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malsmith
03-23-2005, 06:05 PM
im sure this has been asked before but here i go again...

what ranks are allowed to wear hakama?

i think this might be different in every dojo, but then why is it different?
who wore hakama traditionally? just anyone? or only "the masters"?

bendo
03-23-2005, 06:06 PM
In our organisation, shodan and up get to wear the hakama. I think, though not sure, that women of kyu grade can wear as well, for modesty reasons?

akiy
03-23-2005, 06:11 PM
Just for the record, here are a couple of threads which have discussions on this subject.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=142
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1445
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4166
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6485

As well as the polls:

Do you normally wear a hakama during aikido practice? - 7/1/2000
http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=13

Do you think everyone, regardless of gender and rank, should wear a hakama in aikido? - 8/26/2000
http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=21

-- Jun

Zoli Elo
03-23-2005, 07:42 PM
Jun I think that you might have a mono operation bias in your second poll (mono method bias) that threats it validity. I say this as there are several possible groups were there is not a hakama to rank level, correlation - strictly. So, it is a real possibility that individuals in some groups would say that, 'regardless of gender and rank [nearly] none should wear a hakama in aikido.'

In my opinion, if a person wants to wear a hakama, more power to them...

akiy
03-23-2005, 07:48 PM
Hi Zoli,

Thanks for your thoughts. Since that poll was one of the earlier ones (way back in 2000), I wasn't very good at thinking about all (or, hopefully, most) of the possible responses. I hope, though, I've gotten better in the mean time!

-- Jun

crbateman
03-23-2005, 09:48 PM
The hakama question has numerous conflicts. When I explore it, I see many photographs showing O'Sensei teaching a roomful of students, with almost nobody wearing hakama, even black belts. In other photos, everybody has one. Saotome Sensei tells a story from his uchideshi days about being dismissed from the mat by O'Sensei because he had forgotten his hakama. "What makes you think you can receive your teacher's instruction in your underwear?" O'Sensei asked. It also seems in those days that O'Sensei wasn't picky about styles, grades or colors of hakama. Saotome Sensei says that many students showed up for practice having snuck their fathers' expensive silk decorative hakama out of the house.

One thing does seem certain. That is that the hakama, in Aikido at least, was not intended to be one the trappings of rank, although modern interpretations seem to have made it so. It is realistic to assume, since a good hakama is expensive, a student should be given the time and opportunity to gauge his commitment to the art before having to invest in one. In the present, it seems to be basically up to the respective organizations, and even to individual teachers, to decide how to treat it. In gatherings of mixed styles, or when visiting a dojo not of their own, I have not personally seen any student who didn't have one asked to put one on, nor have I seen any student who wore one asked to take it off. Your mileage may vary.

AikiSean!
03-23-2005, 10:42 PM
In the video "Rendez-vous with Adventure" the narator says the gentlemen in "black pantaloons" are instructors. Then, when they begin training with O'sensei, one of the documentors is wearing a hakama and the other is not.

PeterR
03-23-2005, 11:06 PM
I used to say that we don't wear hakama in Shodokan Aikido and then I find out that University students in Enbu demonstations do. Turns out that their instructors do not. So you could say that advanced Shodokan practioners are less likely to be found wearing those pantaloons.

We love being contrary.

batemanb
03-24-2005, 04:59 AM
In the video "Rendez-vous with Adventure" the narator says the gentlemen in "black pantaloons" are instructors. Then, when they begin training with O'sensei, one of the documentors is wearing a hakama and the other is not.


I've seen a few MA documentaries over the years where the presenter/ narrator doesn't know his @rse end from his elbow and often fails to corroborate facts :D

rgds

Bryan

Dazzler
03-24-2005, 05:51 AM
I've heard that everyone wore them at one time,

they are pretty expensive...and following the war many couldn't afford them.

Piece of cloth really...but I was proud to be awarded mine.

We tend to award them around 3rd kyu for blokes and slightly earlier for ladies.

Generally done in recognition of committment to our organisation more than anything else.

