Why do Lotus Self-Defense Black Belts wear Black Uniforms and other Ranked Students wear White Uniforms?




According to an interview with Kajukenbo Self-Defense Institute (KSDI) Senior Grandmaster Tony Lasit that took place in Las Vegas on July 13, 2007: 

Before Kajukenbo existed as an organization, many of the earlier founders of KSDI trained in Kenpo Karate under Professor William K.S. Chow. Senior Grandmaster Lasit was one of those students. 

Under Professor Chow, only the instructor wore the black gi. All other black belts wore white gis, as did the rest of the students.  When SGM Tony Lasit started teaching Kenpo Karate he followed this policy.

Ajarn Precha Mahachanavong changed the uniform protocol when he created Lotus Self-Defense.  In Lotus, when you are awarded your black belt you must then wear the black gi. All colored belts in Lotus must wear the white gi.  According to black belt Robert Price, when he was studying Lotus in Thailand under the founder, he suggested to Ajarn Precha that it might be nice to have the black gi for the black belt rank as a visual separation from the colored belts.  Ajarn Precha immediately agreed after the first four students were promoted to black belt in 1972.

When Kajukenbo was founded in 1950, the rules regarding uniforms also changed under Sijo Adriano Emperado. KSDI requires all students to wear the black gi.  According to Senior Grandmaster Tony Lasit’s Kenpo video clip on www.lotusmartialarts.com, the black gi shows to the world that we are a fighting art. 

In most cases, whenever you see a person wearing a black gi you can bet that their roots are in Kenpo.

Note that in Lotus, the Thai word “chute” is used instead of the Japanese word, “gi” to mean uniform. 

Submitted by Tim Hollembaek