It isn't like you have to learn to walk all over again. They really aren't that bad.
BC wrote:In the dojo where I train, females of all ranks (due to "modesty") and only male yudansha wear hakama. Yes, they do look cool, but as a male mudansha, I'm actually kind of grateful that I don't have to wear one, so I can avoid tripping on it (I do that enough without a hakama), and I feel sorry for the beginning women for that reason (plus, hakamas aren't cheap). We're having yudansha tests next week, so I imagine that afterward we'll be seeing some interesting moves from some of the newer yudansha as they adjust to their new attire on the mat!
A general question but does anyone out there have a valid reason for why women can wear hakama and men can't until yudansha? The only valid reason I can find is that someone said so. I've heard the modesty argument many times and it doesn't wash in this century.
Aikido is O'Sensei's budo. It lives on through his uchi-deshi. So IMHO, it's really the Shihan's Aikido. It's not yours or mine. Now I realize that we practice and develop our individual ways and means of movement; but we do this by mimiking the Shihan that we study under. The way of Aikido is a Japanese way not a western or Euraisian way. I think that in the facets of the art itself, we need to look at what Aikido is: a Japanese martial art with Japanese etiquitte. I see non Japanese dojos who try to be "maverick" move away from these policies. Everything from not bowing to waring street clothes on the "mat". If this is your bag, fine. I have known some of these people and a few are very nice; but it seems that if we are to embody the true essence of "real" aikido practce, we need to just do what our Shihan say and live as well as practice by their exapmle; regardless of what that is.