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Old 01-26-2010, 11:18 PM   #26
patf
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Re: Should I Fold My Sensei's Hakama?

Quote:
Melissa Miller wrote: View Post
I've been folding my sensei's hakama since a few months after I began training. I think I started by Sensei and a couple of other people saying that it would be good for me to know how, and I asked a sempai to show me how to fold it, and then I became the primary folder of the hakama.
I think it's an honor to fold the hakama. It shows respect and appreciation toward Sensei or sempai.

-Risu
I get the feeling that a lot more female students fold their Sensei's hakama than male students, at least in my limited observation. I wonder is there a different philosophy from a female/male perspective.

Personally I look at a Hakama as a tool or part of ones equipment and I've always been taught to look after your own "stuff" so to speak.
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:50 AM   #27
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Re: Should I Fold My Sensei's Hakama?

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Patrick Fitzpatrick wrote: View Post
I get the feeling that a lot more female students fold their Sensei's hakama than male students, at least in my limited observation. I wonder is there a different philosophy from a female/male perspective.
Do you also see a discrepancy in male and female students doing chores around the dojo?
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:18 AM   #28
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Re: Should I Fold My Sensei's Hakama?

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Do you also see a discrepancy in male and female students doing chores around the dojo?
No, everyone pitches in for those.
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:37 AM   #29
Dieter Haffner
 
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Re: Should I Fold My Sensei's Hakama?

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Melissa Miller wrote: View Post
I think it's an honor to fold the hakama. It shows respect and appreciation toward Sensei or sempai.
It shows even more respect if you buy them a beer after practise.
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Old 01-27-2010, 03:49 PM   #30
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Smile Re: Should I Fold My Sensei's Hakama?

Quote:
Dieter Haffner wrote: View Post
It shows even more respect if you buy them a beer after practise.
I was invited to a seminar by my old friend Pierre Chasange Sensei jus a few years ago, a young lady asked if she could fold my hakama, I readily accepted, I have never seen a hakama folded so beautifully.................... I never wanted to unfold it again
It was a young lady from Norwich, I don't know her name :-( but I will always remember her. I appreciated her respect for an old teacher. Now, wether you approve or not, matters little or nothing to me, but I really did appreciate the respect of this young lady.
If she reads this and recognises herself ??? please show me how to do it myself :-)
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Old 02-05-2010, 05:47 AM   #31
Lonin
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Re: Should I Fold My Sensei's Hakama?

Respect is fine,when the offer is given, don't let it get out of hand though where the sensei expects their luggage carried. It is time to leave the dojo should this feudalistic practice becomes social norm.
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:02 PM   #32
Gorgeous George
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Re: Should I Fold My Sensei's Hakama?

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Loh On Nin wrote: View Post
Respect is fine,when the offer is given, don't let it get out of hand though where the sensei expects their luggage carried. It is time to leave the dojo should this feudalistic practice becomes social norm.
That's a very good point you raise - and one i've been thinking about for a few weeks now: given the source of a lot of/all aikido etiquette, should it all be adopted? Or to what extent should it be adopted?

I mean, as you say: it's from a feudal/hierarchical time - one that is, nowadays, in my part of the world, looked down upon as being wrong/unjust.
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Old 03-20-2010, 07:09 PM   #33
lbb
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Re: Should I Fold My Sensei's Hakama?

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George Howard wrote: View Post
That's a very good point you raise - and one i've been thinking about for a few weeks now: given the source of a lot of/all aikido etiquette, should it all be adopted? Or to what extent should it be adopted?

I mean, as you say: it's from a feudal/hierarchical time - one that is, nowadays, in my part of the world, looked down upon as being wrong/unjust.
I'm not so sure that your use of the term "feudal" is accurate, given that aikido did not originate in a feudal period of Japanese history. Perhaps you were just using colorful language?

As for "hierarchical", contemporary Japanese society is more aware of hierarchy than contemporary American society -- but that's not the sole characteristic of the teacher-student relationship, and I think it's a mistake to try and explain all differences in terms of "hierarchical" thinking.
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Old 03-20-2010, 07:34 PM   #34
Lonin
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Re: Should I Fold My Sensei's Hakama?

Guess we still have to use our grey matter while training. The extent, IMHO, is if the particular action promotes dojo harmony and furthers develops my humility or yielding.
Eg: We are encourage not to question or talk back during practice. It detracts from the major principle being studied for that session. But then we know that there is the 'after class' time set aside in our dojo. I then concur that this is good etiquette/practice.
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Old 03-20-2010, 07:54 PM   #35
Lonin
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Re: Should I Fold My Sensei's Hakama?

Ms Mary M's answer illustrates my point....of the sixty/seventy words that conveys George's thoughts, It is two that is "not accurate"/ "a mistake" that might not have 'gone well' with Mary.
I have hence perceived George's "lesson" differently from Mary.......deep ya?
Imagine a dojo mate saying " but what if he does this?" or " what if I whack you here" half the time during practice.
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Old 03-21-2010, 06:42 PM   #36
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Re: Should I Fold My Sensei's Hakama?

