Survey Results

Scroll

Survey Results

by

We listened to you

While developing MISOGI DOGI’s first aikidogi, we didn’t just take an existing uniform and copy its design. Our ambition is to offer the best ever uniform. In addition to improving environmental and social protection practices, we also want to use the opportunity to improve details such as comfort, design, and service. And we decided not just to trust our own opinions, but to make sure we get the right picture of our future customers. Thus, we invited our aikido and martial arts’ fellows to share their experience, wishes and dreams with us through an online survey on our first website. We received more than 100 responses from all over Europe, featuring a wide range of wishes and preferences. The aikido community is definitely not homogenous!

Profile of the Participants

We received exactly 110 responses from all over Europe and even USA. Half of the answers come from Germany. The age distribution of the participants is quite even, 30% are female.

10 referred to aikido teaching as their main profession. A bunch of participants practice various martial arts, but only four don’t practice aikido at all. 70% have at least six years of practice, another quarter two to five years. One in five practice intensely – at least four times per week – while most (70%) practice two to three times per week.

The practitioners declared a high level of sustainable purchase practice: 70% always or often choose sustainable food&drinks; 50% always or often choose sustainable mobility means; 35% always or often choose sustainable clothes. Further 30-40% declared they would sometimes buy the sustainable options. In summary, most of the answers came from experienced European aikido practitioners who care about environment and fairness in their daily lives. We thank them very much for their input and support.

Summary of the Main Findings

What would you like us to develop? Organic Cotton or Hemp?

Answer While everyone would love or like an organic cotton dogi, a quarter feels unease at the idea of a dogi made of hemp.

survey hempsurvey organic cotton

Our feedback We asked this question because hemp has a series of qualities fitting well for a sustainable uniform: hemp is much more environmental friendly during production than organic cotton, it is a very robust fibre with a natural anti-bacterial effect.

However, we understood that some people fear that it might be less skin-friendly than cotton, not have a nice, pure look or even develop a funny smell. Anyway, we are not going to start with hemp dogis for other reasons: the minimal fabric order quantities are very high for a start-up and the fabric is much more expensive than organic cotton. We also considered other materials such as linen and ramin, with similar issues.

If a hemp dogi attracts you, check out hemp dogis for BJJ. There are a few brands, mainly from USA. And in case you order one, please share your experience with us. Hemp stays in our minds for future developments.


Heavy or Light Uniforms?

Answer Currently, half wear heavy uniforms, a sixth wear light uniforms and a third wear both, depending on season or practice type. A larger majority would love or like us to develop a heavy uniform, but still most would also love or like a light uniform. 30% would dislike a light uniform, while only 12% would disklike a heavy one.

survey dogi type usesurvey heavy light

Our feedback There was a flaw in this question. What is meant by a ‘light uniform’? Some commented that while they appreciate light judogi-type jackets, they dislike the karategi-type jackets for their aikido training.

We are very happy that we found a weaving mill in Austria that will produce organic judogi-type canvas exclusively for MISOGI DOGI (it was not easy to find this weaving mill!!). We will start with a rather light-medium canvas, similar to the one we observe most of us currently wear. Those who only feel good in heavy double-weave jackets will have to wait some more time, sorry!


Innovative vs traditional design?

Answer Two-thirds are open for an innovative design, a third want the dogi to stay as they are.

survey innovative design

Our feedback This answer really encouraged us not to just copy an existing design, but to have a deeper look at how we could improve it. We loved to read through all the comments on what aspects could be improved. Mostly the collar that has the bad habit to open up during training and some physionomy types that are not covered by standard sizing. We agree design is important and many beginners look as if they were wearing a pyjama. However, the functionality of the clothes stays more important. And we discovered that the traditional design truely is a masterpiece of functionality. Thus, we ended up not changing the design very much. We carefully chose different details. And we developed a size system to fit a wider range of physionomies, from scratch.


Pricing

survey pricessurvey pricing

Answer In terms of price sensitivity, about half care more, the other half care less or not at all about the price. A third spent less than 60 EUR per (conventional) gi, a quarter more than 100 EUR. Thus, no clearcut preference for any price category appeared, but 20% would not buy an expensive sustainable uniform vs. 12% who would not buy a cheap sustainable dogi.

Our feedback What a difficult topic..! First of all, because there is a proven general gap between survey results and actual shopping practice on this aspect. Second, because whether something is worth the money depends on much more than just the price (i.e. iphone). And finally, because our freedom of price setting is constrained by external factors. Anyway, we wanted to test the waters, aware that only the product launch will tell us the true price tolerance for our products. Due to various constraints – and we guess this is no surprise – our first MISOGI DOGI collection will be part of the high price segment, even if we keep it simple and plain. However, we will do our very best to assure an according high standard quality and service. And we will be transparent on pricing and the costs behind, for you to understand what you are paying for.


Drawstring vs. Elastic Waistband

survey drawstringssurvey elastic

Answer Most of us like both elastic and drawstring waistbands, and as many practitioners have a strong preference for one and against the other as the contrary.

Our feedback We had no choice but to give the priority to one. So, we decided to start with the more traditional drawstrings and offer elastic waistband as soon as possible.

Short Stories of a Long Adventure

by

Our adventure of setting up dogi fully in line with the budo spirit of purity and harmony has lead us to making plenty of exciting discoveries on issues as diverse as O-Sensei’s spiritual teachings and the yet widely infamous world of textiles. Discover the milestones of MISOGI DOGI’s fantastic adventure so far:

hana

Wanted – a pure dogi for aikido pilgrimage

Summer 2013 – It all started when Lucile had an opportunity to visit Japan again. During high school she had spent an exchange year in the land of the rising sun, and it became her adoptive home country. By chance, the exchange organisation had sent her to Tanabe, the aikido founder’s hometown. This is how she discovered and fell in love with aikido. 15 years later, she decided to make an aikido pilgrimage through Japan: to train in various dojos in Kyoto, Tokyo and Tanabe, to visit the aiki shrine in Iwama, O-Sensei’s grave in Tanabe and the Kumano shrines.

Shortly before starting her journey, she looked for a new dogi. As an environmentalist, she wanted one made of organic cotton and produced under fair conditions. However, no aikido uniform on the market was explicitly meeting her expectations. Her 2013 agenda book cover quoted Lily Tomlin:

I said: ‘Somebody should do shomething about that.’ Then I realized I am somebody.

Lucile decided to follow in Tomlin’s footsteps: not to wait for the conventional industry to make it happen, but ‘simply’ to give it a try herself and take care of this market gap.

In Kyoto and Tokyo, she met Japanese sustainability and entrepreneurship experts and visited the headquarters of a Japanese aikidogi brand. The director was very friendly and supportive and gave her precious insights into the supply chain of aikidogis. His advice however: rather develop a supply chain directly in Europe than in Japan.

pinkhana

 

Brand Name

September 2013 | communication – The name MISOGI DOGI came up after a series of intense brainstorming and research days. Lucile was quite enthousiastic: it has a well-fitting Japanese meaning an experienced aikidoka would immediately understand. Containing a core principle of aikido, it expresses the philosophy of the project in two simple words. And last but not least, the brand can be easily pronounced in any language and sounds good. Yay!!

(further milestones coming soon…)

Dojo Misogi

by

Do you perform misogi to your dojo?

In some dojos, I am delighted to find a series of brooms on a wall or in a corner. They recall me of my first aikido trainings in Tanabe, Japan, back in 1998. There as well, at the end of each aikido lesson, the students would grab a broom and sweep the tatami together, from the outer area to the centre. A very nice way – pure Japanese tradition – to take care of the dojo.