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Old 02-19-2010, 03:52 PM   #26
Daniel Blanco
Dojo: Suffolk Aikikai
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Re: hakama use

Within the USAF, you must be a Dan rank to wear a Hakama.
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Old 02-19-2010, 05:48 PM   #27
Shadowfax
 
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Re: hakama use

Where I train, once we have reached 6th kyu we are very much encouraged to wear the hakima. I like wearing mine so I'm kinda glad we don't have to wait until dan rank to be able to do so.
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Old 02-19-2010, 08:51 PM   #28
Boris Spassky
 
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Re: hakama use

Quote:
Felipe Gomez wrote: View Post
Hello, I`m new in the aikido world, I`m trying to be 5to kyu, I asking me if I can use the hakama, my sensei said me that I can since 5to kyu, what do u think about it?
It must depend on the style or teacher(s). Where I train the hakama is not worn until one gets their Shodan. It seems that the divided skirt gets in the way more than anything but I am the first to admit that I am looking forward to earning my hakama. LOL

We need to be mindful not to get caught up in rank, uniforms, etc. and concentrate more on TRAINING. Myself included-
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Old 02-19-2010, 11:57 PM   #29
Walter Martindale
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Re: hakama use

As others have surely said - depends on the dojo. I've trained at one dojo where everyone at gokyu or higher wore hakama and coloured belts during regular training, but wore white belts unless shodan or higher when training at any other dojo or seminar.
Every other dojo I've visited or been a member, the custom was mudansha no hakama, yudansha wear hakama.
Walter
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Old 02-20-2010, 07:07 AM   #30
Melchizedek
 
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Re: hakama use

Hi i just like to add on this tread, i'll copy paste what i have read at Aikidofaq.com

What is a hakama and who wears it?
A hakama is the skirt-like pants that some Aikidoka wear. It is a traditional piece of samurai clothing. The standard gi worn in Aikido as well as in other martial arts such as Judo or Karate was originally underclothes. Wearing it is part of the tradition of (most schools of) Aikido.
The hakama were originally meant to protect a horseman's legs from brush, etc., -- not unlike a cowboy's leather 'chaps'. Leather was hard to come by in Japan, so heavy cloth was used instead. After the samurai as a class dismounted and became more like foot-soldiers, they persisted in wearing horseman's garb because it set them apart and made them easily identifiable.

There were different styles of hakama though. The type worn by today's martial artists - with "legs" - is called a joba hakama, (roughly, horseriding thing into which one steps). A hakama that was kind of like a tube skirt - no legs - another and the third was a very long version of the second. It was worn on visits to the Shogun or Emperor. The thing was about 12-15 feet long and was folded repeatedly and placed between the feet and posterior of the visitor. This necessitated their shikko ("knee walking") for their audience and made it extremely unlikely that they could hide a weapon (retainers suited them up) or rise quickly to make an attack.

The 7 folds in the hakama (5 in the front, 2 in the back) is said to have the following symbolic meaning:

1. Yuki = courage, valor, bravery
2. Jin = humanity, charity, benevolence
3. Gi = justice, righteousness, integrity
4. Rei = etiquette, courtesy, civility (also means bow/obeisance)
5. Makoto = sincerity, honesty, reality
6. Chugi = loyalty, fidelity, devotion
7 .Meiyo = honor, credit, glory; also reputation, dignity, prestige

In many schools, only the black belts wear hakama, in others everyone does. In some places women can start wearing it earlier than men (generally modesty of women is the explanation - remember, a gi was originally underwear).
O Sensei was rather emphatic that EVERYONE wear the hakama, but he came from a time/culture not too far from wearing hakama as standard formal wear.

"Most of the students were too poor to buy a hakama but it was required to wear one. If they couldn't get one from an older relative, they would take the cover off an old futon, cut it, dye it, and give it to a seamstress to make into a hakama.
Since they had to use cheap dye, however, after awhile the colorful pattern of the futon would start to show through and the fluff from the futon would start to work its way out of the material."
Saito Sensei, about hakama in O Sensei's dojo in the old days.

