a jump or kick.
Dressing with Confidence
These are just a few things to keep in mind when you are preparing to attend your first martial arts training class. If you are still unsure what to wear, you can check with the studio or instructor for additional tips, especially as some rules can vary from place to place and from discipline to discipline. Wearing the right outfit will ensure your comfort and performance are at their best.