Have you ever seen some of the snide comments made online by some internal arts people who slam those who wear a uniform when taking photos or videos? They refer to the uniform in a derogatory way as "silk pajamas."
I always wonder why people feel the need to do that. It seems a bit immature, and sometimes comes off simply as mean-spirited. It is not exactly the nature that Taiji is supposed to develop in people, is it?
I wear a uniform when I do photos and instructional videos. When I watch an instructional video by another teacher, it always looks more professional when they are in a uniform than when they are in a Budweiser t-shirt and sweat pants. But that's just my opinion.
In recent years, I have worn a black and white uniform that was inspired by a wonderful documentary called Chen Village, by Jon Braeley. If you haven't seen it, and you are into Taiji, I highly recommend it.
In the documentary, students of Chen Ziqiang are wearing a black and white uniform that I thought was strikingly beautiful -- a yin/yang design with the front half white and the back half black.
I had one custom made and that's what I wear in my videos and public demonstrations.
It just looks cool, and isn't that why we got into martial arts in the first place? Three reasons -- to learn self-defense; to impress chicks; and because it's cool. Am I right? You're damn right I'm right.
A lot of Taiji instructors wear uniforms in videos or in public demonstrations. Am I not to wear one because I'm not Chinese? Tell that to the Americans who practice Karate, Taekwondo, or Aikido and wear uniforms to practice.
When I practice with my students, we wear t-shirts and workout pants. A good Bruce Lee t-
shirt always works. Sometimes, someone will wear a uniform and that's fine. My only rule is that my students do NOT wear an "I'm with Stupid" t-shirt.
In the end, to slam people for wearing "silk pajamas" in photos or public demonstrations is much more appropriate coming from a school yard bully than from a serious Taiji person. I expect better from them, don't you?