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Mama Deb
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December 2010
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Mama Deb [userpic]

I felt so immodest.

My Pa-kua uniform consists of black baggy pants with a elastic waist and a draw string, and a white wrap jacket with ties on either side to keep it closed, and the belt. The tops are cut for men, so they wrap fairly low in the best of circumstances and mine is very large because of the way I'm built. Or was built when I got the uniform. This means it opens a bit.

Normally, I wear something underneath - a t-shirt, with or without sleeves, or a yoga top (a sleeveless top with a very high neckline and a built-in sportsbra). Other women might safety pin the top closed or even sew on an extra tie. I like my undershirts. Less fussy. (And if they do decide to tailor tops for women, I think many would be happy. The uniforms are perfectly functional as they are, but a higher wrap would be nice.)

But this time, I forgot. And the top I wore was not suitable for exercising in. So, I had to do the class with just my sports bra under my gi. I kept adjusting things. I mean, I suppose the sports bra counts as modest in other place, but it shows too much skin for my comfort. And there I was with a couple of teenage boys and a male master.

I survived, and I will remember for next time, but it was unpleasant.



Is there a locker at the dojo where you could keep a t-shirt just in case?

And a safety pin, so the gi wraps where you would like it to wrap?

I *wish*. No. They have changing rooms and we have to take all our things with us when we leave. And I have to use two different schools - my regular school and the center for the Improvement classes.

I just have to keep a t-shirt in my gym bag.

I've heard (probably though bushido_babes, at some point) that there are gi cut for women. When I buy another one, I must definitely remember to look for one of those, because my top is always gaping open because it definitely isn't cut for my body shape. I always wear a t-shirt underneath, but it's not very flattering, even so. (Hm... I can find some online, at least.)

Unfortunately, this discipline wants true uniformity. This doesn't mean they wouldn't get uniforms for women - women now get different black belts - "platinum" instead of gold stripes. They just haven't yet.

Why do women get different black belts? Of all the kinds of clothing, that seems like the least likely to require modification (unless the belts are of a different shape -- ours are just even bands of thick layered fabric), much less if it's only a question of colour.

They're a different material - silk instead of polyester. Apparently it was because there has been a huge influx of female black belts and they wanted to honor them. Also, it has something to do with Chinese philosophy - gold is male, platinum is female. We're also supposed to wrap our jackets differently and make sure stripes, if we have them, hang on the opposite side. The gold vs. platinum is the color of the stripes.

I'm only a blue belt. I know nothing. :)

Oh. And I just joined bushido_babes. :)