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Amassus
11-13-2009, 01:59 AM
Hello all.

I was reading another thread when this came up...
Apart from the fact that they were common daily wear for Japanese men in traditional clothing, I never saw the purpose or value of training with hakama.



Now, I have to agree with many people and admit, at times, those pants can be trouble to move in. However, I DO think they help my training.
Their extra weight reminds me to keep my weight 'underside' and my centre low and stable. I find that when I am not wearing the hakama I move quickly and freely as my legs are accustomed to moving me about with heavy material attached.

What do others think?:cool:

Flintstone
11-13-2009, 03:39 AM
Helps to take care of your footwork. Or step on it and leave your teeth in the tatami. Oh, and at the begining it helps to make you conscious of your center.

jss
11-13-2009, 05:50 AM
Extra padding for suwari waza.

Adam Huss
11-13-2009, 09:38 AM
Similar to some benefits of Iaido, it helps force a higher level of awareness. You must be conscious of what your feet/hakama fabric are doing so you don't get tangled up, particularly when transitioning between the ground and standing. Hiding footwork is another one I've heard. From a Yoshinkan background, when Shioda Sensei won the post-WW2 seminar and was granted training rights for the government...the Yoshinkan consisted of a small group of instructors teaching huge stadiums of military and police. The instructors wore Hakama so they were easily identifiable by the students. To this day, typically only the person teaching class, or a yondan and up, wear hakama (with exceptions, of course). So the practicality of its use in training as tool used to identify who was in charge.

ninjaqutie
11-13-2009, 10:57 AM
I have only worn one in iaido as I am not allowed to in aikido. I find that it makes me more aware of my body and my surroundings. In a lot of the kata, I am doing them from seiza and sometimes go into standing after it started. You have to be aware of your feet and your hakama so you don't trip while getting up. I have to agree with Joep that hakamas also help with knee work. On shohatto for example, there is a point where we slide forward on our knee. I have found it much easier to do with a hakama on (esp. since the reinforced knee of my gi pants is more on my thigh now.....) but I also have to be aware of my hakama being pulled tight under my knee as I slide forward. Just a better sense of awareness.

Abasan
11-13-2009, 11:25 AM
I like the whoosh sound... and I like how it balances the martial aspect with its beauty.

David Maidment
11-13-2009, 11:31 AM
I have only worn one in iaido as I am not allowed to in aikido. I find that it makes me more aware of my body and my surroundings. In a lot of the kata, I am doing them from seiza and sometimes go into standing after it started. You have to be aware of your feet and your hakama so you don't trip while getting up.

Ditto.

There's also the aspect of preserving tradition. I certainly don't train in martial arts to help defend myself (although I would like to think that I may be able to if needed). I train to gain skill and knowledge, and thus help to preserve the best of what I can. That should include the clothing and the etiquette. If each generation chips away little things that are no longer relevant, then what they're training in soon begins to change.

Kevin Leavitt
11-13-2009, 01:28 PM
No help at all...it is pretty ubiquitous to me at this point. Although it does get in the way sometimes and it is a pain to wash and fold...so maybe it teaches something?

ninjaqutie
11-13-2009, 01:58 PM
I had to fold my sensei's indigo hakama before he left for a seminar.... and he NEVER folds it (he hangs it up after class). Needless to say, I had no lines to go off of. That definately brought out my CDO (CDO is like OCD, except in alphebetical order, like the way it should be) :D Anyway, with a bit of diligence and patience, I got it looking nice... more or less anyway. ;) So yeah, I agree with you Kevin about folding teaching you something.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-13-2009, 03:10 PM
Noobs think I'm "the deadly". Other than that.... nope, doesn't help me.

Maarten De Queecker
11-13-2009, 03:26 PM
I'm going to help at a demonstration next week, and someone gave me his spare hakama for the occasion (I'm to give it back after the demonstration, of course). I tried it on at home. Yes.. looks cool as expected.. the +10 to vanity certainly applies.. but damn that thing is annoying to walk in (it's a little bit too long since the owner is a little taller than I am). Now I'm struggling to fold it again.

Phil Van Treese
11-17-2009, 01:53 PM
I don't know if it helps training or not. I rarely use mine since we do a lot of ground fighting and it would only be in the way.

