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Old 09-09-2002, 05:11 PM   #1
Jermaine Alley
Dojo: Aikido Of Richmond
Location: Richmond, VA
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Hakama Question

Hey,
Does anyone know why there are three pleats on one side of the hakama and two on the other? Is it just a designing thing?
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Old 09-09-2002, 07:31 PM   #2
MaylandL
Location: Western Australia
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Hello Jermaine

Have a look at this link. It tells you about the meaning of the pleats/folds.

http://www.aikidofaq.com/misc/hakama.html

Happy training

Mayland
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Old 09-09-2002, 08:23 PM   #3
Kent Enfield
 
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You know, I see this bit of info all over the place, but I just don't buy it. I suspect it has a similar origin to that of the "hakama are for hiding your footwork" story. The two main problems I have with it are:

1) Historically, the number of pleats in hakama varies.

2) Why would someone design pants around a set of virtues?

My guess is that the symbolism is an add-on, not the reason for the design. To answer Jermaine's question: it's a fashion thing. The interlocking pleats make it look like one big piece, but you still have two separate legs.

Kentokuseisei
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Old 09-10-2002, 12:59 PM   #4
Jermaine Alley
Dojo: Aikido Of Richmond
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That information was extremely helpful. I spent the last few hours reading up on more history.

I know that some things on the internet,you have to question, but the "seven virtues" as characterized in the hakama design is something that i might have to bring to the dojo....

thanks again..

jermaine
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Old 09-10-2002, 03:06 PM   #5
Tim Stanley
 
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Interesting reading concerning the meaning and wear of the hakama. I know that most dojo I have visited, ONLY yudansha are allowed to wear the hakama.

After reading the article mentioned above, I am curious, does your dojo require/request all students to wear the hakama?

"Desire is the root of all suffering" - Buddha
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Old 09-10-2002, 05:20 PM   #6
Uke4life
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In my dojo, only O' Sensei and brown and black belts are allowed to wear them, the rest of us just my drool,lol. Train Safe!!

It is not the destination, but the journey.
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Old 09-11-2002, 02:02 AM   #7
Jermaine Alley
Dojo: Aikido Of Richmond
Location: Richmond, VA
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Smile

In my school only udansha wear the hakama. While reading some of the quotes from senior aikikai instructors about the history of hakama wearing...i sort of wish that everyone wore them also early on.

We don't have many big egos in our school, but we do have a few. Wearing of the hakama should be seen as an honor, but not something that contributes to your own ego.

As i learn more about budo and the history of aikido, i think that my ego is slowly decreasing.

Some of us need reminders in humility every so often to keep us grounded...

take care and thanks all..

jermaine
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Old 09-11-2002, 02:09 AM   #8
Abasan
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"In my dojo, only O' Sensei and brown and black belts are allowed to wear them, the rest of us just my drool,lol. Train Safe!!"

i didn't know osensei was still alive, n still teaching to boot!


Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 09-11-2002, 04:00 PM   #9
Jermaine Alley
Dojo: Aikido Of Richmond
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Wearing of hakama

Hey guys,,

Since O'sensei believed that everyone should wear a hakama...how would this hold up?

Since the majority of newbys are not interested in paying the costs of a gi,(or hakama for that matter) until they are sold on aikido, why don't udansha pass off their hakama to the higher kyus of a certain rank) once or twice a month, just for fun? it would no doubt, be an honor for a ni-kyu or ikkyu to wear one, so why not?

Does any dojo do that now?

jermaine
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Old 09-11-2002, 05:46 PM   #10
Chris Li
 
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Re: Wearing of hakama

Quote:
Jermaine Alley wrote:
Hey guys,,

Since O'sensei believed that everyone should wear a hakama...how would this hold up?
"O'sensei believed..." is a common answer (for a lot of things), but the fact is that he was around and active when the change was made to hakama for yudansha only, and was still around well after the original reasons were no longer valid. He could have changed that at any time, and the fact that he didn't says to me that he either approved of the change or didn't think it was worth worrying about. It certainly doesn't say that he believed that everyone should wear a hakama.

Best,

Chris

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Old 09-12-2002, 01:01 PM   #11
Usagi
Dojo: ShinToKai
Location: Salvador-Bahia/Brazil
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Honor?

Quote:
Jermaine Alley wrote:
We don't have many big egos in our school, but we do have a few. Wearing of the hakama should be seen as an honor, but not something that contributes to your own ego.

jermaine
Not critizing you, only asking...

Why should the use of a diferent kind of pants be treated as an "Honor"?

If the use of the hakama is an honor, then how can we expect people not to have an insuflated ego after reaching it ("i wear a hakama, you don't!" )

In my dojo i forbid any external distinction of rank or authority.

I wear a grey belt, some students use black, and anyone is free to wear hakama (no bright colours please!)

You know what was the result of this?

Every body is treated with equal respect.

Those with more skill are asked for advice, but don't see themselves as "superior students".

There was no lost of authority.

Every student knows that i am the SenSei (until my own SenSei comes to town, then i become another average student)

The only taboo attached to the hakama is that the students don't like to wear it until they learn how to fall properly (it's their own consensus).

