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Old 09-11-2005, 07:48 PM   #1
Location: California
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 18
Question Gi and Hakama

I have looked up lots of comments about what types were good and what were bad, but there are still some questions that I would like to know the answer to specifically.

For a long time, my gi has not really felt that comfortable and I have been wanting to buy a new one (especially since this old one is starting to fray with how frequently I machine wash it). Shopping around, Bu jin sounds pretty appealing since it specifically has a gi made for women. Is the difference really obvious? The thing that irritates me most about my gi (the shirt) is that it loosens very easily (opens up) and the cloth around the waist is bunched up when I tie my belt, which makes it mildly uncomfortable. I would like to get one with a better body shape.

And if Bu Jin's women's gis are the answer, then has anyone tried their 100% cotton one? How well does it do with sweat and is it really easy to move in?

I don't really like the idea of getting any of the thickly woven ones. Finding a light, thin, strong one would make me a happy camper, but I am not sure where I can find one.

As for questions about hakamas, today I was talking to some girls about when they got their hakamas and I was forgetful enough to not ask about where they got them. I am not sure when I will get mine, but my curiosity is perked and I would like to know some things.

Again, Bu Jin's women's hakama sounded pretty nice. One of the measurements they require is length and I was wondering if going an extra inch or two longer would be necessary? Two of their options are also to get an extended front panel or an aiki koshita. Never having had a hakama, I wanted to know how getting either of these would benefit you if you wore your belt parallel or were break falling in a hakama.

Input is wonderful.

Much thanks.

Last edited by DonnaQ : 09-11-2005 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 09-11-2005, 08:47 PM   #2
Qatana's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Petaluma, Petaluma,CA
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 834
Re: Gi and Hakama

All I know is that I absolutely cannot move in a bujin heavy duty women's gi.I think I don't come near the minimum weight requirements or something. If anybody wants to trade for ,say, a slightly used hakama, its a size 3...


"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 09-11-2005, 09:54 PM   #3
Dojo: Sand Drift Aikikai, Cocoa Florida
Location: Melbourne, Florida
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 824
Re: Gi and Hakama

I have two lightweight Bujin women's tops. Those are easy to move in and are lightweight and are perfect for training in the Florida heat. My first I bought about four years ago and my other one arrived to my house just yesterday. They are darted through the waist so there is no extra fabric like a regular gi and are also darted in the chest area to conform to our bodies. Also, they still give enough room in the shoulders for grabbing purposes. They fit like a karate style gi with ties on the inside and on the outsite and it really does a good job of staying in place.

I also have the women's hakama and a regular one. I enjoy both. I've had my women's hakama for about four and a half years (since I've been 5th kyu). I have the lightweight duck blend and find that the pleats stay in place and has been rather durable. It's only within the past year have I noticed some fading from wear. As far as the duck blend is concerned you don't really have to add extra inches as I haven't noticed any shrinkage. Also, I wear my belt on my natural waist (straight like the picture shows on their website) and have found that I prefer the extended panel which helps to prevent the hakama from falling off. I don't have the aiki-koshita, though.

Also as far as sizing goes their size guidelines are pretty dependable. If you are on the border it would be better to go a size up if you can.

Anne Marie Giri
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Old 09-12-2005, 10:26 AM   #4
Dojo: St. Pete Aikikai
Location: Pinellas Park, FL
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 38
Re: Gi and Hakama

My wife ordered her first hakama as a women's hakama, no extended front panel and traditional koshita from Bu-Jin and hated it. The women's style hakama seems to have extra material in the rear for those women who have little more padding in the posterior and my wife doesn't. She was constantly catching her hakama on her heals, and by the end of class, it was nearly falling off. The traditional koshita caused bruising in her lower back (mostly from bad break fall landings). On her second hakama, she got a traditional style hakama (ie, non-women's), extended front panel and Aiki-koshita and has been much happier. We also opted for sewn pleats, which have been a life saver for my pleats especially. When you order from Bu-Jin, the guidelines on the website are pretty good and the length is based on measurement and how you intend to care for you hakama, if you plan to machine wash it, it will ship a few inches longer.
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Old 09-12-2005, 02:02 PM   #5
Eric Webber
Dojo: Aikido West Reading
Location: Reading, Pa
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 261
Re: Gi and Hakama

I have had several hakama over time, some from Bu Jin, one from Japan, and one custom made (from furniture fabric!). I think the Bu Jin are probably the best for a variety of reasons, though you need to know what you're looking for. I wear through the 100% cotton (not the Super Heavy Weight - the normal one) every couple of years, but I like the way it fits and feels. The middle weight blend is great for durability and keeping pleats. I've had both styles of koshita, either is good if your ukemi is on the mark, and I like the extended front panel. The one I had from Japan (it's now in Moscow - I gave it to a friend who trains there) looked nice but never folded nicely and would not keep the pleats . The one I had made is a bit brilliant in color and not for everyday practice, though it is fairly indestructable
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Old 09-12-2005, 11:19 PM   #6
Location: California
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 18
Re: Gi and Hakama

Thanks for the help everyone.

I think I will definitely order the gi jacket. After reading about it a bit more, it sounds like it should work.

Another question about the hakama measurements. I barely make it to the medium hakama. Is it still best to go for the medium one rather than the small one?
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Old 09-23-2005, 03:14 PM   #7
Matthew White
Location: OKC, OK
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 28
Re: Gi and Hakama

I've got a Bujin hakama, regular koshiita, extended front. I like it in general, for tachiwaza Aikido. But I have problems with it doing suwariwaza, newaza, and Iaido. It's too heavy and pulls away from my obi too much (and I've tried tying it about 30 different ways). Finally, I found it really depends on what type of obi I'm wearing.
Aside from the weight problem for seated and ground work, it's great. The pleats have stayed, very little fading, no holes in the knees (or anywhere else). Good stuff.
As for the top, I've not tried Bujin. I've had some judo tops and karate tops and had them opening no matter what I did, so I went with a white kendo top (with teacher's permission). The extra tie on the chest does the trick. You also might check into a naginata top, very similar.
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