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Old 09-23-2013, 01:09 PM   #42
Linda Eskin
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Dojo: Aikido of San Diego, San Diego, California
Location: San Diego County, California
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 334
Do symbol Re: Do you fold your Sensei's hakama?

I see it's an old question, but of course is a perpetual one, too, with new people asking it all the time. So here's my $0.02 worth:

1. Does this happen in your dojo?
Sensei usually rolls his up and puts it in the corner of his desk. However, if he is busy speaking to a guest or visiting instructor, or has to head out right after class, one of us will watch for him to take it off, take it from him, and fold it for him. I confess to having completely spaced on noticing the opportunity more than once - an occasion for minor mortification.

Also, if Sensei has left his hakama draped over a chair or something we will make sure it's folded before we go home.

2. If the senior student doesn't do it (ie has to leave early OR just dosen't do it) does it fall on the second most senior, ect.?
It's not particularly a rank thing at our dojo. (Or at least I hope it's not - maybe I've been stepping on toes!) The yudansha have their own to fold (only yudansha wear hakama at our dojo), so usually someone around 2nd or 1st kyu will do it. No one lines up - that just seems silly. If someone is standing there waiting to take it, nobody else needs to bother. Sometimes a lower-ranking student will recruit one of the yudansha, collect Sensei's hakama, and then get the yudansha's help/supervision in folding it.

3. Do you only fold the Sensei of the classes hakama? (Ie if there are two yudansha would my boyfriend and I each fold one hakama?)
We would only fold Sensei's hakama, and of course extend the courtesy to any visiting teacher as well. I would also offer at a seminar, but usually there are more senior students who know the instructor already waiting.

As others have mentioned, I consider a courtesy, a convenience, and an expression of gratitude and respect - not a show of deference or subservience.

Linda Eskin - Facebook | My Aikido blog: Grab My Wrist

"Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train." - Morihei Ueshiba
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