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08-27-2003, 09:13 AM
Hello all,

I was wondering about something..I realize it as a sign of rank and respect, but why do most instructors wait until Black Belt Rank to allow students to wear Hakama while training, therefore adding another setback in training to overcome?

Although I am a beginner, I would like to wear Hakama prior to Black belt Rank at a certain rank...please elaborate

08-27-2003, 09:21 AM
check out these threads







These all address your questions a bit at least.



08-27-2003, 11:30 AM
Why would you want to wear a hakama? They are a pain in the arse! I only where one when I feel obliged to (which is almost always).


Jim ashby
08-27-2003, 03:18 PM
"Pain in the arse" Ian!? You're pulling it far too tight!! Seriously though, they are a right royal pain in the arse, I'm always catching my toes in the damn thing, stay away from it as long as you can Andy.

Have fun.

09-11-2003, 09:25 PM
I have heard that the hakama is given to higher belts to teach them humility :)

Just when they think they have good balance and control we slap them in some baggy pants and watch them suffer!

09-11-2003, 11:40 PM
Some organizations (ASU) allow the hakama after first kyu test. I find they help my foot work. I purposely wear mine long so that if I don't do proper footwork I will step on it-good reminder.

09-12-2003, 02:06 AM
In Danish Aikikai we ususally allow everybody to wear a hakama from 3. kyu.

I love wearing mine. I can't think of a very good reason why we should wear it, though I have the sensation that it improves my feeling of a center and forces me to do better footwork. It's true that it is a pain to tie before practice not to mention folding it afterwards. Especially going to the bathroom has become a difficult task in itself. However I think it looks really really cool and that's good enough for me :D

09-12-2003, 02:18 AM
Wow... my dojo just introduced the 3rd kyu=hakama... maybe my sensei got his cue from the Danes.

I don't exactly love it...

1. We sweat a lot in tropical climate. Nothing is worst then having to wash and care for pleats in the hakamas.

2. Its pretty irritating when doing kneeling techniques.

3. It takes a long time for me to wear it... and the back part keeps dropping down no matter how tight i tie it to begin with. This makes back falls more annoying.

4. I have to fold it afterwards.

09-12-2003, 06:48 AM
In our organisaion we are allowed to wear hakama after our 3rd kyu test.

I donīt have any problem tripping on it, i guess it depends on how long it is. I wear mine so it rides just above the mat, not touching it.

When i started wearing a hakama i had some trouble keeping it in place. But then a sempai adviced me not to tie it so hard and now it sit where it should. I have also stopped whearing my obi underneath (i canīt understand why you should put a belt under there)

i think it is nice to stay on the mat for a while talking to my friends, so i donīt mind folding my hakama for a couple of minutes.

/ Mathias

09-12-2003, 11:13 AM
Usually, women get to wear it pretty much right away. If you want it badly enough.....?

Kensho Furuya
09-12-2003, 01:49 PM
I'm just putting in my two cents because one of my assistants also responded. I think in these modern times, the usage of the hakama may change, actually it is changing already as we can see. In regards to women, in O'Sensei's time, when more and more women were beginning to attend Western style universities, women wore a women's style of hakama over their kimono. Perhaps, O'Sensei adapted this custom which was popular at the time into our own Aikido practice. I am just speculating here. Practically, the hakama helps to hold the uniform together, so women might find wearing the hakama more convenient for them - at least, this is how it was several decades ago - nowadays our attitudes have changed greatly of course. In Japanese martial arts, the wearing of the hakama symbolizes that we are practicing a "samurai" art in a more traditional fashion, not a sport - as sports were becoming the "new" thing in O'Sensei's age. Old timers like the hakama, because it secures or supports the "hara" and "tanden" and this creates a stronger movement and posture. This feels good when executing the techniques. Traditionally, the hakama was worn by those who wear "two swords." It helps to secure the sword to the waist, more so than just an obi. Wearing a traditional obi and hakama feels very, very good when wearing a sword. Today, in modern Japan, although much less, the hakama is also a sign of respect and many still wear this on formal occasions. A formal silk hakama, as in worn on special occasions or in the tea ceremony and such, may cost a minimum of $3,500.00. Good hakama cost as much a $5,000.00 to $9,000.00. In a formal hakama, the middle seam between the legs is much lower and often the side opening seams are much lower too. Some hakama have no middle seam and is completely open. This is very convenient for men when they have to go to the bathroom. Our modern hakama, have a higher middle seam and it is much tighter of the sides - which is often more inconvenient in case of "emergencies." It is hard to imagine ancient samurai taking their hakama on and off all day long, if they happen to have a little too much capuccino in the morning. . . . . .

