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Old 08-14-2008, 09:25 AM   #26
James Edwards
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 76
United Kingdom
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Re: Hakama Question

I thought Chiba sensei wasn't allowed to train in the whole of his first year? So it might be 11 months after he was first allowed to train.

The hakama is basically just trousers anyway while your gi trousers are underwear :P Osensei apparently used to tell his students to wear hakama right from the start, even banning some people to train when someone who owns one forgot to bring it. He said that it's rude to train in your underwear : But then lots of people still trained in gi since they couldn't afford a hakama anyway. Oh and in rendez-vous with adventure we can see the host of the documentary wearing one right from the start even though he just started.

I think in hombu and lots of dojos the tradition is that women can wear a hakama from 3rd kyu while men from 1st kyu. I've heard teachers letting students wear hakamas early due to special reasons or because they started teaching early. I guess it's just politeness for women and for respect of people who assist in teaching.

As with what people wear underneath, I've heard of someone who made a hole in his gi pants to make going to the toilet easier... It's always quite funny when people in hakama really need to go :

Last edited by James Edwards : 08-14-2008 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 08-20-2008, 05:17 PM   #27
David Maidment
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Re: Hakama Question

At my dojo the hakama is reserved for Shodan and above, which I can see being a good and a bad thing:

Amongst the higher kyu grades the hakama is something to aim for, and so is very much respected and revered. But then I've also heard many a black belt complain about having to learn footwork all over again to avoid tripping.

To that end, one of the first things I done when hearing these stories was to purchase a cheap hakama to wear whilst practicing outside of the dojo, even though my experience is only to 4th Kyu level. When I finally earn the right to wear one in the dojo, hopefully I'll be used to it enough that my footwork won't suffer.
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Old 08-21-2008, 12:33 AM   #28
Dieter Haffner
 
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Dojo: Tai Wa Lokeren, Budokai Mechelen
Location: Lokeren
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Belgium
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Re: Hakama Question

Quote:
David Maidment wrote: View Post
At my dojo the hakama is reserved for Shodan and above, which I can see being a good and a bad thing:

Amongst the higher kyu grades the hakama is something to aim for, and so is very much respected and revered. But then I've also heard many a black belt complain about having to learn footwork all over again to avoid tripping.

To that end, one of the first things I done when hearing these stories was to purchase a cheap hakama to wear whilst practicing outside of the dojo, even though my experience is only to 4th Kyu level. When I finally earn the right to wear one in the dojo, hopefully I'll be used to it enough that my footwork won't suffer.
Nothing better then to put a brand new black belt straight to its place.
That is: all the way at the bottom, with the ones that know nothing.

A hakama can do that (partially) for you.
Struggling to put on their hakama, is like a small child tieing its shoes for the first time.
Watching the new hakama people fall over it while moving/getting up from ukemi, always puts a smile on everybody's face.
It tells them that something new is going to start, and they are just at the beginning of it.

And you are trying to skip this wonderful experience?
You refuse to make a fool of yourself among your fellow students?
Shame on you, little cheater.
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Old 08-21-2008, 02:43 AM   #29
David Maidment
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Re: Hakama Question

Quote:
Dieter Haffner wrote: View Post
Shame on you, little cheater.
Aye, that might be the crux of it! Still, nothing like an unexpected kote gaeshi to put one in their place, if they get too big-headed... I'm sure one sensei or other would have no problem setting one aside for me!
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Old 08-23-2008, 10:39 AM   #30
Tkoyama
Dojo: UCSC Aikido Club
Location: Sacramento
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Re: Hakama Question

I come from an ASU dojo as well and I believe that all students should wear Hakama. That's just my opinion. Saito sensei said that they started doing the whole black belt only gets to wear hakama thing after the war when buying hakama and/or making them was very hard due to the aftermath of WWII. However, the dojo that I go to over the summer only lets shodan wear Hakama and I respect their rules. However we must remember that in the past when Osensei taught, everyone wore Hakama no matter what rank you were. My shihan stated in an essay that one day he had forgotten to wear his Hakama and Osensei would not let him train that day. Every dojo has their philosophy I guess but when a visitor comes and trains at your dojo and wears Hakama, try to be more open minded about it as opposed to jumping to conclusions that he's/she's arrogant or thinks himself to be higher than others. He/she probably just came from another dojo that encourages Hakama wearing.
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Old 08-23-2008, 01:22 PM   #31
Cynrod
Location: Las Vegas
Join Date: Jul 2008
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Re: Hakama Question

As many styles of Aikido came out so many new rules about wearing hakama were made.

