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#320582 - 02/05/07 09:23 PM Belts at the gym
Borrek Offline

Registered: 01/05/06
Posts: 501
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
A stupid trivial question, but one I'm going to ask nonetheless...

I work out at a Bally's. This is a recent thing for me and its a meet market for 50% of the people there. The other half who aren't there to check out the ladies are generally wayyy too chatty for my liking. My previous gym was at an air force base where folks were there to train and thats it. I'm also happy in the "leave me alone and let me train" school of thought.

Bally's has a great room with lots of mirrors that is perfect for doing kata. I, on the other hand, live in a 2 bedroom apartment with a baby (and babies have lots of crap) So, I'm going to suit up in my gi and go train at Bally's.

I dont want people to talk to me. I dont want them to ask me questions. I dont want them to ask if I know Grand Master Bujinga from across town. I know I'm going to stick out and I don't really care about that but I guess I'm sort of snobby and I dont want to look like I'm at Bally's trying to "show off" or wow people with a black belt.

If I instead wear an orange belt do you think it would help. Would people be more likely to ignore me? Or, would that actually be a pretentious thing and I should just say screw it and wear my black belt?

Alternately I could wear just sweats and do my kata, but after 20 years of training in a gi, that sort of feels like playing football in a tutu. Ill equipped.

#320583 - 02/05/07 09:40 PM Re: Belts at the gym [Re: Borrek]
DaDoN_1 Offline
twinkle toes

Registered: 06/13/05
Posts: 242
I used to do the exact same thing at a local gym here with my bud. Don't care what they think, you know you are there doing what you are doing for a reason, be proud of your rank. People, even though they mightn't be Martial Artists themselves, would have a fair idea how skill should look eh? Orange belt? Atleast a blue

Have fun man. Train hard

#320584 - 02/05/07 10:09 PM Re: Belts at the gym [Re: Borrek]
Saisho Offline
more than just a pretty face

Registered: 06/26/06
Posts: 620
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
I usually wear my full gi and belt when I train anywhere, but if it concerns you to have people interupt, don't wear a belt. Wear your gi bottoms and a T-Shirt. If you wear the top, people are going to bother you regardless of color belt.
Tony Partlow Shogen-Ryu Karate-Do Minamoto Shibu Dojo

#320585 - 02/05/07 10:19 PM Re: Belts at the gym [Re: Borrek]
Fletch1 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/21/04
Posts: 2218
Loc: Florida
If you don't care what they think and you are not in a traditional environment, why wear the gi at all?

#320586 - 02/05/07 10:32 PM Re: Belts at the gym [Re: Saisho]
clmibb Offline

Registered: 08/31/06
Posts: 1035
Loc: South Texas, US

I usually wear my full gi and belt when I train anywhere, but if it concerns you to have people interupt, don't wear a belt. Wear your gi bottoms and a T-Shirt. If you wear the top, people are going to bother you regardless of color belt.

Agreed. Most people only know white is in the begining and black is at the "end". If you wear any other color people will ask how many more belts until you get to black. I train sometimes in just the pants and a t-shirt. People generally leave me alone. If anything they might ask me questions about what style I do or whatever but it's usually after I'm done working out. I understand about babies having TONS of stuff (I've had 2) so there isn't a lot of space at your place and Bally's seems like a perfect place. Eventually people will get to know you and won't ask as many questions especially if you go in at pretty consistant times and days. Anyway, don't let the questions bother you too much. Remember if you are affiliated with a school, then you become the school's speaking voice at least for that one person. If people are talking to you and you don't really want to just simply tell them that you are on a time constraint (your wife only let you out of the house for an hour and you really need to work on a couple of things) people will generally leave you alone and let you do your thing.

"It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first."- Ronald Reagan

#320587 - 02/05/07 10:43 PM Re: Belts at the gym [Re: clmibb]
Zombie Zero Offline
Compliance & Liability

Registered: 06/17/05
Posts: 1993
Loc: Lorton, VA
Consider the other side of the coin. Sooner or later, someone who knows about martial arts will be watching.

So now, you've got someone asking you why you're doing black belt kata, when you're wearing an orange belt.

If it were me, I'd just wear sweats to the gym.

But whatever you're most comfortable training in, wear that.

#320588 - 02/06/07 01:20 AM Re: Belts at the gym [Re: Zombie Zero]
ashe_higgs Offline

Registered: 04/15/06
Posts: 593
Loc: phoenix
dude, you're in a bally's.

that's not the proper environment to be getting any kind of serious training done.

no matter what you're going to get looks for doing anything other than biceps curls.

i used to belong to bally's and i got wierd looks for doing sprints on the indoor track.

my suggestion; ditch bally's

if you need an indoor place to train your forms, look for a dance studio that will let you come in and train when they don't have a class going on. or even the y. at least people expect karate and gi's at the y.

on another note, if you're practicing your art in a public place, your basically representing that art to the public, and you should expect and welcome questions. they wouldn't ask if they weren't interested, and interested people are the ones you want to share the art with.

sure, they might ask "stupid" questions but everyone was new at one point and asked stupid questions.

bottom line, if you want privacy, don't train in a public place. (i.e. harmonize yourself with your environment).
falling leaves discipline, concentration & wisdom

#320589 - 02/07/07 01:07 AM Belts at the gym [Re: Borrek]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3116
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Borreck:

Ditch the uniform & the belt, unless you want the oggling crowd... Plain sweats attract less immediate attention... what you are doing, and where you are doing so will draw their attention soon enough...

Insist on the formal uniform then I vote white belt, won't stop the questions though "... owwwwwwww what/where do you study? My sister's nephew, cat, great grandmother studies..."


#320590 - 02/07/07 01:39 AM Re: Belts at the gym [Re: Borrek]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
here is what you can do: wear gi pants and a plain solid color Tshirt/sweatshirt with no belt. ...I call that 'Dojo Casual'. it's non-presumptuous, functional and removes all political nonsense that gets in the way of training.

#320591 - 02/07/07 01:49 AM Re: Belts at the gym [Re: Ed_Morris]
TeK9 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 2257
Loc: Northern California, USA
Lose the traditional uniform and wear sweats. Regardless of what you wear you will be doing something out of the ordinary and people will be curious. Questions will be asked, look on the bright side, you might be able to start a club. Even better make a little $$ of of it. And even better than that, meet the hunnies on the step master
"Poor is the pupil who
does not surpass his
master" - Leonardo Da

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