View Full Version : Extension of the hakama thread---for a bit anyway!

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Clayton Drescher
04-28-2003, 10:08 PM
Hi all,

Does anyone happen to know the significance or meaning of the black vs. indigo or even brown or grey hakama? Did they used to represent different clans? regions? particular martial art background?

Also, a little off-topic: I have a black hapkido gi and and planning to start formal aikido training in Midland, TX hopefully in a few weeks. I know my current gi is durable enough for aikido, but is it totally untraditional and unacceptable to use in an aikido dojo? I understand I should ask my sensei for the final decision, but I just thought I might eliminate an option right now after hearing from some people.



Lan Powers
04-28-2003, 11:14 PM
C'mon down!:D

You moving here? We will look forward to meeting you .

As far as I know, the only traditional style aikido class in Midland is here at the T'a Chu

Academy on Thomason.

AS far as your black gi, I would imagine that you could speak to Sensei Riggs, and find out if it would work for a bit.

(usually white is the trad uniform)

See ya soon, I hope.


04-29-2003, 02:26 AM
Sounds like a nice welcome for you there! :)

I've been told the Blue hakama is a little more tradition because the dye was available earlier than black dye.

On the matters of Gi's we have several people who were black gi's within our organisation, and also a guy with Kendo/Iaido dan grades who wears his navy blue gi. (We even have a guy who wears a black Gi with a Yellow Hakama! Looks like a bumble bee!) It shoulds be noted though when we go to bigger national events everyone suddenly looks more orthadox in white with blue or black hakamas.

Ask your sensei - my guess is he'll say it's fine while your starting with them, but an investment in a white gi in the not to distant future would be advisable. :)

04-29-2003, 03:19 AM
In response to your questions regarding the color of the hakama, this has been discussed many times on this forum. You can find more information on www.aikidofaq.com.

The short version is: traditionally everybody would wear a hakama while doing aikido, and they could be all sorts of color and pattern. During time it has been changed so that you don't wear a hakama in the beginning. Some say due to the expences involved with buying such a thing, some say it should be a sign of having reached a certain level.

The color of the hakama has also been uniformed into either black or dark blue most places, but it's up to each dojo-cho to decide what is okay in his dojo. The striped hakama that you sometimes see in stores are often used for iaido practice. F.ex. brown and white pin-striped. Very classy :D

Always ask the dojo-cho what would be proper attire in his dojo, before getting on the mat, or simply - as many other have said before on this issue - when in Rome.....

04-29-2003, 04:23 AM
I was thinking a Hawaian pattern hakama would be great

04-29-2003, 04:46 PM

I don't know if you are going to train with us or not. I'm pretty much the only aikikai hombu affiliated and ranked instructor in the area and aikido dojo cho at Ta Ch'u Academy of the Martial Arts.

Basically, we prefer you wear the traditional aikido gi-white. If it is a financial issue, we will accept the black gi for a while, although this is more of a karate or kempo color. I don't know if you are a black belt or not. But the traditional hakama is black or blue. I saw my shihan not let someone on the mat at a seminar with a striped hakama.

I realize it is not the color of the gi or the hakama that affects ones technique. However, most instructors prefer not to have a cornucopia of colors-especially bumble bees. Respect for the art gets into wearing the appropriate attire on the mat.

05-03-2003, 11:16 PM
In my neck of the woods, a black gi means that you have "Good fighting spirit" AKA you are one bad mofo. It says to everyone, "Just bring it." NOT a good idea.

05-08-2003, 12:46 AM
Colors: If we want to talk tradition, heck, back in the real old days, the bushi pretty much trained in whatever they wore to work. Not much diff from soldiers trianing in boots and BDUs.

The training uniform was developed fairly recently, and has undergone lots of changes.

'Traditionally' the budo training uniform was a dark keikogi with a hakama. Could be almost any color, but dark blue was apparently most common amongst folks who went in for the uniform thing.

Kano Jigoro, as I understand it, pretty much single-handedly developed the modern judogi -- an altered keikogi and western-style exercise pants.

The white dogi/dark hakama thing is pretty recent, really.

However, all that said, I echo the advice someone gave to wear what your teacher says to wear.