View Full Version : Kendo and Aikido hakama

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Carl Simard
06-13-2011, 10:45 AM
Hello all,

I'm looking for a new hakama and noticed that some manufacturers have different lines for so called "aikido hakama" and "kendo hakama", although some others don't make these distinctions. They 're just selling hakama.

So, I'm just wondering what are the differences, if any, between hakama in kendo and aikido ? Is it a just a marketing kimmick ? Prices are in the same range, so it's not an issue. And although the cuts may looks slightly different between the two lines of one manufacturer, they're not more, and even less, different than two "aikido hakama" from different manufacturers.

Thus, would you dismiss any hakama that is identified as a "kendo hakama" and stick with the"aikido" ones ? Or do you just consider that a hakama is just a hakama, no matter if it's for kendo or aikido ?

06-13-2011, 11:04 AM
When manufacturers make a distinction, I believe the difference is typically the size and construction of the koshita -- the stiff section at the top of the back. An "aikido koshita" is smaller and somewhat more flexible so as to not stab during ukemi.

Cliff Judge
06-13-2011, 11:26 AM
Have you asked the retailers what differences there are in the two product lines?

Needless to say, Aikido and Kendo demand different things of a hakama. It might be that Aikido hakama use thicker material in the front and have a thinner, shorter koshita. It might be that Kendo hakama are made from thinner, lighter materials and are available in a wider variety of colors and patterns (Tozando has a pink one.)

it might be that the differences are negligible anyways.

Carl Simard
06-13-2011, 02:02 PM
Have you asked the retailers what differences there are in the two product lines?

Good idea. I've send some emails and it depends who you ask... Those that have two obviously different lines usually say the differences mostly are the koshita (soft for aikido, hard for iaido/kendo) and the length of the himo, which is longer for aikido to be tied in the front. The last difference being the length, kendo ones being sligthly longer than aikido ones.

Others tell the main difference is the color: black for aikido, blue for kendo, but otherwise are basically the same.

That said, interestingly, I just realized that I've done aikido for years with a kendo hakama: hard plastic koshita and the himo tied in the back... So, I suppose this answers my question: there are differences, but one can basically practice aikido with a kendo hakama without noticing it if not aware of the differences...

06-13-2011, 04:41 PM
i remember calling kiyota company when i was in the market for a hakama. i asked the guy if there was a difference, because i’d had one of each, from different brands, but one seemed a little narrower, and also one had the hera, the other didn’t, ‘so is there a difference?’ and the guy said ‘yes. small difference.’
‘oh. what is it?’
‘aboutu 10 dolla.’

06-13-2011, 10:56 PM
Aikido hakama tend to have deeper v-cuts on the sides then kendo hakamas do. A lot of kendo people don't wear pants under their hakama and if they put on an aikido hakama, they would be showing more then they anticipated :)

06-14-2011, 12:15 AM
I've done aikido for years with a kendo hakama: hard plastic koshita and the himo tied in the back...


Carl Simard
06-14-2011, 09:01 AM

Actually, the hard koshita never bothered me or caused me any problem. I can't say I feel it very much or hurt during practice, no matter how much or hard I take ukemi...

And when I say the koshita are tied in the back, I must pointed out that I let them hang inside the hakama, not outside. The koshita from the "back panel" are tied in the front. So, unless you take a very careful look at how it is tied , you will never noticed that the koshita from the front panel are tied in the back and hanging inside the hakama. You will just see what looks like a normal koshita knot.

A few years ago, I was able to tie them in front. Now, there's just not enough length. This strange phenomena also happens with my everyday pants. Now, I'm not able to tie pants that were just fine a few years ago. I suppose that clothes just get smaller at the waist with time! :D

06-14-2011, 01:44 PM
I tie my hakama same way in aikido as I do in iai and have never had any problem with my ukemi.

If we're rolling from one shoulder to the opposite hip, the area where the him is tied in the back doesn't come in contact with the mat.

07-25-2011, 10:28 AM
I just got a (used) hak from e-bogu, its a Kendo model although they do list it in their aikido section too. The main difference seems to be that the front straps on the kendo model are shorter so they tie in back, their "aikido" model has longer straps so both sets can be tied in front.