Cheers

D

Ketsan
03-24-2005, 07:05 AM
As a rule men don't get them in our association until dan grade and women can get them at 5th kyu and above for dedication.

Bronson
03-24-2005, 10:02 AM
In our dojo those who are at least nikyu AND have taken some sort of teaching responsibility.

Bronson

maynard
03-24-2005, 11:31 AM
As the saying goes, when in Rome, do as the Romans. I would ask what the custom is if I were visiting a dojo outside of my organisation.

Jim Simons
03-24-2005, 12:15 PM
Another reason to ask whether or not to wear a hakama when visiting, at least if you are mudansha: it can be a safety issue. Those you're training with, not knowing you, may make certain assumptions about your ability to take ukemi based on those "black pantaloons" you're wearing, depending on the customs of their own dojo. It's not ideal, but it happens. Most of us at least sometimes will make those sorts of assumptions, whether it's about the stranger in the hakama, the stranger in the gi with right lapel over left and obi hanging down to the floor, or the stranger in the sweat suit.

Of course, if you _really_ want to wear that hakama, then you can safely lower peoples' expectations of your ability level by taking special care to trip over the hem (as spectacularly as possible) when getting up for the first technique. ;-)

Ron Tisdale
03-24-2005, 12:34 PM
Huh! I've been wearing a hakama off and on for about 2 years now, and I STILL trip over the hem sometimes...

:)

p00kiethebear
03-24-2005, 01:23 PM
I started doing battodo before i ever joined aikido. In battodo everyone was allowed to (and encouraged) to wear hakama. When i finally joined my sensei's aikido class I just kept wearing it without a clue. He didn't mind, so i still. wear it.

The only time i take it off is when we go to another dojo to test where the hakama rules are more heavily enforced.

Zoli Elo
03-24-2005, 02:16 PM
Hello, just a small question; if you belong to a dojo where anyone can wear hakama, or wear one after their first testing and visit another dojo would it be impolite to go wearing your hakama with no knowlege of if they are 'awarded' at a certain rank or not (the implication being that if you wear a hakama when your below the grade that it's awarded to)? I understand that a person would usually ask if they were representing their own dojo, but if you were just visiting (also if it is to a different school of Aikido)..
Thanks, Kat

Lately, I have been going with no hakama and a white belt when visiting other dojo. Aikido is a little different from dojo to dojo, so I find it best to not expect anything and not give them any expectations. Plus it is neat to see how they treat me dressed like that.

Michael Holm
03-24-2005, 03:15 PM
Within Ki Aikido in Denmark, its normally to wear hakama from 2. kyu (same to men and women :) )

Steven
03-24-2005, 03:48 PM
Who can wear a hakama?

That's easy. Anyone who feels like it. Just buy it and wear it anytime you want. Though your dojo may have an issue, so don't wear it there. But wear it anywhere else if you like. Kinda like asking, "Who can wear pants". No?

xuzen
03-25-2005, 12:12 AM
Who can wear a hakama?

That's easy. Anyone who feels like it. Just buy it and wear it anytime you want. Though your dojo may have an issue, so don't wear it there. But wear it anywhere else if you like. Kinda like asking, "Who can wear pants". No?

I'll second that Steven, as well as those who wear them and escape the agony of getting their toes entangle with it during practice. Clearly I don't belong to the fortunate group. My hakama is at the moment neatly folded and left undisturbed inside my apparel drawers.

Boon.

YinYaker
03-25-2005, 06:02 AM
I would feel a little silly doing my grocery shopping in one.

Jim Simons
03-25-2005, 08:07 AM
Huh! I've been wearing a hakama off and on for about 2 years now, and I STILL trip over the hem sometimes...


It'll be another year or two before I have the 'priviledge' of impeding my movement in that particular way. At the moment I'm content to trip over my own feet, my partner's feet, the seams of the mat... ;-)

estel
03-25-2005, 05:40 PM
In our school - it's for 1st kyu and up, although I believe women may wear it at any point.
Then again, we seem to be different to most Aikido organisations when it comes to ranks.