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Loh On Nin wrote: View Post
Ms Mary M's answer illustrates my point....of the sixty/seventy words that conveys George's thoughts, It is two that is "not accurate"/ "a mistake" that might not have 'gone well' with Mary.
Unless you're Charles Dickens and being paid by the word, it's rare that all words in a communication carry equal weight.
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Old 03-21-2010, 09:52 PM   #37
Lonin
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Re: Should I Fold My Sensei's Hakama?

hahaha! you are right on target there........
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:03 AM   #38
aikishihan
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Re: Should I Fold My Sensei's Hakama?

In Japanese, the word "ageru" means to give.

A “gift” may be “something that is bestowed voluntarily and without (thought or need of) compensation”. It may also be “an act, right, or a power of giving”, an act of generosity wholly and unselfishly enacted by the giver.

The act of unconditional giving is totally independent of any response of reciprocity or of any show of gratitude that may or may not be offered by the recipient of the gift.

Whenever we do a favor, or present something of value, we may have any number of attitudes or agendas to choose from. The act of giving without any such agenda or purpose, may well be the highest form of respect and regard of one person for another. Such a gift is priceless.

The seemingly simple gift of folding the hakama of another person, affords such choices to the giver, irrespective of who the recipient of the gift may be. In that sense, it is totally irrelevant if it is the hakama of a sensei, a senior or a complete stranger, for it is fully in the power of the giver to decide.

The spirit of Ueshiba Aiki was wondrously demonstrated by the Founder, when he visited Hawaii in 1961, for the occasion of dedicating a new dojo facility. After the ceremonies were completed, with the presence of a Shinto priest, the Founder then began to pour sake for each and everyone in attendance. His was a gesture of generosity, but also a lesson in how an accomplished man “walks his talk”. He was smiling and congratulating everyone in attendance, thanking them for making the occasion a successful one.

Voluntarily folding a hakama for someone you like and respect isn’t such a big deal, now is it?
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:37 AM   #39
Gorgeous George
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Re: Should I Fold My Sensei's Hakama?

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I'm not so sure that your use of the term "feudal" is accurate, given that aikido did not originate in a feudal period of Japanese history. Perhaps you were just using colorful language?

As for "hierarchical", contemporary Japanese society is more aware of hierarchy than contemporary American society -- but that's not the sole characteristic of the teacher-student relationship, and I think it's a mistake to try and explain all differences in terms of "hierarchical" thinking.
The answer to your question is in the post you are questioning; I said:

'the source of a lot of/all aikido etiquette [...] as you say: it's from a feudal/hierarchical time'

And the post i was replying to is the one which used the term feudal, hence my use of it.

Aikido was not created in feudal Japan, but surely it originated as far back as that (i.e., it has its roots in the past, this being one of the reasons why it was not adapted like Judo and Kendo for competition)...?

I also sought to stress the ambiguity of my knowledge, rather than lay claim to it being detailed knowledge.

I hope that clears up the misunderstanding.

All the best.
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:43 AM   #40
Gorgeous George
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Re: Should I Fold My Sensei's Hakama?

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Francis Takahashi wrote: View Post
Voluntarily folding a hakama for someone you like and respect isn't such a big deal, now is it?
Its always been the norm in my albeit brief aikido training that the sensei's hakama is folded by a student...

The way i see it, the sensei (in most cases anyway) is not teaching you for money - he's sharing this knowledge he has spent decades accumulating; i am very thankful and very appreciative for that, and so i have no problem whatsoever with showing some respect to the man.
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:26 AM   #41
Dazzler
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Re: Should I Fold My Sensei's Hakama?

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Henry Ellis wrote: View Post
I was invited to a seminar by my old friend Pierre Chasange Sensei jus a few years ago, a young lady asked if she could fold my hakama, I readily accepted, I have never seen a hakama folded so beautifully.................... I never wanted to unfold it again
It was a young lady from Norwich, I don't know her name :-( but I will always remember her. I appreciated her respect for an old teacher. Now, wether you approve or not, matters little or nothing to me, but I really did appreciate the respect of this young lady.
If she reads this and recognises herself ??? please show me how to do it myself :-)
Hi

This was at Bradfield College maybe 6 years ago?

I think this may have been the last visit of Pierre to UK as he suffered some ill health since. A great shame for us.

If I recall correctly yourself and Mr Eastman took a session.

Anyway - I'm almost certain that it will have been Kath Riddell who folded your hakama - a sandan with NAF.

I assure you that she in turn will be delighted that you remember this and even more so that you mention it here.

Sadly I cannot show you how she folded the hakama, she has done mine on many occasions but I continue with the basic version that I've always used.

Regards

D
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:56 AM   #42
lbb
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Re: Should I Fold My Sensei's Hakama?