RED
11-19-2009, 06:29 PM
I like the extra padding on the legs for ground work.

Flintstone
11-20-2009, 05:28 AM
I like the extra padding on the legs for ground work.
Extra padding? A layer of fabric? :confused:

Walter Martindale
11-21-2009, 01:04 AM
Extra padding? A layer of fabric? :confused:

The gi pants rub on the floor and the knee skin gets a good stretching.

The hakama rubs on the floor, the pants slide a bit on top of the inside of the hakama, and the skin doesn't get as much stretching.

That's my theory, and I'm sticking with it.

Walter

Josh Reyer
11-21-2009, 02:19 AM
The hakama isn't merely an extra layer of fabric, but thanks to the pleats and incidental gathering of the fabric several layers are formed between the knee and the mat.

On the other hand, I do iai on a hard floor with no keiko-gi pants. In that case sometimes the pleats can dig into the shin rather uncomfortably.

lbb
11-21-2009, 03:28 PM
The hakama isn't merely an extra layer of fabric, but thanks to the pleats and incidental gathering of the fabric several layers are formed between the knee and the mat.

Does that really help? I've got one pair of gi pants that's all bagged out at the knees from much use, so the right knee inevitably forms a wrinkle right...across...the kneecap. It's astonishingly painful for such a small thing.

David Maidment
11-21-2009, 03:41 PM
For me it's definitely a welcome layer of padding on the knees when I'm practising at home without kneepads (hard wooden floor).

Is the material of your gi heavy? I imagine that would create much more of a substantial 'fold' than the thinner hakama layers/pleats.

Victoria Pitt
11-21-2009, 06:29 PM
Um... hello... knee pads? Especially for Iaido!

lbb
11-21-2009, 06:31 PM
Is the material of your gi heavy? I imagine that would create much more of a substantial 'fold' than the thinner hakama layers/pleats.

It's one of those pants with the doubled knees -- there's an extra square of material at the knee. I dunno, maybe it's my kneecap that's defective, got a dent in it or something.

Janet Rosen
11-21-2009, 08:52 PM
It's one of those pants with the doubled knees -- there's an extra square of material at the knee. I dunno, maybe it's my kneecap that's defective, got a dent in it or something.
Mary, you might want to do the pants alteration that puts fusible fleece interfacing where you kneel - back in the days when I still did suwariwaza it was great, like pivoting on a potholder!

Josh Reyer
11-22-2009, 02:26 AM
Um... hello... knee pads? Especially for Iaido!I did use knee pads when first starting out, but the school I train involves a lot of cutting down to one knee from a standing position. In this case, knee pads can actually be bad, because you don't learn the proper feeling for bringing the knee to the floor, and end up bringing it down much harder than necessary, putting more stress on it. Taking off the kneepads improved my iai tremendously, and greatly reduced post-keiko knee soreness.

lbb
11-22-2009, 07:05 AM
Um... hello... knee pads? Especially for Iaido!

Not so much. Kneepads cut at the back of the knee, which is not a good thing. In an extreme suwariwaza session, it's the lesser of two evils, so I'll wear them for that, but not as a regular thing. I like Janet's solution -- I'm definitely going to try that!

Victoria Pitt
11-22-2009, 09:05 AM
Ah... I wear these:

http://www.budo-aoi.com/iaito/wears/protector_003.asp

Just right amount of padding right where I need it.

ninjaqutie
11-23-2009, 11:44 AM
No one wears knee pads in my dojo for iaido.

Victoria Pitt
11-23-2009, 11:59 AM
No one wears knee pads in my dojo for iaido.

LOL.. I don't know what other people do but I wear knee pads. I'm old so I'm trying to make my knees last!

Kent Enfield
11-23-2009, 10:46 PM
No one wears knee pads in my dojo for iaido.
Do you practice on tatami or on a hardwood floor?

Atticus
11-24-2009, 12:10 AM
The gi pants rub on the floor and the knee skin gets a good stretching.

The hakama rubs on the floor, the pants slide a bit on top of the inside of the hakama, and the skin doesn't get as much stretching.

That's my theory, and I'm sticking with it.

Walter

It's similar to wearing two pairs of socks when you're hiking. The hakama definitely reduced the discomfort of doing suwariwaza. Another benefit I find is that I don't have to worry any more about my belt coming untied!

