Appreciate it's a fairly superficial question but I am only 4th kyu and most of the people I train with are shodan or above.

Something I've noticed is when we are performing Kihon drills, their gis all make like a whipping sound where as mine is pretty silent, regardless of which form we are going for. Is this simply because I have a cheaper softer gi or is there something I'm not doing right?

2 Answers 2


One important thing, at least for arm movement whips, is proper technique, namely rotating your forearm. For example, one of the first things that new students get taught is the "rising block" or "high block", protecting your head from an descending strike. Say your right hand is "chambered" at your right hip. If your movement is mainly your upper arm rising straight up and your forearm just "coming along for the ride", that's slower and hence weaker. If your fist travels a slight arc from your hip, like an opening parenthesis (, it's smoother and faster. When your forearm snaps into its final pinky-finger-up position at the end of its arc, there'll be some snap of your sleeve.


There are two factors to that sound. One is rapid acceleration and deceleration of the limb in question (the sound is from the gi "catching up" and landing on the stopped limb). The other is the stiffness of the fabric, which creates the distinctive rustle of the gi as you are moving through the strike. The former is basically technique. The latter is usually more an artifact of starching the gi. Using a more heavyweight fabric aids in both (and, in fact, my teacher advised people doing competitions to have a heavy starched gi for forms, and a lightweight supple one for sparring).

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