In Judo, we now see a tendency for colored uniforms after many complaints - now we see red and blue uniforms being used in Judo. Eventually they may accept more colors such a teal, orange, lavender and sky blue! In Karate, nowadays - we see also all kinds of uniforms - even gold and in even using the pattern of the American flag! Do we have hakama yet with the good old "Old Glory?"

For an old dog like me, Judo and Karate still look the best in white uniforms. For me, Aikido still looks the best with white uniforms and indigo or black hakama. . . . . . Here, in my dojo, we still follow the rule of Hombu Dojo. But, alas, times are changing and we will see what we will see! I hope the inevitable advent of the "bikini-hakama" or hakama in spandex will come long after I am gone. . . . .

Paula Lydon
09-12-2003, 06:56 PM
~~Also only wear it when I feel I must. Weekend classes are less formal and so I never wear one.

~~In the summer I wear black shorts underneath to stay cooler--yup, that's me flapping the big pants on a hot night.

~~An hakama will make your movements more smooth, because it WILL show where you're not paying attention to footwork, balance, your environment. Tripped on my hem exiting as uke on a sho-dan test and had to backroll almost on top of one of my instructors...Very classy :)

~~Also don't like it during suwariwaza. Wind up with the waist around my knees after a while, or so it feels. Also good way to faceplant.

~~I'm not patient with pleats, no not at all; barely have them anymore. More like subtle dents now...

~~What's your hurry?

Clayton Drescher
09-13-2003, 03:46 AM
In answer to Furuya Sensei's comment about Old Glory hakama....they exist. I saw them a few weeks ago in a martial arts supply catalog, I forget which. Pretty hideous despite one's level of patriotism. I prefer the indigo myself though it will be some years before I earn mine.

Another question someone may be able to answer: what is the correct (or at least "traditional") length of hakama? Riggs Sensei wears his rather long and I think long hakama look very elegant, but lately I've noticed most of my training partners wear theirs quite short, usually right below mid-calf. It doesn't seem to affect their movement in any discernable way, they certainly can't trip over it unless they are on their knees or take a huge huge step. Most pictures and videos I have seen the hakama is either tucked into leggings or tabi, or an inch or so above the ankle.

Is there even a standard for the length?

Thanks all,



Jeanne Shepard
10-10-2003, 12:46 AM
When I get mine, I want a nice Hawaiian print...


Nick P.
10-10-2003, 07:34 AM
In answer to Furuya Sensei's comment about Old Glory hakama....they exist. I saw them a few weeks ago in a martial arts supply catalog, I forget which. Pretty hideous despite one's level of patriotism. I prefer the indigo myself though it will be some years before I earn mine.
Oh, for the love of...

What's next; www.MyAikidoClub on a hakama?

Oh! I know! Designer Hakama! Tommy Hill.....!

Sorry, couldn't resist.

<gets down off of soapboax>

Richard Cardwell
10-10-2003, 10:57 AM
Our dojo doesn't have any hard and fast rules relating to hakama- but it's seen as a statement that you're devoted to Aikido, so people below about 4th or 3rd kyu don't wear them- but it's a personal choice.