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Old 01-14-2002, 11:52 PM   #1
Edward
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Beginners wearing Hakama

Hi All,

Osensei wanted originally all Aikidoka to wear Hakama regardless of their rank.

Currently it is restricted to Shodan ranks (men) and 4th or 3rd Kyu ranks (women).

What do you think about that?

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 01-15-2002, 12:17 AM   #2
guest1234
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Or it is worn by males and females 6th kyu or higher (ASU), or males and females 3rd kyu and higher (I think) (SBK), or males and females, Dan rank only (I think) (Iwama), etc, etc. One Nihon Goshin dojo I attended, even the instructor (a shodan or nidan, as I recall) did not wear one. The only thing with more variation is 'the right way' to do ikkyo.

I don't really care. I didn't have trouble learning to move in mine, but my first dojo made you keep your feet on the mat at all times, so I think that helped. I also learned to fold it there (since we could fold our sensei's) so again no real trauma in transitioning to owning my own. I don't see that it makes me more graceful ( ) or more upright ( ) as some have said it does for them. I think it is a bit warmer in winter, but also in summer, and since I don't wear one in my current place, I miss it only sometimes when I go to sit down and catch myself 'moving' a phantom hakama out of the way.

I don't know if there is any time to say it is worth the investment, as folks quit Aikido at all stages, sometimes after shodan. Besides, having just decided to take up golf, a hakama is actually a very cheap sports investment. As for hiding the feet (and hence possible mistakes) in students....well, I have spent 3 years now watching my instructors feet, and it is possible to do, even in hakama...but if a problem, beginners could just hike their hakamas up for a footwork inspection...

It seems to me, that wearing the hakama from the earliest stage in Aikido would be the most traditional, in keeping with O Sensei's teachings, thing that could be done. I just don't see that we always need to do something just because that's what has always been.
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Old 01-15-2002, 12:24 AM   #3
Chris Li
 
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Re: Beginners wearing Hakama

Quote:
Originally posted by Edward
Hi All,

Osensei wanted originally all Aikidoka to wear Hakama regardless of their rank.

Currently it is restricted to Shodan ranks (men) and 4th or 3rd Kyu ranks (women).

What do you think about that?

Cheers,
Edward
Well, the policy originally changed because of the cloth shortage after the war, but M. Ueshiba was around and active for at least 15 years after the cloth shortages were gone. If he'd cared much about it he could have changed things at any time, but he never did. That says to me that he either preferred the new way or didn't care enough either way to go through the trouble (probably the latter, I would think).

Best,

Chris

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Old 01-15-2002, 12:36 AM   #4
guest1234
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I am not so sure he had 15+ years to change it back... rebuilding after a devestating war can take a long time for things to become plentiful and cheap. Especially in the rural areas. Anyone want to wager how long before something as common as paper and pens are easy to come by in rural Afganistan? But I do think O Sensei was not as hung up on tradition as some of his students/students' students have become.
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Old 01-15-2002, 01:37 AM   #5
Edward
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Re: Re: Beginners wearing Hakama

Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Li


Well, the policy originally changed because of the cloth shortage after the war, but M. Ueshiba was around and active for at least 15 years after the cloth shortages were gone. If he'd cared much about it he could have changed things at any time, but he never did. That says to me that he either preferred the new way or didn't care enough either way to go through the trouble (probably the latter, I would think).

Best,

Chris
According to an interview with Saito Sensei, Hakama was always compulsory for all at Iwama during Osensei's life. Even during the war and post-war during material shortage, Aikidoka had to borrow Hakama from their fathers or grand-fathers and came to the dojo sometimes with ceremonial and multicolored Hakama.

But at Hombu Dojo where Osensei had less influence since he was not regularly there, things were changed by Kisshomaru Doshu.