With the upcoming moving of my SenSei to my town (he is going to live here) this may change (we still haven't talked about this subject).

But i am not losing my night's sleep on these.

It is just clothing...

Last edited by Usagi : 09-12-2002 at 01:09 PM.

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and i- i took the one less traveled by,- and that has made all the diference!"
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Old 09-12-2002, 05:57 PM   #12
Jermaine Alley
Dojo: Aikido Of Richmond
Location: Richmond, VA
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Chris

I think that i did read in the Aikidofaq as well as other places (and have seen in photo's) that O'Sensei had everyone wear them.

My question was initially focused on the history of the hakama, and in its meaning.

I know that we have to sometimes question the authenticity of sites, as well as those that include quotes from noteable aikido, but now a days when there aren't too many aikidoka that have worked with O'sensei...we need to have a little bit of faith in someones answers.

Hey, did you check out that site?? "aikidofaq.com"...they have a wealth of information in there...

Thanks for the reply...

joa
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Old 09-12-2002, 06:10 PM   #13
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Jermaine Alley wrote:
Chris

I think that i did read in the Aikidofaq as well as other places (and have seen in photo's) that O'Sensei had everyone wear them.
There's plenty of film of him teaching at Iwama (and other places) with students wearing no hakama. I even saw one with the young (and hakama-less) Moriteru Ueshiba.

Best,

Chris

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Old 09-12-2002, 06:10 PM   #14
akiy
 
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Quote:
Jermaine Alley wrote:
I think that i did read in the Aikidofaq as well as other places (and have seen in photo's) that O'Sensei had everyone wear them.
There are plenty of pictures of the founder in his latter years with students who are not wearing hakama. Some are in the AikiCards section of this site.
Quote:
I know that we have to sometimes question the authenticity of sites, as well as those that include quotes from noteable aikido, but now a days when there aren't too many aikidoka that have worked with O'sensei...we need to have a little bit of faith in someones answers.
It seems like Chris was just pointing out that such beliefs sometimes do not hold up to practical investigation. Sure, the founder may have believed such, but if he didn't actually enforce such beliefs, then does it really matter?
Quote:
Hey, did you check out that site?? "aikidofaq.com"...they have a wealth of information in there...
Yes, Kjartan has done a great job with his site. He's a great guy; fun to train with, too.

-- Jun

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Old 09-12-2002, 06:14 PM   #15
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Jun Akiyama (akiy) wrote:
It seems like Chris was just pointing out that such beliefs sometimes do not hold up to practical investigation. Sure, the founder may have believed such, but if he didn't actually enforce such beliefs, then does it really matter?
That's exactly it!

Best,

Chris

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Old 09-13-2002, 01:51 PM   #16
Arianah
Dojo: Aikido of Norwalk
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Re: Honor?

Quote:
Renato Alcāntara (Usagi) wrote:
If the use of the hakama is an honor, then how can we expect people not to have an insuflated ego after reaching it ("i wear a hakama, you don't!" )

In my dojo i forbid any external distinction of rank or authority.

I wear a grey belt, some students use black, and anyone is free to wear hakama (no bright colours please!)

You know what was the result of this?

Every body is treated with equal respect.

Those with more skill are asked for advice, but don't see themselves as "superior students".

There was no lost of authority.
Perhaps it is not the wearing of hakama or not wearing of them that has caused this in your students; perhaps it is your attitude toward rank that has made your students care less about their place on the ladder. Students usually follow the instructor, and if you show a modest and humble attitude, it is likely that your students see and copy this. After all, as you said, it's just clothing. It is only when we attach a certain meaning to them that they become important.

Where I train, we have the outer vestments of rank, colored belts and all, but because of my sensei's nonchalant attitude toward rank, I haven't seen anyone get an egotistical attitude toward it. On the contrary, I think most see the belts and the hakama not as a boasting of skill level, but as a sign of accepted responsibility. I think that's the way it should be.

So perhaps your experience is more a psychological factor than a result of belts and skirts.

Sarah

Out of clutter, find simplicity.
From discord, find harmony.
In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.
-Albert Einstein
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Old 09-13-2002, 11:58 PM   #17
Usagi
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Good point.

Quote:
Sarah Fowler (Arianah) wrote:
Where I train, we have the outer vestments of rank, colored belts and all, but because of my sensei's nonchalant attitude toward rank, I haven't seen anyone get an egotistical attitude toward it. On the contrary, I think most see the belts and the hakama not as a boasting of skill level, but as a sign of accepted responsibility. I think that's the way it should be.

So perhaps your experience is more a psychological factor than a result of belts and skirts.

Sarah
You're right in that matter.

It is just that in most of the dojo i've trained in Brazil i've seen that students tend to group in a certain ranking pattern (6kyo to 4kyo,3kyo to 1kyo, Dan up).

Usually students are embarassed to adress people more then 2 kyo above them in the "food chain", here in Brazil

In the only dojo i've been in the US, i've not seem (or recognize) such an attitude.

Maybe i've generalized, based on a regional phenomena.

Thank you for pointing this out

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and i- i took the one less traveled by,- and that has made all the diference!"
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