"In postwar Japan many things were hard to get, including cloth. Because of the shortages, we trained without hakama. We tried to make hakama from air-raid blackout curtains but because the curtains had been hanging in the sun for years, theknees turned to dust as soon as we started doing suwariwaza. We were constantly patching these hakama. It was under those conditions that someone came up with a suggestion: "Why don't we just say that it's okay not to wear a hakama until you're shodan?" This idea was put forward as a temporary policy to avoid expense. The idea behind accepting the suggestion had nothing to do with the hakama being a symbol for dan ranking."

Shigenobu Okumura Sensei, "Aikido Today Magazine" #41

"When I was uchi deshi to O Sensei, everyone was required to wear a hakama for practice, beginning with the first time they stepped on the mat. There were no restrictions on the type of hakama you could wear then, so the dojo was a very colorful place. One saw hakama of all sorts, all colors and all qualities, from kendo hakama, to the striped hakama used in Japanese dance, to the costly silk hakama called sendai-hira. I imagine that some beginning student caught the devil for borrowing his grandfather's expensive hakama, meant to be worn only for special occasions and ceremonies, and wearing out its knees in suwariwaza practice.
I vividly remember the day that I forgot my hakama. I was preparing 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 receive 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. Go sit on the side and watch class!"
This was only the first of many scoldings I was to receive from O Sensei. However, my ignorance on this occasion prompted O Sensei to lecture his uchi deshi after class on the meaning of the hakama. He told us that the hakama was traditional garb for kobudo students and asked if any of us knew the reason for the seven pleats in the hakama.
"They symbolize the seven virtues of budo," O Sensei said. "These are jin (benevolence), gi (honor or justice), rei (courtesy and etiquette), chi (wisdom, intelligence), shin (sincerity), chu (loyalty), and koh (piety). We find these qualities in the distinguished samurai of the past. The hakama prompts us to reflect on the nature of true bushido. Wearing it symbolizes traditions that have been passed down to us from generation to generation. Aikido is born of the bushido spirit of Japan, and in our practice we must strive to polish the seven traditional virtues."
Currently, most Aikido dojo do not follow O Sensei's strict policy about wearing the hakama. Its meaning has degenerated from a symbol of traditional virtue to that of a status symbol for yudansha. I have traveled to many dojo in many nations. In many of the places where only the yudansha wear hakama, the yudansha have lost their humility. They think of the hakama as a prize for display, as the visible symbol of 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 rank (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 put 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 cannot dismiss the significance of this garment, and no one, I think, can dispute the great value of the virtues it symbolizes. In my dojo and its associated schools I encourage all students to wear hakama regardless of their rank or grade. (I do not require it before they have achieved their first grading, since beginners in the United States do not generally have Japanese grandfathers whose hakama they can borrow.) I feel that wearing the hakama and knowing its meaning, helps students to be aware of the spirit of O Sensei and keep alive his vision.
If we can allow the importance of the hakama to fade, perhaps we will begin to allow 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."
Mitsugi Saotome Sensei, "The Principles Of Aikido"
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Old 02-25-2010, 06:10 PM   #31
shakou
 
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Re: hakama use

Quote:
Ashley Carter wrote: View Post
You have a kilt!?! I was very saddened because when I went to Ireland for my honeymoon I expected to see someone wearing a kilt (even if it was a kid) and no kilt in sight! You should have a photo of you in your kilt as your profile pic!
I think you have them mixed up with the Scots....I have many friends in Ireland and I don't think, although the Irish did wear kilts, that it is deemed traditional dress! My old manager from Edinburgh....Now he loves any opportunity to put on the kilt and sporran and sgian dubh.

