View Full Version : Who should wear hakama?

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09-15-2004, 09:24 AM
I am often asked, "who is supposed to wear hakama?" My initial reaction is always that if you ask, it is too soon. But, I know many dojo have different policy on hakama, and I would appreciate any comments that help determine kakama candidates.

09-15-2004, 09:47 AM

I believe you answered your own question when you said

I know many dojo have different policy on hakama.

Greg Jennings
09-15-2004, 09:49 AM
It depends. Pick something consistent and run with it.

Some groups have everyone from the first test on wear them. Some have only yudansha. We nominally hold to the latter, but I have the first kyu wear them to get used to them. I also have everyone that has one wear one when we do demos.

Best regards,

Jill N
09-15-2004, 02:44 PM
At our dojo we wear hakama from third kyu on. By then we have a committed student and it is not too much of a shock to have to fork out the money for a skirt.
e ya later

09-15-2004, 03:45 PM
Hi !
Basically I think hakama is an outwards sign of good ukemi ,
I expect anyone wearing a hakama can do breakfalls and generally take care of themselves ,
if not - they shouldn´t be wearing one.
Especially on camps ,where some come from clubs that require shodan before hakama.

Yours - Chr.B.

Steve Kubien
09-15-2004, 05:25 PM
anyone from shodan onward is considered "entitled" to wear hakama. However, only our sensai does and not always at that.

Steve Kubien

09-15-2004, 06:40 PM
Whoever your sensei says can.

In yoshinkan dojos the only one wearing a hakama during normal classes will be the instructor (& then not always).
That changes a bit in demos. where other yudansha might wear them depending on the situation.

09-15-2004, 07:25 PM
In our dojo people start wearing hakama after their first test. Probably they are not required to wear it from the first day to avoid spending money in case you quit after several classes.
I remember reading about hakama in aikidofaq and there was a note that O'Sensei believed all practitioners should wear one and only because of financial reasons they decided that only black belts will wear hakama. Article emphasised also that it was a temporary measure.
I would not mind to not wear it at all, but if I have to, the earlier the better. I'll have enough time to get used to it.

Jessie Brown
09-16-2004, 01:02 AM

If you'd like more info about this subject, I suggest looking at the bottom of this page at related discussion threads. This topic has been thoroughly, and interestingly, discussed here before. For that matter, you could also do a search in forums and you'll probably find at least half a dozen threads about this very topic.

Happy reading!

09-16-2004, 02:43 AM
I agree with Stuart's post. If the sensei of the dojo says to wear one, wear it.... if it's only for yudansha, then that's the right thing. In my dojo, it's reserved for shodan and up. And we don't let the first kyu get used to them.... it's more amusing that way....

graham butt
09-16-2004, 06:32 AM
We wear our Hakama when Sensei tells us we can, but we usually only wear it within class and not on national/international courses..

09-16-2004, 07:22 AM
There's actually a current thread going on at the Women in Aikido(ez board) forum about this!

The point has been stated that traditionally women get to wear hakama earlier than men for what it politely termed "hygene reasons" : covering up pink dogis!

I agree with jon saying - if you have to ask, it's too soon! :p

At our club you can choose to (or not) invest in the baggy trousers after a full year's training. Mostly by then you have some ability in ukemi.

09-16-2004, 03:03 PM
sho dan and up but it's only manditory for tests and seminar's. i wear mine when i teach kids class but , lately we have been wearing black gi pants for adult classes.

Lyle Laizure
09-17-2004, 01:24 AM
I allow students to wear hakama from day one. I encourage it.

09-17-2004, 12:53 PM
I allow students to wear hakama from day one. I encourage it.


As i've said before in other threads, i think it's absolutely ridiculous to say that only such and such people can wear cool pants.

In fact, wasn't osensei the one who kicked a student off the mat for only showing up in his underwear?

I'm curious to know when this shodan-only hakama rule came into play. Anyone have any information on this one? In my dojo we practice in front of the image of o sensei, so i'll practice with my pants on.

Lyle Laizure
09-17-2004, 02:09 PM
I'm curious to know when this shodan-only hakama rule came into play.

Hey Nathan, I can't say when it became a shodan-only thing but as I understand it; hakama were initially required if one wanted to practice. Hakama were not cheap though so for those that did not have one they had to borrow from their father or grandfather. One of the bits I read indicated there were several young students that were probably scolded after taking their grand dad's ceremonial hakama for practice but they needed one. Also folks would take old futon matress covers and have them made into hakama, then dye them black. Over time the dye would fade and the dojo would become rather colorful due the the patterns and colors of the old futon covers. It was during wwII that material for hakama became very scarce. Some would make hakama out of the air raid curtains after the war but due to the wear and tear the sun put on this material the knees would practically turn to dust when performing suwari waza so it was at this time, when Japan was poverty stricken from war and material being so expensive that it was decided that one didn't have to have a hakama to practice.

I don't know that it was meant to be forever but if the reason mentioned above was the reason why I see no reason not to at least allow it.

09-18-2004, 03:54 AM
Only highschool girls practicing kyudo should wear hakamas.

btw, if you are wearing a hakama now, you are entitled to punch me in the gut ;)

Lyle Laizure
09-19-2004, 05:56 PM
Jesse....great one! I about fell out of my chair.

09-19-2004, 06:37 PM
*places jesse in fuedal japan* repeat that. LOL

09-20-2004, 03:16 AM
standing....silently, but not able to wipe the smirk off my face.

09-20-2004, 11:39 AM
Best prank in the world: Sew someones hakama together. 0_o John, why are you wearing a dress?

09-20-2004, 11:48 AM
Best prank in the world: Sew someones hakama together. 0_o John, why are you wearing a dress?

Actually, hakama were sewn together like a skirt for a long time, then they realized that this makes riding horses very difficult. You can still find formal "un-seperated" hakama online.

09-20-2004, 11:51 AM
yeah but this would include cutting the middle out and making it a whole :P

09-21-2004, 01:52 AM
yeah but this would include cutting the middle out and making it a whole :P

Ahh... yeah that would be a good one.... An expensive one, but a good one.

09-23-2004, 03:14 PM
Thanks for the advice! I appreciate your comments and suggestions.

Jonathan Punt
09-24-2004, 06:19 PM
In my club the guys get to wear them at around 2nd Kyu. Its is an honoury award that is given when it is felt that the person is 'in preparation' for Shodan.

The ladies get them a lot sooner, which is obviously sexist, but hell I didnt make up the rules.

Its just as big a deal in getting awarded hakama as it is in passing your Shodan grading.

We dont wear coloured belts, just white and black, so its a kind of intermediate stage also. It kinda means youve arrived on the Aki scene.


09-26-2004, 03:46 AM
btw, if you are wearing a hakama now, you are entitled to punch me in the gut ;)

If you are wearing a hakama now then you should get that computer off the mat! :D