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Old 04-04-2012, 11:44 AM   #32
Zoe S Toth
Dojo: Seidokan Aikido of South Carolina
Location: Columbia, SC
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 40
Re: Do you fold your Sensei's hakama?

Thank you everyone for such great responses. I'm trying to respond to my favorites below:

Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
After class, usually the most senior student will fold our sensei's hakama. This seems to me right and proper.

After a class taught by our most senior student, I heard someone offer to fold his hakama. He responded, "Go away. You're embarrassing me." This also seemed to me right and proper.
I laughed my ass off on this one- mainly because it was so on the nose. Our senior student has been practicing Aikido with Sensei since 1990; he's a great teacher in his own right. Although he's modest that he would probably say that to us if we asked.

Jun Akiyama wrote: View Post
Here's a poll I took back in 2003:

Who folds your aikido teacher's hakama after s/he teaches class? - 3/1/2003

-- Jun
Thank you Jun for this post. It was nice to kind of get a glimpse at the numbers. I'm not too shocked to find my dojo is in the minority in this poll mainly because I assume most of the people who responded where from America or other English speaking countries. I wouldn't be suprised if it was the opposite in Japan.

Christian Moses wrote: View Post
My first Aikido teacher expected the senior student to sit in seiza immediately after class and wait for him to hand them his hakama. Then it had better be done by the time he got done changing and you better still be sitting in seiza where he handed it to you with both hands still holding the thing. He'd take it, feel it to see if it was flat enough and either put it on his desk, or flop it open and tell you to do it again if he could feel any bulges.

That's stupid. Really stupid, although I do fold a mighty tidy hakama now.

I have offered to fold people's hakama, but mostly as a convenience or a show of respect, sort of like saying, "Hey, you're busy and I know you need to get going, so I can fold that for you..." It's similar to in my sword school when I've offered to clean my teacher's shinken after class because I knew he was in a hurry. It's not grovelling, it's just being polite.
Christian, I don't know how anyone tolerated that. Even at their worst, my drill sergeant in ROTC showed me more respect than that. I'm fine with the two handed bow to give the hakama; when I folded our Sensei's hakama on Monday happily did that. But I know Sensei would never throw it back at me.

I agree with your final statement: it is not groveling, it is being polite.

Simone Koerner wrote: View Post
@Mary: I'm enjoying this discussion because for me it is not the usual "this is how it's done and you're a dolt/oaf/cult member if you do it any other way" topic, but everyone just states how it is done where he trains and doesn't comment in this way on how others described their way...

Simone, I couldn't agree more. It is nice for everyone just to say, well I do this but it dosen't matter if you don't. Usually there is such heated argument over such things.
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