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Old 01-31-2004, 04:25 PM   #32
Anders Bjonback
Dojo: Boulder Aikikai
Location: Boulder, CO
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 129
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Personally, I am really glad that I have been able to wear hakama since my sixth kyu test. I like everyone being able to wear hakama, rather than just blackbelts. I feel like it's more inclusive, like it's a symbol of wanting to be a part of this tradition or lineage or whatever, rather than a sign of rank.

I also think hakama are awesome. I can't wait until I have enough money so I can get a kimono and hakama for tea ceremony.

I'm also glad that I have been able to start wearing a hakama in my early stages of training in ukemi. I know from the start not to get up from a front roll in a way that would possbily make me trip in my hakama. Since I started wrearing one from near the beginning, it wouldn't be nearly so much as a switch as, say, waiting four to six years. I won't have to worry about getting hurt by a sudden switch in garment after testing for shodan.

I've only done aikido for a year and a half, so to me it's still pretty obvious who is better than me or knows what he or she is doing, and who is a beginner. And my teachniques don't work that well anyway, so since I'm not likely to affect a beginner's center, I'm not very likely to do anything that could really hurt him or her (other than being too agressive with joint locks). Maybe it changes as you get more advanced and so need to know how good the other person is before you can really practice with him or her. I haven't heard of any problems like this at my dojo, though.

"For peace and happiness are presences, not objects we can grasp and hold onto."
--Lilian Smith
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