Flintstone
11-24-2009, 03:32 AM
Another benefit I find is that I don't have to worry any more about my belt coming untied!
Oh my. Just an excuse for not learning to tie it properly.

Iaido with kneepads, hakama protecting your knees, belts untying... Ok, ok, I see.

Sorry guys, I'll go back in lurking mode from my cave.

ninjaqutie
11-24-2009, 10:46 AM
I think an important factor in my dojo is that if you have bad knees, you do all the forms from standing. If you have good knees, then you do most of the forms from seiza.

Maarten De Queecker
11-24-2009, 11:02 AM
I think an important factor in my dojo is that if you have bad knees, you do all the forms from standing. If you have good knees, then you do most of the forms from seiza.
You 'd have to be really stupid to do suwari waza techniques when you have bad knees -unless you're a masochist.

ninjaqutie
11-24-2009, 11:06 AM
Oh, I agree. I was just saying...

Budd
11-24-2009, 12:26 PM
As someone that's grappled for a number of years (competitively and just playing with friends at Judo, Bjj, MMA schools, etc.), I was pretty sure that I was going to hate (in an aikido context) the hakama when I finally got around to joining the yudansha. I'd worn it years ago when doing traditional weapons and liked how it made it very clear where my dantien/hara/one point operated from, but was pretty sure my gi/singlet operating systems were going to reject the addition of the skirt.

In the last few years, I've also gotten very interested (obsessed, even) in training Internal Strength, in an aikido context as well as in the broader how-to's and different environment applications contexts.

Surprisingly to me (it really shouldn't have been in retrospect), training with the hakama on is a pretty nice cheat from an Internal Strength perspective. As in how it's tied, where the obi lies - it removes all doubt where the dantien components of the front and back are - it also helps pull together the connective tissue underneath the skin (assuming you've done any work to connect them to the middle) so that you have an inherited whole-body connect going if you're looking for it and can capitalize.

So, if I look at aikido training (solo tanren, partner practice) as a means of training ki/kokyu, then that cheat can immediately assist in getting the systems online and engaged in their respective network array (tech talk, I know, but my vocation and avocation run together in my head). Which then means, I shouldn't have to worry about the dantien/connective tissues *as much* in that milieau. However, I need to recognize the cheat, then address it when I do IS work in a non-aikido environment, so that I don't get too dependent on the cheat . .

Anyhow, it's lunchtime and my hungry brain starts a ramblin and and . .

Daniel Wilson
12-10-2009, 10:19 AM
I like the whoosh sound....

Just wanted to ditto that. :D

James Davis
12-10-2009, 12:29 PM
Lift it up a bit if you're walking up stairs. You have been warned.:straightf

Gerardo Torres
12-10-2009, 12:54 PM
No... I wish I could train aikido without it. :o I feel that I have more freedom of movement without it.

For koryu training I do need the hakama though as I'm usually not wearing long pants under it. :D

Gerardo Torres
12-10-2009, 01:37 PM
Re. Iai with kneepads... some used them, some don't. It depends on many things: the technical nature of a particular ryu, the student's age/health/experience, the type of floor, the type of kneepad, what the teacher thinks/allows, etc. It's hard to make a general statement on whether they should be worn or not for the practice of iai.

Melchizedek
12-29-2009, 08:03 AM
from what I know the seven pleats of the HAKAMA represents the seven virtue of BUSHIDO.

yes it helps me from training, wearing a GI and HAKAMA its my known funeral attire.

Shadowfax
12-29-2009, 09:20 AM
Been wearing one for just about 2 months now. I was pretty hesitant about the whole idea in the beginning ,thinking it would hinder my freedom of movement... yeah it certainly does at times. It has forced me to pay a lot more attention to where my feet are. It's hard to stand up when your foot is on your hakima. :P lol

I don't know that I'd say it has been hugely helpful in training itself but for me when I began to wear one I felt different. It has, for me a feeling of formality and finish. More polished, more serious more a part of the tradition and history of aikido.

I like the feel of the belts and ties and even the koshita. It seems to give me some great lower back support and makes me stand up straighter. It makes me more aware of my center by the fact that I feel all of that heaviness of the hakima hanging from that point. It gives me more awareness of my hips and reminds me to use them. And yes it does make swari waza and seiza a little easier on my knees.