Lyle Laizure
03-25-2005, 08:54 PM
I encourage students to wear hakama from day one. Traditionally they were required or you could not practice, at least in Aikido.

Ky Elliott
03-27-2005, 05:12 AM
At Tsubaki Grand shrine, students wear Hakama after their 5th Kyu test. it seems that advancement is much slower in Tsubaki Aiki and Ideta ryu. dont know why. I did Aiki for two years and never achieved 5th kyu.
Same with Bujinkan Budotaijutsu. Never tested.

Sonja2012
03-27-2005, 07:18 AM
As a rule men don't get them in our association until dan grade and women can get them at 5th kyu and above for dedication.

Sorry, this is a language question: what does that mean exactly - for dedication ?

Peter Goldsbury
03-27-2005, 09:03 AM
I think there is a difference between prewar and postwar attitudes.

Whereas prewar, and immediately postwar for the deshi (e.g. Saotome-shi), hakama was a garment covering underwear and so was worn as a matter of course, after the war in the Aikikai it became a mark of rank and was tied to the gaining of shodan rank.

In the dojos I look after in Europe, some instructors allow 1st kyuu students to wear the hakama. However, when I go to Europe to give training courses and deliver shodan diplomas, these students have to train in white belts and with no hakama and, immediately after receiving their dan diplomas, they have to remove their white belts and put on their hakamas in front of everybody. Then we continue training.

Best regards,

Ketsan
03-27-2005, 09:47 AM
Sorry, this is a language question: what does that mean exactly - for dedication ?

Comitment to training.

Kevin Kelly
03-27-2005, 01:16 PM
In our dojo, 3rd kyu and up wear hakama, men and women. It kind of makes it easier to tell who is Sempai and Kohai. If we have a foreign Sensei such as Hitohiro Saito Sensei coming for a seminar, the student are told only dan grades are to wear them, so he will know who is at least shodan. And of course, I am assuming if someone from our dojo who is third kyu went visiting another dojo, they would not wear their hakama.

Terry Donaghe
03-28-2005, 09:32 AM
My wife, recently ranked 5th kyu, was told last week that she needed to start wearing a hakama. I believe that our sensei wants all ranked women to wear hakamas. Guys in my USAF dojo generally don't wear hakamas till they attain shodan rank. So, in 10 or 15 (20?) years when I finally get to wear my fancy pants my wife will be an old pro at it and I'll be stumbling about like the noob I am now. :D

Ki No Nagare
03-29-2005, 11:00 AM
In my dojo we think that everyone may wear a(n) hakama, after the war a lot of new students couldn't afford a(n) hakama because the economy was bad in Japan. So Ueshiba lost a lot of new students, so he said that people could start without the hakama but had to buy one as soon as possible.
As soon as the western civilisation saw that new people didn't wear hakama's and the progressed ones did, they thought that only the people above the 2th kyu could wear one, but that is nonsense.
I have bought a hakama this year, because it is tradition to wear one, and it is better for my Shisei. And I know I won't be quitting Aikido......for like....the rest of my life.

Long story short: every Aikidoka may wear a hakama....

giriasis
03-29-2005, 12:50 PM
My wife, recently ranked 5th kyu, was told last week that she needed to start wearing a hakama. I believe that our sensei wants all ranked women to wear hakamas. Guys in my USAF dojo generally don't wear hakamas till they attain shodan rank. So, in 10 or 15 (20?) years when I finally get to wear my fancy pants my wife will be an old pro at it and I'll be stumbling about like the noob I am now. :D


My dojo does pretty much the same thing except we don't generally require a woman to wear hakama once she reaches 5th kyu. So, it's left as an option for us ladies. Of the kyu ranked women in our dojo we're about half and half hakama and non-hakama wearers. Although, I have noticed a trend among the women in our dojo to not wear one until she feels comfortable with her ukemi.

