View Full Version : Velcro Hakama

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09-13-2003, 12:37 AM
OK. Has anyone tried to fix up their hakama with velcro so they don't have to go through all of the tying and untying every class. If so, any suggestions. I've got an old hakama I'm thinking of playing with. How do you fit in the ties and does it hook to your belt if you've tried this. I heard someone mention Doran sensei's velcro hakama once. Piqued my interest.

09-13-2003, 07:23 AM
ok, is this a symptom of our "fast food culture"?, the quicker the better,etc. when i hear you say,"so they don't have to go through all the tying and untying every class" i marvel and think, does he want some cheeze with his whine? i know this response is slightly sarcastic, my intent kiddingly, yet possibly thought provoking. thank you. ps-don't our shoes require tying and untying-oh well, there are always slippers if that is to burdensome. lol:)

09-13-2003, 07:40 AM
One of my reasons for considering this is I am getting arthritis in my fingers and it is getting more difficult (fingers don't bend as well as they used to).

True, it sounds lazy-I would rather spend more time doing a nice job of folding it than getting it off.

09-13-2003, 07:52 AM
I've known a few high ranking instructors, 6th dan or higher, that put velcro on their belts and on the front panel of their hakama to hold it in place. They always look immaculate.

It's just a piece of clothing, so whatever floats your boat.

09-13-2003, 08:06 AM
Maybe you could convert some of the pants kids wear nowadays. Just snap it on. ;)

Sorry, I'm becoming an old fart. :) No constructive help here, but I'd like to hear how someone accomplished the velcro thing.


Mark Barlow
09-13-2003, 08:09 AM
I'm not being critical of Mr. Riggs but his question did bring to mind an ad I recently received. Obi with velcro fasteners are now available and the press release says they are ideal for students and parents who "can't the belt properly". We're not talking stroke victims or arthritis patients, we're talking about folks too lazy or stupid to tie a belt.

09-13-2003, 09:42 AM
One of my friends up in Chicago has made hakama (mainly for herself, I believe) that "tie up" using velcro. I'll see if I can correspond with her to get details.

I also know of hakama in which the vertical seams at the sides are put together with velcro -- with the reason being that if someone cathces their foot in the hakama mid-roll, the hakama will "rip" and the roll won't become interrupted and dangerous...

-- Jun

Chuck Clark
09-13-2003, 09:43 AM
Just a thought, one of the things that budo teaches us is to be very aware and mindful of even small things that might seem unimportant or tedious, etc. I think that budo practice also reinforces the reality that sometimes we are uncomfortable and have to do things with full intent and discipline that are not what we would rather be doing.

Now, if someone is unable to tie their himo due to severe arthritis and they are practicing to the best of their ability with such a condition, then why not use velcro. However, anyone that has the capacity to dress themselves properly should do it. It will serve you well in the long run.

09-13-2003, 11:25 AM
roger that chuck, the little things matter. everything is in the small details; the simplicity, the grace,the basics,the discipline, the knowledge passed down,the tradition. aikido.

09-13-2003, 01:53 PM
I heard someone reference a velcro hakama with Doran sensei-does anyone know if this is true.

I agree, the little things are important. However, being able to train is important as well. The belt is not an issue. It is just getting the damn ties on through the tight areas that has become a problem-especially with painful fingers and knots on the distal joints (Heberden's nodes). I use these every day (chiropractor) so I'm trying to extend my finger longevity. I also have carpal tunnel so my grip strength is not the greatest either. It's not about being lazy. I don't ask anyone to fold my hakama.

09-13-2003, 01:55 PM
Mark: Perhaps the person is also dyslexic and has difficulty with the manual dexterity to tie the belt!

Chuck Clark
09-13-2003, 02:40 PM
If anyone does have a condition that makes them choose alternate methods in the practice of budo, they certainly owe no one other than their teacher any explination for those choices in my opinion.

I have no knowledge about Mr. Doran and how he puts on his hakama.


09-13-2003, 04:05 PM
Back to topic of thread…velcro isn’t you best choice. It will easily rip off the second someone steps on your hakama (pretty much every second technique in my experience).

You need snaps. Maybe a combination of Velcro and snaps, but the final fasteners must be a snap to hold that puppy on!

Also I doubt you want the snaps in the back (even though it would be easier to hide them under the back – they’ll dig in when you do ukemi at one point) so you’ll need them in the front. That may look a little funny cause usually the straps come from the back and go around the front. Have to give it some thought.

And the question of whether people would misuse a snap-on hakama because they are lazy (as opposed to lack of manual dexterity and movement in joints), will come down to the same question posed when they invented the clip-on tie ;) I for one found the clip-on tie to be very useful when wearing one as a gas station attendant in my youth (especially when it got caught in the fan belt while checking fluids).

If it comes down to either having a nice simple snap-on hakama, or someone else tying my hakama for me every class (or coming 30 minutes early each class just to tie my hakama) – I vote for snap-on!


Kent Enfield
09-13-2003, 06:27 PM
Velcro hakama are already produced and sold. Some korean kendo dojo use them. I'd think any of the korean kendo suppliers would be able to get them. They also tend to be white with black stripes down the side, but maybe they make them in blue as well.

09-16-2003, 01:33 PM
I've worn velcro on my hakima straps for many years. The last one I had made by Bujin Design out there in Boulder. Ikeda Sensei just had me measure the straps so they met correctly in front. It might not even have been more expensive, I don't remember.

Face it, if the Japanese had invented velcro, every gi would have it.

Mark Barlow
09-16-2003, 03:25 PM
I don't think anyone here has a problem with making things easier for someone with a physical or mental limitation. On the other hand, if you're capable of doing tying your belt, why shouldn't you? Where some may see this as a wonderful labor saving device, I see it as another step in "dumbing down" the world. Too hard? Don't try. Does it affect your self esteem to learn a new skill? Don't bother, just skip over it. What's wrong with expecting capable students to conform?

Mark Barlow
09-16-2003, 03:32 PM
I'm speaking of the velcro obi, not the hakama. Anyone who can make those culottes from Hell easier to wear has my blessing.