Uechi-Ryu Karate Uniforms - All of our Karate classes, including children’s and adults’, require the same traditional uniform. The white “Gi” is standard in the Okinawa Karate Association, which ZenQuest is a part of. These uniforms help keep students and the training environment clean and sanitary. When fitted properly these uniforms allow the wearer to move freely in training, while providing feedback to the student on their movements.
Appropriate clothing such as undershorts and a t-shirt or athletic shirt should be worn under the Gi. Sweatpants or shirts should be avoided as they are likely to make the student overheated once they start exercising. Students should not wear anything under the uniform that ‘hangs out’ of the sleeves or pants.
Students who continue past any trial enrollment are required to ‘patch’ their uniform (if they haven’t already done so.) This means adding approved patches to their Gi. Shown to the right is an image of our custom Karate Gi, which includes two ‘ZenQuest’ patches and two representing the ‘Okinawa Karate Association.’ For basic uniforms only the two jacket patches are required. Patches, prints, or embroideries for other teams are not allowed.
Demian Maia Jiu-jitsu uniforms - All of our ‘Gi” Jiu-jitsu classes require a traditional uniform suited for grappling. They should be made to withstand the gripping and pulling of throws, positioning, and submissions. These should also allow for free movement, and not be too tight or loose. The sleeves and pants should be within two-fingers above the wrist or ankle. There are more color choices allowed for these Gis but colors other than white, blue, black or green must be approved by the head instructors.
Longer term Jiu-jitsu students must also patch up their uniforms. This includes at least one ZenQuest and DMJJ patch on both the jacket and pants (shown below.) BJJ uniforms can include other patches subject to instructor approval. Same as above, patches, prints, or embroideries for other teams are not allowed.
“No-Gi” Jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai, and MMA Garb - For classes not requiring a Gi students should wear athletic shorts and shirt. Students should avoid clothing that is overly loose, tight, or “revealing.” Like uniforms, “No-Gi” gear should include logos and patches appropriate for the school and not patches, prints, or embroideries for other teams.
Belts and Armbands - The belt or armband (in Muay Thai) has special significance in the martial arts and should be treated with care and respect. Students should always wear their belt or armband in classes. There is a standard way for students to tie their belt at ZenQuest. This is a traditional method that has only three steps. Aside from learning at the dojo, a video is available on the ZenQuest YouTube channel to help with learning that. There is actually a preferred method that is slightly different for advanced students known as the ‘upside-down’ knot. In any case, the belt should be tied in a way where it is not dragged on the floor in the process. This is all consistent with the way that belts are tied in our parent organizations. Students just learning to tie the belt should do as many steps as they can before asking an instructor for help.
Although rank levels should not be the focus of the student’s journey, the rank system does have purpose in the gym/dojo and students should respect that, too. Junior students or ‘Kohai’ should respect more senior students or ‘Sempai’ because senior students and instructors probably know much more about the art they are ranked in. It is generally not appropriate for newer students to question, argue with, or be rude to more experienced practitioners. It is also considered bad form to question the head instructors about rank for yourself or another student, OR lead a student to believe that they aren’t being promoted fast enough. There are several considerations that go into rank promotions, and students need to trust the judgment of the head instructors.
All uniforms, athletic wear, and gear must be kept clean and neat in participation for classes! The only exception to this is the belt or armband. These should not be washed unless absolutely necessary. This is partly due to the fact that belts and armbands frequently have stripes on them. If a belt does need washing due to some unavoidable disaster, the student should ask the head instructors to replace any stripes lost in the process.