Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
Personally speaking when I do wear one (linked to my time training in Aikikia dojos) I found them restrictive and cumbersom. I thought I looked pretty good in the thing but fashion is not a reason. Well the Shodokan fashion is not to wear them so I guess it is a reason.
I think many consider wearing the hakama an important part of repsecting and continuing the tradition - like bowing procedures. I think you could say the same about the gi itself. I think traditional aesthetics are an important part of the art. Reducing this to "fashion" seems a bit crude.
If you're going to start tossing out everything you find inconvenient or impractical, the next thing you know Aikido will be like MMA, where it's basically just a bunch of guys in threadbare t-shirts and sweatpants training in a place that looks like an old garage.
However, if we were going that way, from a comfort/practicality standpoint, I'd say the best-feeling attire I've worn is a soft, thin gi with the side-ties on the top tied and no belt - vastly more comfortable and relaxed-feeling than being strapped into a hakama and obi.