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Old 10-13-2003, 12:40 AM   #26
Kevin Wilbanks
Location: Seattle/Southern Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 788
I like the visual aesthetics of the full dress with hakama, but have never been able to put together a combination of pieces that didn't inhibit hip movement a little, and overhead arm movement significantly. If practicality is the thing, I say get rid of the hakama AND the obi. The ultimate I have tried in terms of comfort, freedom of movement, and promoting a relaxed body-state is a soft twill karate gi top with no belt at all, and just the little side straps tied. If you have some informal free training time on the mat, try it out, and I predict you'll agree.
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Old 10-13-2003, 10:33 AM   #27
Dojo: Sand Drift Aikikai, Cocoa Florida
Location: Melbourne, Florida
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 824
Where I train, women may begin wearing the hakama after their 5th kyu test, but all have to wear it after passing their shodan test. I chose to wear the hakama after passing my 5th kyu test (I'm 3rd kyu now). I enjoy wearing it for many of the reasons others have mentioned it here. I find wearing it gets me into the aikido mindset more so than just wearing a plain gi.

After wearing it for almost 3 1/2 years, I have not found it very constricting in my movement or my ability to do aikido. It is a little tight once you put it on, but it loosens up as soon as you start practicing. The amount of time it's tight is for about 5 minutes, nothing more. That's not enough to stop wearing it. The same goes for the inconvenience of tripping on it about once or twice a month.

I also want to add, after watching some of our dan ranks doing jiyuwaza and randori as they get ready for their next dan test, I didn't see them restricted at all or the intensity decrease because they were wearing a hakama. The intensity they were training at seemed more dangerous to me than the fact that they were wearing a hakama.

Last edited by giriasis : 10-13-2003 at 10:35 AM.

Anne Marie Giri
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Old 10-13-2003, 10:40 AM   #28
akiy's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 6,003
Personally, I like going without a hakama once in a while. Earlier this year, I went without one for about four months. My aikido still needed a lot of help and my instructor still kicked my butt...

-- Jun

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