It’s my first time, what do I need to wear?
For the first few sessions we advice that any gym-wear is best, though nearly any comfortable clothing will do. Please don’t wear anything too tight or warm as you will be expected to get sweaty.
For safety reasons have to ask that the following items are NOT worn on the mat during classes:
- Any and all jewellery, with the exception of small stud earrings which must be covered with a plaster. Wedding/engagement rings are permitted if they do not have any protruding stones.
- Belts / Braces with metal clips.
- No outdoor shoes or trainers. Barefoot is preferred but socks may be worn provided that they are not loose.
- Fitness watches/devices such as FitBit’s.
After the first few sessions you may choose to buy the uniform, or you can continue in your own clothes.
What is the uniform?
The uniform we wear is called a ‘Keikogi‘ or ‘Dōgi‘, but most people just call it a “Gi” (pronounced “Gea“, like “pea” or “sea“), which is a 2 piece suit made from thick cotton. The bottom half is a simple pair of trousers, while the top half is a jacket that overlaps itself, tying at either side of the waist. These are both worn with the wearers belt.
All students wear an all white Gi while Black belts and above wear a Navy top with white trousers featuring 2 navy stripes running down the leg.
Do I have to wear the uniform?
You do not need to wear a Gi unless you plan on grading and progressing though the ranks to become a black belt and beyond.
Do I have to earn the belts?
You do not have to grade if you do not want to. If you wish to simply learn some basic self-defence then we are more than happy to help.
What is the order of belts? / How many belts are there?
There are 10 coloured (Kyū) belts, excluding the initial red belt. When you first register with the WJJF you automatically become a Red belt and the first belt you work towards is White. The belts go in the following order: The Black belt is not the final belt! It is the last of the ‘Kyu’ grades and the first of the ‘Dan’ grades, which go as follows:
This means a person may potential earn as many as 18 belts in their lifetime! However these later belts require many decades of practice and experience to reach.
How do I tie the belt?
In the video below, 2 methods of tying a belt are demonstrated. Of the two, we recommend the 2nd version shown (from 1:20 onwards)
NB: This video was not produced by us, and we are not affiliated with anyone featured in the video. However we do support the views expressed and share it here as a visual guide.
Where do the patches go?
This graphic shows where all WJJF patches should be sewn onto the Gi: