View Full Version : Kaku Obi

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01-23-2003, 11:21 PM
I noticed that some Japanese instructors wear a large belt (about 10 cm.). I think it is called Kaku Obi in Japanese. Does anyone know if it is a common thing and for what purpose? Is it ok to wear one without hakama?

Your comments would be greatly appreciated.


G DiPierro
01-24-2003, 01:08 AM
I don't know to whom you are referring, but most likely it is simply a modern iaido obi, not a kaku obi. The stiff kaku obi was traditionally worn with a kimono and, unlike the wider, softer heko obi, was used for carrying swords. A kaku obi typically comes in basic solid colors with a white or black stenciled design. It can be worn without a hakama but is better suited to a kimono instead of a gi. I use one for iaido but usually not for aikido since it is designed to be tied in back with a traditional square knot.

There are wide, solid-colored obi marketed and used as iaido obi, and some people wear them for Aikido as well. You could probably wear one of these without a hakama if you wanted, but depending on how the belt is designed and how you tied it, it might look a little funny.

01-24-2003, 01:39 AM
Hello Giancarlo,

I am referring to the single color wide obi. I saw in France some students wearing a white one without hakama, and I thought it was funny, as you say. That's why I'm asking.

I am not planning to wear one myself ;)



01-24-2003, 02:31 AM

I wear a white one (10 cm wide) under my hakama and I love it. I find that I can feel my centre much better.

When I tie it, I wind it three times around my body (well 2.75 times, I'll have to loose some weight :)) and wrap the remaining part around the obi itself. In this way I don't have a lump (the knot) in the front of the hakama when I put it on. Furthermore I find it keeps the hakama better in place then the normal small obi.

But I agree it looks funny without a hakama. I'll always keep a spare normal obi in my bag for when I forget my hakama (like last week :( ).

Buy one and try it, you might like it too.