Shigenobu Okumura Sensei: "When I was a uchi deshi to O Sensei everyone was required to wear hakama for practice, beginning the first time they stepped on the mat. I vividly remember when I forgot my hakama I was preparing myself to step on the mat for practice wearing only my dogi when O Sensei stopped me "Where is your hakama?" he demanded sternly. "What makes you think you can recieve your teacher's instruction wearing nothing but your underwear? Have you no sense of propriety? You are obviously lacking the attitude and the etiquette necessary in one who pursues Budo training. He told us the the hakama was traditional garb for Kobudo students and that the seven pleats or the seven folds of the Hakama symbolyzes the seven virtues of Budo. Aikido is born of the Bushido sprirt of Japan and in our practice we must strive to polish the seven traditional virtues.

Currently, most Aikido dodjo do not follow O Sensei's strict policy about wearing the Hakama. It's meaning has degenerated from a symbol of traditional virtue to that of a status symbol of a Yudansha. I have traveled to many dojo in many nation. In many of the places where only the Yudansha wear hakama, the Yudansha have lost their humility. They think that the hakama is a prize for display, as the visible symbol for their superiority. This type of attitude makes the ceremony of bowing to O Sensei, with which we begin and end each class, a mockery of his memory and his art. Worse still in some dojo women of kyu ranks (and only the women) are required to wear hakama, supposedly to preserve their modesty. To me this is insulting and discriminatory to women Aikidoka. It is also insulting to male Aikidoka, for it assumes a low mindedness on their part that has no place on the Aikido mat. To see the hakama to such petty use saddens me. It may seem a trivial issue to some people, but I remember very well the great importance that O Sensei placed on wearing hakama. I can't dismiss the significance of this garment and no one, I think can dispute the great value of the virtues it symbolyzes. I feel that wearing the hakama and knowing it's meaning, helps students to be aware of the spirit of O Sensei and keep alive of his vision.

If we can allow the importance of the hakama to fade, perhaps we will begin to allows things fundamental to the spirit of Aikido to slip into oblivion as well if, on the other hand, we are faithful to O Sensei's wishes regarding our practice dress, our spirits may be more faithful to the dream to which He dedicated His life"


"For The Secret That The Warrior Seeks: You Must Know That The Basic Principles Lie In The Study Of The Spirit." - Morihei Ueshiba
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Old 08-23-2008, 01:24 PM   #32
Shany
 
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Re: Hakama Question

is it really an honor to wear a pyjamas (GI) in a dojo ? Not according to old Japanese senseis .. so i dunno what everyone's stand point on it, that's why there is no strick role on which kyu can you wear an Hakama.

A good stance and posture reflects a proper state of mind
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Old 08-24-2008, 11:01 AM   #33
tobiasfelipe
 
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Re: Hakama Question

Hakama is terribly hot in tropics, here lighter clothes is better. I use a "karate gi", without hakama, the same as yudanshas in my class.

>my dojo: http://www.aizen.org
>my sensei: (2nd in the list, Sensei Santos)
"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." -Beckett
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Old 08-24-2008, 03:44 PM   #34
Tkoyama
Dojo: UCSC Aikido Club
Location: Sacramento
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Re: Hakama Question

Well, if you were to wear a Hakama I think you should be responsible about it. Learn how to fold it the correct way and such.
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Old 08-26-2008, 09:12 PM   #35
Diane Stevenson
Location: Arizona
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 41
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Re: Hakama Question

Personally, I miss my hakama. I started out in Aikido way back when Satome Sensei's school was "Aikido of Ueshiba". Everyone was encouraged to buy a Hakama after they passed their first rank test.