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 01-15-2002, 02:04 AM   #6
Erik
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Li
Well, the policy originally changed because of the cloth shortage after the war, but M. Ueshiba was around and active for at least 15 years after the cloth shortages were gone. If he'd cared much about it he could have changed things at any time, but he never did. That says to me that he either preferred the new way or didn't care enough either way to go through the trouble (probably the latter, I would think).
Saotome, in his book, tells a story about one time when he forgot to bring his hakama to class and O'Sensei made him stay off the mat. At least on occasion he made an issue out of it.

As a note, for those of you going to Aikido Journal's Expo be sure to visit Don Angier. He's quite the colorful fellow. I think Doshu should mandate that sort of look. Bring a little color into the drab Aikido world. On the other hand, I guess we'd fit right in at IBM or the FBI.
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Old 01-15-2002, 02:13 AM   #7
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Re: Re: Re: Beginners wearing Hakama

Quote:
Originally posted by Edward
But at Hombu Dojo where Osensei had less influence since he was not regularly there, things were changed by Kisshomaru Doshu.

Cheers,
Edward
Certainly by K. Ueshiba, but only after first asking M. Ueshiba. Still, I would say that less influence is not no influence, and M. Ueshiba was certainly in and out of hombu enough through the sixties that he could easily have changed things if it really mattered to him.

Best,

Chris

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Old 01-15-2002, 02:28 AM   #8
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Erik


Saotome, in his book, tells a story about one time when he forgot to bring his hakama to class and O'Sensei made him stay off the mat. At least on occasion he made an issue out of it.
True, but Saotome was an uchi-deshi at the time, and would have been held to a much different standard than the average Aikido-dude. Certainly there were people training with M. Ueshiba without hakama - somewhere there's a film of a young Moriteru Ueshiba training with no hakama at Iwama, no less.

Best,

Chris

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Old 01-15-2002, 03:37 AM   #9
Kami
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Wink Re: Re: Beginners wearing Hakama

Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Li
If he'd cared much about it he could have changed things at any time, but he never did. That says to me that he either preferred the new way or didn't care enough either way to go through the trouble (probably the latter, I would think).
Best,
Chris
KAMI : Well, the old man was quite temperamental and his attitudes were mostly subject to the whim of the moment. He might take exception to Saotome not wearing a hakama but, most of the time, it seems he didn't care.
At least, there are two photos in Aikido Journal # 114, pg. 06 (1965) and AJ #118, pg. 25 (1964)that shows Ueshiba Morihei O teaching(with many people training without hakama) at the Aikikai and one (AJ #118, pg. 10)at the Old Hombu Dojo of a children's class with everybody (including a young Moriteru Doshu) "hakamaless). Perhaps it wasn't demanded of children? I seem to remember also a picture I once saw of Iwama, at Ueshiba's time, with some people training without Hakama.
As I said, it seems Ueshiba didnt' care a lot about some things, except when he choose to call attention to them.
IMO

"We are all teachers, and what we teach is what we need to learn, and so we teach it over and over again until we learn it".
Unknown author

Ubaldo Alcantara
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Old 01-15-2002, 05:03 AM   #10
Greg Jennings
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Re: Beginners wearing Hakama

Quote:
Originally posted by Edward
Hi All,

Osensei wanted originally all Aikidoka to wear Hakama regardless of their rank.

Currently it is restricted to Shodan ranks (men) and 4th or 3rd Kyu ranks (women).

What do you think about that?
I don't.

Regards,

Greg Jennings
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Old 01-15-2002, 07:08 PM   #11
Erik
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Li
True, but Saotome was an uchi-deshi at the time, and would have been held to a much different standard than the average Aikido-dude. Certainly there were people training with M. Ueshiba without hakama - somewhere there's a film of a young Moriteru Ueshiba training with no hakama at Iwama, no less.
Maybe! One of the Aikido Journal tapes I have shows him leading a class on a roof top, I think, and no one but O'Sensei and his uke were wearing hakama.

I would agree that it's not that big of a deal.
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Old 01-15-2002, 07:14 PM   #12
Arianah
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What are the reasons for not having everyone wearing hakama? . . . Although, I do like the concept of working for it.