I would not say that wearing a hakima has made my training better in any specific ways but it has enhanced it in many small ways.

And besides all that it looks really cool. :D

Walter Martindale
12-29-2009, 12:54 PM
Oh my. Just an excuse for not learning to tie it properly.

Iaido with kneepads, hakama protecting your knees, belts untying... Ok, ok, I see.

Sorry guys, I'll go back in lurking mode from my cave.

revisiting an older thread... I tie my belt the way I was shown by a bunch of yudansha in a judo dojo, and the way the guys at the Kodokan tied their belts when they trained on the Japanese national judo team (I watched - the only one that ever practiced with me "gave me a lesson" - it was fun, but a whole 'nother level). Everyone there, including Yasuhiro Yamashita (again, I watched) had their belts un-tie and trail behind them at some stage.

I've seen some aikido people tie their belts with a sort of basket weave, and it didn't come undone, and I've seen others loop their loose-ends around the belt again, but that wouldn't be permitted in judo, where your opponent's belt is sometimes used in newaza to control your opponent.
I've also seen people with a different type of belt from the standard judo-type belt - one in particular who's spent several years in Japan - his belt seems to taper and is tied quite differently, but I've never been told that my belt was tied "wrong."

They work loose. It seems to matter to Aikido people - I seem to recall the judo folks treated it as a minor inconvenience.

Is there a web site somewhere with "how to tie an obi so it won't work loose" video? Will have a look at youtube and report back.

Ok - found one. tried it - seems to work...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksKl1ptKUV8
May even try it, but the hakama keeps the old-style knot in place...

W

Maarten De Queecker
12-29-2009, 01:10 PM
revisiting an older thread... I tie my belt the way I was shown by a bunch of yudansha in a judo dojo, and the way the guys at the Kodokan tied their belts when they trained on the Japanese national judo team (I watched - the only one that ever practiced with me "gave me a lesson" - it was fun, but a whole 'nother level). Everyone there, including Yasuhiro Yamashita (again, I watched) had their belts un-tie and trail behind them at some stage.

I've seen some aikido people tie their belts with a sort of basket weave, and it didn't come undone, and I've seen others loop their loose-ends around the belt again, but that wouldn't be permitted in judo, where your opponent's belt is sometimes used in newaza to control your opponent.
I've also seen people with a different type of belt from the standard judo-type belt - one in particular who's spent several years in Japan - his belt seems to taper and is tied quite differently, but I've never been told that my belt was tied "wrong."

They work loose. It seems to matter to Aikido people - I seem to recall the judo folks treated it as a minor inconvenience.

Is there a web site somewhere with "how to tie an obi so it won't work loose" video? Will have a look at youtube and report back.

Ok - found one. tried it - seems to work...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksKl1ptKUV8
W

I use that knot. It doesn't work loose if done well, trust me ;)

Kevin Leavitt
12-29-2009, 10:03 PM
I wear a wide Iaito obi for Aikido and wrap and secure it in a traditional way under hakama.

For judo/jiu jitsu...I wear a regular judo style obi with just a square knot that comes undone all the time. Frankly I like the fact that it comes undone. That way in competition it can't readily be used against me and when we are resetting, it gives me a break while I tie it again. So, I personally think it is advantageous to have it come undone.

In practice we usually just throw them to the side until we are done fighting and then we secure them again.

Janet Rosen
12-29-2009, 11:15 PM
Frankly I like the fact that it comes undone. That way in competition it can't readily be used against me and when we are resetting, it gives me a break while I tie it again.

At high intensity seminars or training if I was very short of breath, even if my belt was fine I'd pretend it needed retying in order to bow to my partner, slowly walk to the edge of the mat, fiddle with the belt, slowly walk back...... :)

Walter Martindale
12-30-2009, 12:54 AM
At high intensity seminars or training if I was very short of breath, even if my belt was fine I'd pretend it needed retying in order to bow to my partner, slowly walk to the edge of the mat, fiddle with the belt, slowly walk back...... :)

See? Another practical application of a belt working loose...
(Me too - old age sucks but it's better than stopping altogether.) ;)
Walter

Mannix Moya
01-02-2010, 05:03 AM
i don't think so, but its a nice reminder of aikido's traditions