Charles Hill
03-29-2005, 07:31 PM
So, it's left as an option for us ladies.

Hi,

I think that the historical reason for this is clearly sexist. It was a topic in the letters section of ATM years back. I am interested in hearing what Anne and/or others feel about it.

Charles

Hardware
03-29-2005, 08:51 PM
In our dojo, women are permitted to wear the hakama from the start as a modesty issue. None of the kyu ranked males wear it. Only the one shodan and Sensei (sandan) wear it.

Sensei told me I could start wearing the hakama if I wanted, but I declined. I feel I want to earn the privilege (I've been a 3rd kyu since Sunday).

giriasis
03-30-2005, 01:56 PM
Hi,

I think that the historical reason for this is clearly sexist. It was a topic in the letters section of ATM years back. I am interested in hearing what Anne and/or others feel about it.

Charles

Whether the hakama issue becomes an issue of gender depend on how it is handled in the dojo. A dojo can be sexist towards women whether they wear a hakama or not.

I believe sexist against the men because they have to wait till shodan to wear it, but at least where I train I haven't heard the guys complain that they don't get to wear it until blackbelt. The way the hakama is handled where is train is : Sensei, "you past your 5th kyu" you want to order a hakama?" Then, it's left up to the female student whether she wants to get one or not. I don't consider the wearing of hakama as a status symbol. It's just a hakama, a big black or blue piece of cloth. If anything is a "status symbol" it is the black belt and we know how most people feel about that. ;)

As to the "modesty" reason, I really don't know what modesty they are wanting me to protect, but I have found a "convenience" factor for about three days during each month when the flow from my period is so heavy that I risk spotting and subsequent speading of such a spot caused from sweat. Imagine changing at the end of class to notice that your gi pants are very pink, and no one bothered to tell you anything. :blush: Before wearing hakama, I did skip class because of this, now, I feel I can train even on the first day, which is the heaviest day of my menstrual cycle.

Now, that I wear one if I go without it I feel naked without it.

All in all, there are more issues I worry about on the mat than wearing a hakama. The only thing I need to do is show up about 5 minutes earlier to get the darn thing tied on.

Ron Tisdale
03-30-2005, 04:08 PM
Too much information....

Ron (just kidding) :)

Pauliina Lievonen
03-30-2005, 05:38 PM
Before wearing hakama, I did skip class because of this, now, I feel I can train even on the first day, which is the heaviest day of my menstrual cycle.


I switched from tampax to ob and haven't had any problems since...if I want to feel really on the safe side I wear a pad, too. The good ones nowadays stay in place surprisingly well. Or maybe I don't train hard enough....

kvaak
Pauliina
just trying to see if we can get Ron to run away... :D

Hardware
03-30-2005, 08:24 PM
...As to the "modesty" reason, I really don't know what modesty they are wanting me to protect...


Well, I understand (and I may be wrong) this falls back on Japanese culture and tradition.

The dogi (top, pants and obi) used to comprise underwear for the Japanese. Indeed, most of the Japanese I train with wear nothing beneath the dogi - it is their underwear. Being western, I wear boxer briefs and I used to wear a T-shirt. As the T-shirt was visible, I was asked to stop wearing it.

So, from a cultural standpoint, training in the dogi for the Japanese, is the same as a westerner training in an undershirt and briefs (or boxers, etc).

Because of this, women were traditionally allowed or required (depending on the association) to wear hakama - to cover their underwear. Hence the reference to it being an issue of modesty.

bogglefreak20
03-31-2005, 06:51 AM
In our dojo we wear them from the 3rd kyu up.

Ron Tisdale
03-31-2005, 07:30 AM
Pauliina
just trying to see if we can get Ron to run away...

Ron: "nanananananananan....I'm not listening..... :) "

What is it that makes some of us guys so squeemish anyways....

giriasis
03-31-2005, 07:36 AM
I switched from tampax to ob and haven't had any problems since...if I want to feel really on the safe side I wear a pad, too. The good ones nowadays stay in place surprisingly well. Or maybe I don't train hard enough....

kvaak
Pauliina
just trying to see if we can get Ron to run away... :D

For the most part ob works really well for me. It makes sense, it was made by women gynocologists. ;) But on my first day even with that I still risk some leakage.