As for the hakama, I can't see where it becomes a hindrance. We wear them in our dojo as soon as we want to buy one and I feel personally that they help with the foot work. Yes they can trip you up but after a few times of picking yourself up and feeling silly, you learn to adapt, slide more than step.....And they look the part
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Old 02-26-2010, 02:27 AM   #32
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
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Re: hakama use

Quote:
Felipe Gomez wrote: View Post
Hello, I`m new in the aikido world, I`m trying to be 5to kyu, I asking me if I can use the hakama, my sensei said me that I can since 5to kyu, what do u think about it?
Dear Felipe,
I cannot speak for other groups of Aikido however it is my understanding of Aikido that the wearing of the Hakama [for men ] implies a reasonable understanding of Aikido.In your case I respectfully suggest that 5th Kyu is not quite the prerequisite for wearing of the garment.
In the case of Iaido training hakama is standard.In the case of women again Hakama can be deemed a standard feature.
May I state that the advantage of not wearing a hakama at your level enables you to check out your footwork , whether your bodyweight is correct [leading knee bent /straight , back leg straight or bent] without difficulty?Another positive thing is you dont have to muck about folding said hakama ..this in itself is a bonus.
Cheers, Joe.
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Old 02-26-2010, 02:32 AM   #33
sakumeikan
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Re: hakama use

Quote:
Kris Moralee wrote: View Post
I think you have them mixed up with the Scots....I have many friends in Ireland and I don't think, although the Irish did wear kilts, that it is deemed traditional dress! My old manager from Edinburgh....Now he loves any opportunity to put on the kilt and sporran and sgian dubh.

As for the hakama, I can't see where it becomes a hindrance. We wear them in our dojo as soon as we want to buy one and I feel personally that they help with the foot work. Yes they can trip you up but after a few times of picking yourself up and feeling silly, you learn to adapt, slide more than step.....And they look the part
Hi Kris,
I see you are from N/Cle.Where is the Ronin group?My group is holding a one day course soon in Durham,Details on British Birankai Web page.Perhaps you and your members would care to join us in this Friendship Course?
Your Sincerely , Joe Curran 6th Dan Shidoin,
Honorary President, British Birankai.
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:04 AM   #34
Marie Noelle Fequiere
 
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Re: hakama use

I think it can be complicated to transport a tradition from one country to another. Where I live, the hakama poses two big problems: the first one is the price, and the fact that it must be either ordered or bought during a trip, wich adds even more to the cost. The second problem is the temperature. It's usually hot around here, and I've never heard of an air conditioned dojo. The simple reason is that adding air conditioning would mean raising the monthly fee, wich would not be the best way to attract more students. For these reasons, in my dojo, the hakama is permitted only at black belt level, and, even then, it's not mandatory. Sensei likes to wear his on special occasions, when we give a demonstration, or when we are welcoming an important visitor. Some of the other black belts wear one, others don't. Once you are a black belt, and for everyday practice, it's a personal choice. In our climate, and in our economic situation, this is what works for us.
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Old 02-26-2010, 04:34 PM   #35
shakou
 
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Re: hakama use

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Hi Kris,
I see you are from N/Cle.Where is the Ronin group?My group is holding a one day course soon in Durham,Details on British Birankai Web page.Perhaps you and your members would care to join us in this Friendship Course?
Your Sincerely , Joe Curran 6th Dan Shidoin,
Honorary President, British Birankai.
Hi Joe

We train in Wallsend and North Kenton. From what I know, our sensei was part of the CUA and sensei Stokoe is my teachers sensei. I'll put it to them tomorrow, always worth meeting other dojo members.

Thanks for the invite Joe.
Kris
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Old 02-26-2010, 04:44 PM   #36
shakou
 
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Re: hakama use

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Another positive thing is you dont have to muck about folding said hakama ..this in itself is a bonus.
Cheers, Joe.
Ah, I quite enjoy folding my hakama. I never used to but lately, and as I do iaido as well, I take good care of both my hakama, there's something calming about it at the end of a class.

