Re: Hakama Question
Personally I don't see any issue with < shodan wearing hakama, though I prefer simple gi and white belt (too much hassle keeping the hakama clean and folded, and putting it on). However, I do believe that hakama-sabaki is something that should be taught pre-shodan. I studied iaido for a while and it was an important part of the training (nothing worse than tripping on your hakama with a live blade in hand!!). In iaido it is part of the uniform and not a symbol of rank and I doubt it was intended as a symbol of rank in Aikido either. I train in 2 different dojos, one which "awards" hakama after shodan and one which allows hakama after 4th or 5th kyu. I have no problem training in either scenario and it doesn't take long to figure out what level the other person is at.
One minor negative point towards wearing Hakama too early is that it may obstruct the instructors view of students feet, possibly preventing the instructor from correcting a students improper footwork.
I'd be curious to know though if dojos which allow Hakamas pre-shodan, require the student to wear or remove hakama for shodan test.
Last edited by patf : 08-11-2008 at 06:46 PM.