I bet we could get Ron to run away if we asked him to go buy us some "feminine supplies." ;)

As far as it being a traditional Japanese thing, I'm not so sure about that. If you have the DVD from Sugano Sensei (Heavan and Earth) there's an old O'Sensei clip in it and there is a woman demonstrating aikido but she's wearing a kimono -- not a gi and hakama like the men were. (I don't recall if the men were in gi only). I wouldn't want to go THAT traditional.

batemanb
03-31-2005, 07:49 AM
Ron: "nanananananananan....I'm not listening..... :) "

What is it that makes some of us guys so squeemish anyways....


Sorry Ron, I can't hear you, I've got my fingers in my ears :D

rgds

Bryan (typing with his nose)

the slayer
04-03-2005, 04:45 PM
hi, sorry haven't been on for a while but back now also in our dojo the women get to where them after they pass their first grading which in our dojo is 6th kyu for modesty reasons so are ranking goes 6-1kyu then dan all where white belt until dan grade juniors get colured belts

jimbaker
09-26-2008, 09:43 AM
I think the "modesty" issue had more to do with upended women showing too much calf.

The old official judo uniform for women had "pegged" pants bottoms to prevent the unseemly display of the nethermost leg region. See >http://ejmas.com/jalt/jaltart_svinth_0201.htm< pic of Ayako Akutagawa, towards the bottom of the page. Also notice the white stripe on her black belt which denoted her rank in Joshi Judo.

I'm guessing that the exposed calf of a man is less disturbing to women.

Fukuda Sensei's book, "Born for the Mat" is a fascinating look at woman's Judo. She's still alive and is now a Kodakan Judo 9th Dan. The old pictures have some great beehive hairdos.

JIM

jennifer paige smith
09-27-2008, 01:44 PM
Mitsugi Saotome Sensei, "The Principles Of Aikido"

"When I was uchi deshi to O Sensei, everyone was required to wear a hakama for practice, beginning with the first time they stepped on the mat. There were no restrictions on the type of hakama you could wear then, so the dojo was a very colorful place. One saw hakama of all sorts, all colors and all qualities, from kendo hakama, to the striped hakama used in Japanese dance, to the costly silk hakama called sendai-hira. I imagine that some beginning student caught the devil for borrowing his grandfather's expensive hakama, meant to be worn only for special occasions and ceremonies, and wearing out its knees in suwariwaza practice.

I vividly remember the day that I forgot my hakama. I was preparing to step on the mat for practice, wearing only my dogi, when O Sensei stopped me. "Where is your hakama?" he demanded sternly. "What makes you think you can receive your teacher's instruction wearing nothing but your underwear? Have you no sense of propriety? You are obviously lacking the attitude and the etiquette necessary in one who pursues budo training. Go sit on the side and watch class!"

This was only the first of many scoldings I was to receive from O Sensei. However, my ignorance on this occasion prompted O Sensei to lecture his uchi deshi after class on the meaning of the hakama. He told us that the hakama was traditional garb for kobudo students and asked if any of us knew the reason for the seven pleats in the hakama.