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George Howard wrote: View Post
Aikido was not created in feudal Japan, but surely it originated as far back as that (i.e., it has its roots in the past, this being one of the reasons why it was not adapted like Judo and Kendo for competition)...?
Weeeeeell..this is one of those "what the meaning of 'is' is" questions; specifically, it depends what we mean when we say "originated". Did O-Sensei have a background in other martial arts before he developed aikido? Sure. Did some of those martial arts have a lineage that dated back to the feudal era, which ended in 1868? Sure. Does that mean that aikido originated in the feudal era? Mmmm...I'm not getting into that fight. In the context of why people do or don't fold sensei's hakama, and what it all means, I think it's a bit of a distraction, though. There's been 150 years of intervening history, and aikido isn't some weird little anachronistic bubble world, so I think the truth is a little closer to current times and places.
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:39 PM   #43
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Re: Should I?

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Michael Hackett wrote: View Post
One of my friends always says that he can tell the quality of one's aikido by the way he folds the hakama.
Wow then he would probably think my Aikido is crap because I dont fold mine either. I iron my own works shirts though would that count?

BTW in the circle of Aikido I train in Ive never seen anyone fold my sensei's hakama nor anyone else for that matter. I guess there are other ways to show our appreciation.

Last edited by Aikiman001 : 04-13-2010 at 09:43 PM.

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Old 04-13-2010, 10:24 PM   #44
Michael Hackett
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Re: Should I Fold My Sensei's Hakama?

I suppose that ironing a work shirt has many of the same qualities that my friend, Rafael, talked about. In our conversations he's mentioned that taking one's time to carefully align the pleats, smooth and clean the fabric, and to fold the hakama smoothly requires attention to detail, focus and precision. He's the same guy who always inspects his weapons for cracks and splinters before every practice too. His waza and ukemi are much the same, precise and focused.

Michael
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:34 PM   #45
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Re: Should I Fold My Sensei's Hakama?

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Michael Hackett wrote: View Post
I suppose that ironing a work shirt has many of the same qualities that my friend, Rafael, talked about. In our conversations he's mentioned that taking one's time to carefully align the pleats, smooth and clean the fabric, and to fold the hakama smoothly requires attention to detail, focus and precision. He's the same guy who always inspects his weapons for cracks and splinters before every practice too. His waza and ukemi are much the same, precise and focused.
Everybody's different I guess. Normally when I train I try to be focused and precise regardless if I fold my hakama or not. Its kinda of like checking your car tyres before one drives, I dont do that either although Im sure its good practice too but it doesnt mean I lack focus when I drive. Thats just to type of person I am, perhaps a little unprepared that is all

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Old 04-13-2010, 10:45 PM   #46
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Re: Should I Fold My Sensei's Hakama?

When I first started doing some teaching I was embarrassed by the idea that someone would fold my hakama and I used to refuse.Then when some senior instructors visited the dojo and no-one offered to fold their hakama I was mortified.

It was then that I realised that when we pick and chose many of the bits of tradition it has consequences. As a slow learner I have learnt this lesson a few more times since - sometimes the easy way sometime not d!oh

dan

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Old 04-13-2010, 10:45 PM   #47
raul rodrigo
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Re: Should I Fold My Sensei's Hakama?

Michael, it takes all kinds. The two best aikidoka in my dojo don't fold their hakamas half as well as I do, but they far outshine me on the mat. They haven't invested as much attention on their hakama pleats, but it's hard to argue with their results. I on the other hand like to fold my hakama precisely, but that's more a result of having a compulsive personality than any intrinsic aikido value.
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Old 04-14-2010, 12:18 AM   #48
Michael Hackett
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Re: Should I Fold My Sensei's Hakama?

Raul, I don't personally know of any correlation between folding the hakama and performing on the mat. I've seen both extremes - one of our yudansha is a superb practitioner and he wads his hakama up and stuffs it in his gym bag and yet another who does both with a great deal of skill. Personally, I enjoy folding the hakama after class to cool down and reflect on what we did that evening. My Aikido ain't that great and doesn't match my folding either. Just a nice, quiet and reflective few moments after training. That probably relates more to my years in the Marine Corps than some supposed tradition, or maybe OCD or something.

Michael
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Old 04-14-2010, 04:46 AM   #49
Walter Martindale
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Re: Should I Fold My Sensei's Hakama?

Only times I've seen a hakama folded by anyone other than the owner have been when it was a shihan after leading class at a seminar.
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Old 04-14-2010, 06:43 AM   #50
raul rodrigo
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Re: Should I Fold My Sensei's Hakama?

Quote:
Michael Hackett wrote: View Post
Personally, I enjoy folding the hakama after class to cool down and reflect on what we did that evening. My Aikido ain't that great and doesn't match my folding either. Just a nice, quiet and reflective few moments after training. That probably relates more to my years in the Marine Corps than some supposed tradition, or maybe OCD or something.
I like to pay close attention to hakama folding after class myself for the same reasons: it's a way of settling down and gathering everything in after training. It works for me, in any event.

I was asked once by a teacher to fold a Japanese shihan's hakama after a seminar but I declined—largely because I was afraid my folding wouldn't come up to Japanese standards, whatever those might be. Again, I have this compulsion about getting things right.
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