Nafis Zahir wrote:
Question: How do you tie your hakama? I have been experimenting with several different ways, and have not settled on one way as of yet. I've tried to tie it like my Sensei, but I can't seem to get it to stay on as well as his does, even if I pull the straps until I can't breath. I just saw a video on it by Furuya Sensei, which I'm going to try next. I'd like to hear your way of tying the hakama and why you tie it that way. Thanks!
I know of at least three ways, all 'traditional' and all used in Japan.
The first way is favoured by Doshu and the Aikikai Hombu. After putting on the obi, you put on the hakama and take the front himo of the hakama and tie them twice around the body, just below the waist, with a cross-over at the font. The ends should be tucked in and not left hanging. Then, with the koshi-ita firmly positioned just above the obi, the back himo are threaded through the front himo from top to bottom and tied at the front, just below the waist. Again, the ends should be tucked in and not left hanging down.
The second way starts with the back himo, which are tied at the front. The purpose is to get the koshi-ita fimly in position. You put on the hakama and tie the back himo first. Then the front himo are tied around the body, much the same as in the first way. You then untie the front himo and thread them through the tied back himo and make a knot at the front, just below the waist. I learned this method from M Kanetsuka Shihan, but other shihans also use this method.
The third is favoured by Japanese university students and is similar to the first way, except that the front himo are firmly tucked inside the obi and are tied under the hakama, below the obi, so that the knot is at the front, but is invisible. Then the koshi-ita of the hakama is put in place and the back himo are tied outside the hakama at the front in the normal way.
I myself generally use the first way, but use the second way with a particularly ancient hakama, where the stitching on the koshi-ita is falling apart. In addition I do not use a judo obi, but a wider one that winds round the body with the end tucked in, rather than tied in a knot.