"They symbolize the seven virtues of budo," O Sensei said. "These are jin (benevolence), gi (honor or justice), rei (courtesy and etiquette), chi (wisdom, intelligence), shin (sincerity), chu (loyalty), and koh (piety). We find these qualities in the distinguished samurai of the past. The hakama prompts us to reflect on the nature of true bushido. Wearing it symbolizes traditions that have been passed down to us from generation to generation. Aikido is born of the bushido spirit of Japan, and in our practice we must strive to polish the seven traditional virtues."
Currently, most Aikido dojo do not follow O Sensei's strict policy about wearing the hakama. Its meaning has degenerated from a symbol of traditional virtue to that of a status symbol for yudansha. I have traveled to many dojo in many nations. In many of the places where only the yudansha wear hakama, the yudansha have lost their humility. They think of the hakama as a prize for display, as the visible symbol of their superiority. This type of attitude makes the ceremony of bowing to O Sensei, with which we begin and end each class, a mockery of his memory and his art.
Worse still, in some dojo, women of kyu rank (and only the women) are required to wear hakama, supposedly to preserve their modesty. To me this is insulting and discriminatory to women Aikidoka. It is also insulting to male Aikidoka, for it assumes a low-mindedness on their part that has no place on the Aikido mat.
To see the hakama put to such petty use saddens me. It may seem a trivial issue to some people, but I remember very well the great importance that O Sensei placed on wearing hakama. I cannot dismiss the significance of this garment, and no one, I think, can dispute the great value of the virtues it symbolizes. In my dojo and its associated schools I encourage all students to wear hakama regardless of their rank or grade. (I do not require it before they have achieved their first grading, since beginners in the United States do not generally have Japanese grandfathers whose hakama they can borrow.) I feel that wearing the hakama and knowing its meaning, helps students to be aware of the spirit of O Sensei and keep alive his vision.

If we can allow the importance of the hakama to fade, perhaps we will begin to allow things fundamental to the spirit of Aikido to slip into oblivion as well. If, on the other hand, we are faithful to O Sensei's wishes regarding our practice dress, our spirits may be more faithful to the dream to which he dedicated his life."

Ketsan
09-27-2008, 08:35 PM
Mitsugi Saotome Sensei, "The Principles Of Aikido"

"When I was uchi deshi to O Sensei, everyone was required to wear a hakama for practice, beginning with the first time they stepped on the mat. There were no restrictions on the type of hakama you could wear then, so the dojo was a very colorful place. One saw hakama of all sorts, all colors and all qualities, from kendo hakama, to the striped hakama used in Japanese dance, to the costly silk hakama called sendai-hira. I imagine that some beginning student caught the devil for borrowing his grandfather's expensive hakama, meant to be worn only for special occasions and ceremonies, and wearing out its knees in suwariwaza practice.

I vividly remember the day that I forgot my hakama. I was preparing to step on the mat for practice, wearing only my dogi, when O Sensei stopped me. "Where is your hakama?" he demanded sternly. "What makes you think you can receive your teacher's instruction wearing nothing but your underwear? Have you no sense of propriety? You are obviously lacking the attitude and the etiquette necessary in one who pursues budo training. Go sit on the side and watch class!"

This was only the first of many scoldings I was to receive from O Sensei. However, my ignorance on this occasion prompted O Sensei to lecture his uchi deshi after class on the meaning of the hakama. He told us that the hakama was traditional garb for kobudo students and asked if any of us knew the reason for the seven pleats in the hakama.

"They symbolize the seven virtues of budo," O Sensei said. "These are jin (benevolence), gi (honor or justice), rei (courtesy and etiquette), chi (wisdom, intelligence), shin (sincerity), chu (loyalty), and koh (piety). We find these qualities in the distinguished samurai of the past. The hakama prompts us to reflect on the nature of true bushido. Wearing it symbolizes traditions that have been passed down to us from generation to generation. Aikido is born of the bushido spirit of Japan, and in our practice we must strive to polish the seven traditional virtues."
Currently, most Aikido dojo do not follow O Sensei's strict policy about wearing the hakama. Its meaning has degenerated from a symbol of traditional virtue to that of a status symbol for yudansha. I have traveled to many dojo in many nations. In many of the places where only the yudansha wear hakama, the yudansha have lost their humility. They think of the hakama as a prize for display, as the visible symbol of their superiority. This type of attitude makes the ceremony of bowing to O Sensei, with which we begin and end each class, a mockery of his memory and his art.
Worse still, in some dojo, women of kyu rank (and only the women) are required to wear hakama, supposedly to preserve their modesty. To me this is insulting and discriminatory to women Aikidoka. It is also insulting to male Aikidoka, for it assumes a low-mindedness on their part that has no place on the Aikido mat.
To see the hakama put to such petty use saddens me. It may seem a trivial issue to some people, but I remember very well the great importance that O Sensei placed on wearing hakama. I cannot dismiss the significance of this garment, and no one, I think, can dispute the great value of the virtues it symbolizes. In my dojo and its associated schools I encourage all students to wear hakama regardless of their rank or grade. (I do not require it before they have achieved their first grading, since beginners in the United States do not generally have Japanese grandfathers whose hakama they can borrow.) I feel that wearing the hakama and knowing its meaning, helps students to be aware of the spirit of O Sensei and keep alive his vision.

