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Old 04-30-2003, 10:33 PM   #34
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
Location: Baltimore
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 586
Jun wrote:
Opher wrote:
I think that putting on a hakama at 5th kyu or 6th kyu like we do in ASU dojos is just plain silly.
Why do you think it's silly?
Well, I tend to think hakama are pretty silly to start with. They are expensive, cumbersome, never really taught me much about aikido, and take time to put on and fold up. They seem particularly silly for a 6th or 5th kyu because they are a distraction, because they require an unnecessary monetary commitment at a rank where many students still quit, and because it obviates the one potential use a hakama has as an obvious rank symbol. Rank symbols, I think, are most usefulfor beginners. Advanced students don't look at the rank, they look at the movements. Instead, in the ASU, students still mark their rank very clearly with white and brown and black but then hide it under a hakama so the only people who really should be paying attention to it -- beginners -- have a harder time seeing it.

The oft told story about O'Sensei reprimanding some beginner for training 'in their underwear' strikes me as being a holdover of Japanese hyper-traditionalism that doesn't particularly appeal to me. If we wanted to take it seriously, we shouldn't let pre-test beginners train 'in their underwear' either, but everyone can see that would be silly.

End of rant. It felt good to get that out of my system, I have to say.
Dave wrote:
Is it a generally agreed upon practice that regardless of your rank that you always wear a white belt when visiting another dojo?
I always wear a white belt to a new dojo. I prefer to be told to wear my rank. Very closely affiliated dojos can sometimes be an execption, but even there I usually prefer to go in white. I feel that it say to me, and to the sensei, that I come to learn and that I've left my claim to 'knowing something' behind. I don't always live up to that claim, but I do try to and I find that the reminder helps me.

I'm really amazed at all the different coloring systems. It's kind of fun.

Yours in Aiki
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