Poor thing is hanging in my closet now. Different dojo -- different policy.

But I liked the weight of it; the way it felt when doing tenkan. And after practice, as we all folded our hakamas, it was a nice informal Q and A time. I learned a lot about the history and philosophy of Aikido during those relaxed discussions. And I got to know the yudansha and sempai better, too.

I definitly would not want to give the impression that I'm someone I'm not, but I would rather wear the hakama than not. Besides, now I'm starting to worry that I'll spend the year after making shodan learning how NOT to trip on my hakama,

...not as evil as I could be
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Old 08-26-2008, 09:34 PM   #36
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
Location: Wisconsin
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,218
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Re: Hakama Question

Quote:
Rod Lansangan wrote: View Post
As many styles of Aikido came out so many new rules about wearing hakama were made.

Shigenobu Okumura Sensei: "When I was a uchi deshi to O Sensei everyone was required to wear hakama for practice, beginning the first time they stepped on the mat. I vividly remember when I forgot my hakama I was preparing myself to step on the mat for practice wearing only my dogi when O Sensei stopped me "Where is your hakama?" he demanded sternly. "What makes you think you can recieve your teacher's instruction wearing nothing but your underwear? Have you no sense of propriety? You are obviously lacking the attitude and the etiquette necessary in one who pursues Budo training. He told us the the hakama was traditional garb for Kobudo students and that the seven pleats or the seven folds of the Hakama symbolyzes the seven virtues of Budo. Aikido is born of the Bushido sprirt of Japan and in our practice we must strive to polish the seven traditional virtues.

Currently, most Aikido dodjo do not follow O Sensei's strict policy about wearing the Hakama. It's meaning has degenerated from a symbol of traditional virtue to that of a status symbol of a Yudansha. I have traveled to many dojo in many nation. In many of the places where only the Yudansha wear hakama, the Yudansha have lost their humility. They think that the hakama is a prize for display, as the visible symbol for their superiority. This type of attitude makes the ceremony of bowing to O Sensei, with which we begin and end each class, a mockery of his memory and his art. Worse still in some dojo women of kyu ranks (and only the women) are required to wear hakama, supposedly to preserve their modesty. To me this is insulting and discriminatory to women Aikidoka. It is also insulting to male Aikidoka, for it assumes a low mindedness on their part that has no place on the Aikido mat. To see the hakama to such petty use saddens me. It may seem a trivial issue to some people, but I remember very well the great importance that O Sensei placed on wearing hakama. I can't dismiss the significance of this garment and no one, I think can dispute the great value of the virtues it symbolyzes. I feel that wearing the hakama and knowing it's meaning, helps students to be aware of the spirit of O Sensei and keep alive of his vision.

If we can allow the importance of the hakama to fade, perhaps we will begin to allows things fundamental to the spirit of Aikido to slip into oblivion as well if, on the other hand, we are faithful to O Sensei's wishes regarding our practice dress, our spirits may be more faithful to the dream to which He dedicated His life"

Onegaishimasu. The story you told was actually an anecdote told by Saotome Shihan and it is in his book: The Principles of Aikido. Please give proper credit where it is due.

In gassho,

Mark

- Right combination works wonders -
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Old 08-26-2008, 11:25 PM   #37
Andrew S
 
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Japan
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Re: Hakama Question

I remember Kobayashi Sensei talking about his time as an uchideshi and saying how in the decade following the war there was not enough material around for everyone to wear hakama, so only the dan grades started wearing them.
I've heard tell that a lot of early post-war hakama were made from air raid black-out curtains!
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Old 08-27-2008, 06:48 PM   #38
patf
Location: California
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 48
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Re: Hakama Question

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote: View Post
Onegaishimasu. The story you told was actually an anecdote told by Saotome Shihan and it is in his book: The Principles of Aikido. Please give proper credit where it is due.

In gassho,

Mark
Nicely spotted!! I suspect cut&paste error from a web-page. Previous article author mixed with next article. Innocent mistake I'm sure.
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