If we can allow the importance of the hakama to fade, perhaps we will begin to allow things fundamental to the spirit of Aikido to slip into oblivion as well. If, on the other hand, we are faithful to O Sensei's wishes regarding our practice dress, our spirits may be more faithful to the dream to which he dedicated his life."

Hakama in our association can be awarded to female kyu grades for dedication after four months of practice.

ilia rudnitskiy
10-05-2008, 06:09 PM
In our dojo, only the yudansha wear a hakama... I'm not sure about the women, but for as long as I have been a member of our dojo (7 years) I haven't seen any women wear a hakama unless they are shodan or above... The only exception to this is that a yonkyu and sankyu at our dojo teach the children's class, and they're allowed to wear a hakama.

I know that traditionally everyone wore a hakama, but frankly I don't see a problem of wearing it only after you get your shodan... It gives the students something to strive for, and I know that even though I feel an accomplishment after every class anyways, I look forward to wearing a hakama one day (i'm ikkyu at the moment).

Also, it helps beginners tell apart the seniors from the juniors, and usually the yudansha are more experienced than the mudansha, so if the beginners have a question to ask, they can ask the seniors... and although you should practice with people of all abilities, usually it's better if a beginner practices a technique they've never done before with a yudansha first so they understand the correct movement. (i know that was a run on sentence)

Michael O'Brien
10-23-2008, 04:37 PM
In our dojo everyone is allowed, and encouraged, to wear a hakama after passing their first rank test.

Mike

Voitokas
10-23-2008, 11:46 PM
I started in a federation dojo where only yudansha and a few very committed second- and first-kyu students wore hakama. In my dojo now, everyone can wear hakama from their first promotion. I do like the latter way more. I feel like I move better in a hakama and that it has corrected some of my bad habits; I wish I had started wearing one earlier!

dalen7
10-24-2008, 01:51 PM
In the end, it doesnt matter...what matters is what it means to you at the time I suppose.

I would vote Hakama for Dan grade only, but I also like colored belts.
Being that I like milestones and knowing what is to be achieved at each level, this gives me some kind of a guide line to know what to expect from each person I train with. ;) (Just me though, I realize some people are the complete opposite in regards to this line of thought, which is totally cool.) :)

peace

dAlen

David Maidment
10-24-2008, 02:22 PM
In our dojo the hakama are for Dan grades only. I think it's a good and a bad idea, on both counts because it gives you something to aim for. And as many others will point out, there's something humbling about tripping over your hakama (one sensei at our dojo refers to it as the 'Hakama Technique').

However, it's also just a piece of cloth; traditional Japanese clothing that's been around for much longer than Aikido has. To that end (combined with all of the early 'tradition' of it being what your average aikidoka wore), I do find myself wishing that we were all encouraged to wear one. If for nothing else then to appear as aikidoka -- silly reason though that is, I find the hakama satisfyingly adequate at defining a generic martial artist as a practitioner of Aikido.

I think that the best approach is to just keep in line with whatever they say where you train (whether permanently or just on a passing visit), and have the hakama mean to you whatever it does outside of the dojo, if anything. And be prepared to don or or remove one in-line with the wishes of whoever is teaching, regardless of your rank.

Tinyboy344
10-28-2008, 06:28 PM
Everyone should wear one... it makes you look cool doing aikido in it!