The martial arts have been around for centuries. Steeped in the culture of the Far East, namely China, Japan, and Korea, martial arts became a way of life, a way of thinking, and of course, a way of defense against neighboring invading countries. Today's martial arts here in America, is more of a sport and a form of exercise than a defense against invaders. However, it is important as a way of protecting oneself as well. Each country had its own way of defending itself using one of two methods: percussive or non percussive. Percussive martial arts included karate, tae kwon do where the artist would strike with their hands or feet. Non-percussive defense included throwing, locking, or neutralizing without striking, and included Judo and Aikido.
The uniform worn in many "dojangs" and "dojos" is often called the Gi, Dobok, or Keikogi, depending on the martial art discipline. There are also different types and colors of the different uniforms depending on rank and experience. For instance, a white uniform signifies purity, humilty, and the attempt to be perfect. No one is or will ever be perfect, but martials artists strive for perfection, the white represents that attempt.
Different martial arts wear different uniforms. Tae Kwon Do "combines the abrupt movement of karate with the circular motion of kung fu with jumping and spinning kicks" These martial artists start off wearing a white uniform, or dobok. It is derived from traditional Korean clothing called a hanbok. Beginners wear a white belt and as students move up the ranks, belt color changes until finally they acheive the rank of black belt. Those that go beyond black belt may become instructors or training instructors. In that case their uniform changes as their level of commitment changes. Black belts wear a white uniform with a black collar, training instructors wear white shirt, with black pants, and instructors wear a black uniform, shirt and pants.