Although we wear ours pretty much from early stages it is not a prerequisite and not all juniors wear them but the choice is there. I personally like to wear mine even though I pretty much suck at everything! (except maybe tenkan-ushiro sonkyo)
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Old 03-03-2010, 05:52 PM   #37
Shadowfax
 
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Re: hakama use

Quote:
Kris Moralee wrote: View Post
Ah, I quite enjoy folding my hakama. I never used to but lately, and as I do iaido as well, I take good care of both my hakama, there's something calming about it at the end of a class.
I feel the same way. Its sort of a meditation at the end of class sometimes. A great way to wind back down after an especially energetic class.
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:23 PM   #38
Rob Watson
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Re: hakama use

Quote:
Cherie Cornmesser wrote: View Post
A great way to wind back down after an especially energetic class.
As I tend towards profuse perspiration I like to let the ol' hak hang and air a bit before folding ...

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:27 AM   #39
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Re: hakama use

Quote:
Kris Moralee wrote: View Post
I think you have them mixed up with the Scots....I have many friends in Ireland and I don't think, although the Irish did wear kilts, that it is deemed traditional dress! My old manager from Edinburgh....Now he loves any opportunity to put on the kilt and sporran and sgian dubh.
I was told by a few people when I was in Ireland that some schools have the kids wear kilts.... I don't know. That is just what I was told and I have a photo in a book (photo book of Ireland) of some school kids in kilts as well. I don't know. Maybe it is a special occassion thing?

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
~To be a good martial artist is to be good thief; if you want my knowledge, you must take it from me.
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Old 03-04-2010, 11:12 AM   #40
lbb
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Re: hakama use

All that meditative whatsis ain't so tranquil when I just want to get the hell outta there and get on the road...
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Old 03-04-2010, 12:38 PM   #41
Shadowfax
 
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Re: hakama use

Perfectly understandable, Mary. I have a 50 mile round trip drive to my dojo some days it takes me over an hour to get there (yay rush hour traffic in Pittsburgh). So I tend to be in much less of a hurry to get back on the road.
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:42 PM   #42
RED
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Re: hakama use

Quote:
Daniel Blanco wrote: View Post
Within the USAF, you must be a Dan rank to wear a Hakama.
Unless you are female. It follows decency that a woman shouldn't be undressed in front of men. ( gi's are underwear.) Therefore any girl 5th kyu or higher will be allowed to wear a hakama.

However, individual dojo's have jurisdiction over hakama use according to the instructor's preferences. Practice can be different from dojo to dojo within the USAF. Some USAF dojo's don't allow anyone to wear hakama until dan ranking. Other's allow ranked women and dan ranks. Some allow men to start wearing them at 1st, 2nd or 3rd kyu(especially if they are instructing a class.) It depends on the head instructor.
But, typically I'd say it isn't a good idea to visit another USAF dojo, or go to a USAF seminar unless you adhere to the hakama regulations they have, despite what your dojo does. It wouldn't be good to be a 5th kyu man, and have everyone assume you are at least a shodan. There is some assumption that a woman could be any rank, thus a little chivalry is spent in introducing your self to chicks before you start throwing them.(at least in my experience)

MM
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Old 03-12-2010, 07:40 PM   #43
Stephen Sereday
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Re: hakama use

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Hello Felipe,

The meaning depends on the dojo. At some dojos it's considered an honor, at others it's just what everyone does. At some dojos, everyone starts wearing the hakama at a certain rank, at others they wear it after Sensei tells them to. At some dojos, Sensei says, "You may wear a hakama," at others Sensei says, "You should wear a hakama." I don't think any of us can tell you what wearing a hakama means at your dojo.
excellent post
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:57 AM   #44
brian donohoe
 
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Re: hakama use

Quote:
Ashley Carter wrote: View Post
I was told by a few people when I was in Ireland that some schools have the kids wear kilts.... I don't know. That is just what I was told and I have a photo in a book (photo book of Ireland) of some school kids in kilts as well. I don't know. Maybe it is a special occassion thing?
Hi,
Some 'all girl' schools do wear some thing like a kilt as part of their uniform.
Men or boys don't wear kilts unless they are doing Irish dancing or are pretending to be Scottish

Brian
P.S. as for the hakama thing, I would say do what ever your Sensei says.
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