Larry Camejo (L. Camejo) wrote:
The reason I used the advantage/disadvantage approach had to do with the impressions I got from the words - "it seems that the danger to us (the type of training we do in Aikido) outweighs whatever the reasons are that we wear hakama" - from Paula's original post.
Yes, I understand this. Paula's questions are always interesting, but this time she went on to use another phrase and this caught my attention:
"cI don't even truly know why we do; some form of homage to antiquity?"
"Homage to antiquity" is a very loose way of interpreting the word "keiko" (= respect for the old) and perhaps needs to be taken more seriously. It probably lies behind the acceptance of the rule against wearing the hakama by Tomiki Sensei's students and also acceptance of the hakama rule by Tomiki Sensei himself, when he was a student at the Kobukan.
In other words, were I a Tomiki or Shodokan student, I would not spend much time questioning the non-hakama rule: it is part of the deal and Tomiki Sensei had his own reasons against wearing the hakama. On the other hand, had I been a student at the Kobukan, I don't think I would have spent much time either worrying about why we were wearing the hakama.
Thus, I accept Kisshomaru Ueshiba's decision to make the hakama part of the yudansha's uniform because I have accepted training in an Aikikai dojo.
The argument against wearing the hakama because it is dangerous\in an art which is supposed to be lethal\applies to other things, like tatami and weapons. You take care not to break your toes by getting them caught in the gaps between tatami (there should not be any gaps) and you take extra care not to cause unjuries with bokuto. However, the fact that injuries occasionally happen is not usually an occasion for doing away with the offending items and I do not see why the hakama should be an exception merely because it is traditional.
As for hakama length, I suspect this, too, is a matter of custom.