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Old 02-09-2002, 08:46 AM   #18
Carl Simard
Location: Quebec City
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 96
I have a beginner's book here where they somewhat explain the history of hakama. As it has been said in the previous posts, originally, everybody was wearing the hakama. It was the normal aikido clothing, similar to have a baseball uniform if you play baseball...

After the war, the economy of Japan was in ruin. So, it was accepted that people don't wear the hakama to practice (but they may if they want). I don't know if it was by O'Sensei, but the higher authority at that time simply doesn't want to see people leave dojo because they don't have enough money to buy hakama. However, higer ranked students were requested to have one.

From there, it simply became a tradition that beginner don't wear hakama and that more senior students were one. It simply have moved from an economic consideration to an "aikido etiquette" one. People were also finding that it doesn't really make sense to force people to buy a hakama before they even know if they will do aikido for a long time...

There's no link between wearing a hakama to hide people's feet, showing ranks, etc... It also explains why the rules for wearing the hakama change between affiliations and between dojos...
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