Arianah
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Old 01-17-2002, 06:27 AM   #13
JJF
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Arianah
What are the reasons for not having everyone wearing hakama? . . . Although, I do like the concept of working for it.

Arianah
Some believe that a teacher should be able to see the beginners legs without the hakama in order to correct mistakes. Then the hakama becomes an indication of ability to move at least your feet in a somewhat correct way.

Many think that there is no need to spend a small fortune - before you know you are serious about Aikido.

Next let's decide how much one should practice in order to prove dedication ...

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 01-17-2002, 08:03 AM   #14
cguzik
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When in Rome...

As a mudansha who primarily trains in an ASU dojo, I have become accustomed to wearing hakama. It's pretty clear when I attend a seminar at or visit another school what the tradition is, and I follow the tradition of the school I am visiting. This weekend I will be attending a seminar at a USAF school and I won't be wearing a hakama.

An interesting question, though, is what to do at a mixed event such as Aiki Expo. The most straightforward (but quite inconvenient) thing to do would be to don the hakama for Ikeda Sensei's class (he's an ASU instructor) but to shed it for Pat Hendricks' class, for example.

I'll probably bring it along and just wing it, I suppose...

Chris Guzik

Last edited by cguzik : 01-17-2002 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 02-08-2002, 10:43 AM   #15
erikmenzel
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Doesnt the entire hakama problem not represent some status problem.

If you conect rank to wearing a hakama you quite easily conect status to wearing a hakama. And some people will go through whatever reasoning necessary to protect their status.

Erik Jurrien Menzel
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Old 02-08-2002, 12:37 PM   #16
Arianah
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Confused

Quote:
Originally posted by erikknoops
Doesnt the entire hakama problem not represent some status problem.

If you conect rank to wearing a hakama you quite easily conect status to wearing a hakama. And some people will go through whatever reasoning necessary to protect their status.
Umm, not sure I understand what you mean by this . . . Care to clarify?
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Old 02-08-2002, 12:55 PM   #17
erikmenzel
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Quote:
Care to clarify?
Well, ime rules can easily grow into a club or organisation without being clear were the rules came from.

Some rules seem to easily pop-up once status is involved. For some (well actually a lot of people) hakama seems to involve some status.
So it is worth wondering which people care most about the rules about when to wear a hakama.

Just something to think about.

Erik Jurrien Menzel
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Old 02-09-2002, 07:46 AM   #18
Carl Simard
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I have a beginner's book here where they somewhat explain the history of hakama. As it has been said in the previous posts, originally, everybody was wearing the hakama. It was the normal aikido clothing, similar to have a baseball uniform if you play baseball...

After the war, the economy of Japan was in ruin. So, it was accepted that people don't wear the hakama to practice (but they may if they want). I don't know if it was by O'Sensei, but the higher authority at that time simply doesn't want to see people leave dojo because they don't have enough money to buy hakama. However, higer ranked students were requested to have one.

From there, it simply became a tradition that beginner don't wear hakama and that more senior students were one. It simply have moved from an economic consideration to an "aikido etiquette" one. People were also finding that it doesn't really make sense to force people to buy a hakama before they even know if they will do aikido for a long time...

There's no link between wearing a hakama to hide people's feet, showing ranks, etc... It also explains why the rules for wearing the hakama change between affiliations and between dojos...
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Old 02-14-2002, 09:53 AM   #19
Anne
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Well, in our dojo, wearing a hakama is not linked to a rank. You start to wear one when sensei says you can. Normally around the point when you don't have to look at your feet anymore and can be trusted with assisting beginners without adding to the confusion...

"You have to do difficult things to grow." (Shoji Nishio Sensei)
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Old 02-14-2002, 10:19 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Carl Simard There's no link between wearing a hakama to hide people's feet, showing ranks, etc... It also explains why the rules for wearing the hakama change between affiliations and between dojos...
I disagree - we don't wear hakama in practice because they are considered dangerous and they do hide feet.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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