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Old 08-26-2001, 10:25 PM   #1
Mares
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Tieing a belt

I discovered the meaning of wearing a hakama on this site recently, but it was interesting to note the page on tieing a hakama which is different to how Udansha tie theirs at my dojo.

Subsequently, I am interested to know 2 things:

1) how do other people tie thier belts? and
2) what is the meaning or significance of tieing your belt that way.
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Old 08-26-2001, 11:32 PM   #2
Greg Jennings
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Re: Tieing a belt

Quote:
Originally posted by Mares
I discovered the meaning of wearing a hakama on this site recently, but it was interesting to note the page on tieing a hakama which is different to how Udansha tie theirs at my dojo.

Subsequently, I am interested to know 2 things:

1) how do other people tie thier belts? and
2) what is the meaning or significance of tieing your belt that way.

1) I start on one side, wrap it around twice, loop it under and tie a square knot.

2) It holds my uwagi closed and my hakama up.

Cheers,

Greg Jennings
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Old 08-27-2001, 03:56 AM   #3
JJF
 
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Two ways: as above
or the slightly easier way: Find the middle of the belt, place it just around your belly button and wrap each end of the belt around your waist. Tie a square knot. Benefit: easier to ensure that the two ends of the belt are about the same length. Drawback: the belt will make a 'cross' on your back, which looks less professional and which is concidered wrong in some dojo's.

I use the way Greg described and recently I have been taught to make the knot as 'flat' as possible (better when you land on your stomach). On top of this - when not wearing a hakama it can be a good idear to take the ends of the belt and let them run between the two layers of belt. With a little effort you can make it look like the belt has no ends since the ends are contained inside the knot. Hard to explain - but looks kind off cool....

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

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Old 08-27-2001, 09:15 AM   #4
Steve Speicher
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Quote:
Find the middle of the belt, place it just around your belly button and wrap each end of the belt around your waist. Tie a square knot. Benefit: easier to ensure that the two ends of the belt are about the same length. Drawback: the belt will make a 'cross' on your back, which looks less professional and which is concidered wrong in some dojo's.
I use the 'easier way' to tie my belt, and if you do it straightforward you will get the 'cross' on your back. If you tuck the one end under as you loop it around this can be avoided, although it requires a slight modification to the tying of the knot. It looks a little better (i guess), but the real reason I do this is that the cross in the belt digs into my back when I fall.

-----------------------------
Steve Speicher
May I ask what is meant by the strong, moving power (hao jan chih chi)? "It
is difficult to describe," Mencius replied. -- Mencius IIA2

403-256 BCE
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Old 08-27-2001, 10:40 PM   #5
Mares
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Thanks for the response guys it was interesting to here the different methods. I actually tie my belt as Steve suggested so you don't get the cross on your back, but i tie a reef knot at the front, ie left over right (and under the belt) then right over left. Subsequently when you pulled the ends down to dangle, the knot points to the left. Apparently that has some significance because if you tie the reef knot the opposite direction (right over left, then left over right) the knot points to the right and my Sensei considers it incorrect.

My question only arose because a few weeks ago my Sensei grabbed a few 1st kyus before class to correct the tying of their knots. I feel perhaps it may have something to do with life and death similar to having the left lapel over the right, but i really don't know.

Thanks for the suggestions guys it was much appreciated
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Old 08-28-2001, 06:19 AM   #6
ian
 
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left lapel over right?

Why is the left lapel over the right? I've not heard that before. Is it so right handed people find it harder to put a choke on you (with your gi)?

Ian
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Old 08-28-2001, 06:28 AM   #7
JJF
 
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Tradition - as far as I know - and perhaps the fact that a knife, piece of paper or hankerchief (sp. ?) kept under the outer lapel is accesible (once again sp. ?) by using your right hand. The way I heard it you only put the right lapel over the left on dead people, so when it occasinally happens that a newbie does this in a MA-class it usually generates a bid of laughter (dead man walking.... etc. ).

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

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Old 08-29-2001, 05:24 PM   #8
deepsoup
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Re: left lapel over right?

Quote:
Originally posted by ian
Why is the left lapel over the right? I've not heard that before. Is it so right handed people find it harder to put a choke on you (with your gi)?

Ian
I'd hazard a wild guess that its the same reason men's jackets have the left lapel over the right in the west: to be sure that your sword wont get caught up in your jacket when you draw it (All swordsmen being right-handed, of course ).

Sean
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Old 08-30-2001, 08:12 AM   #9
j0nharris
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left over right.....

Apparently, in some traditional Japanese burial rites, the lapel is right over left, which may suggest a religious or cultural significance right up there with the left hand always being at the base of the sword and left toe over right while sitting in seiza.

-jon

jon harris

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Old 09-05-2001, 10:27 PM   #10
David Humm
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At the British Aikido Federation Summer school last year one of the Japanese Guest Sensei explained he felt that the correct way to tie one's belt involved it being crossed at the back, he also explained that the neater way was considered 'feminine' ??

Persoanlly I'm not sure on that one, I'm simply repeating what was said.

With regards to Hakama, there is a correct formal way to tie the hakama's obi however, I feel that as long as it is securly tied for practice that's good enough, naturally if we are due a grading certificate or some other formal affair the hakama together with the rest of one's dogi should be correctly worn.

Dave Humm
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Old 09-06-2001, 07:01 PM   #11
Peter Goldsbury
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Humm
At the British Aikido Federation Summer school last year one of the Japanese Guest Sensei explained he felt that the correct way to tie one's belt involved it being crossed at the back, he also explained that the neater way was considered 'feminine' ??

Persoanlly I'm not sure on that one, I'm simply repeating what was said.

With regards to Hakama, there is a correct formal way to tie the hakama's obi however, I feel that as long as it is securly tied for practice that's good enough, naturally if we are due a grading certificate or some other formal affair the hakama together with the rest of one's dogi should be correctly worn.

Dave Humm
There is an awful lot of 'folklore' involved in tying obi and hakama, not all of it based on anything like historical fact. Two points / questions.

1. At the BAF Summer school, were there many people wearing the 'Fujita' obi? By this I mean a long (e.g., 3 metres), wide (i.e., about 6 cm - twice as wide as the normal judo obi) strip which wraps round the waist, obviating the need for a knot. Masatake Fujita has an association with the BAF going many years back (as I do) and always uses them. In fact my own belt (I always wear a 'Fujita' obi) was actually a present from Fujita Sensei. The first obi I had of this type was a present from an iaido master here in Japan and I later discovered that they are available from Iwata (suppliers to the Aikikai).

2. There are two main ways of tying the hakama, with the short strips over or under the back panel. I think the first way is favoured by Minoru Kanetsuka (from his Yoshinkan background??), but is also used by students of Morihiro Saito. The second way seems to be more orthodox Aikikai. I am curious as to the style favoured currently in the BAF, and in this forum. (Actually, I use both ways myself, depending on which hakama I am using.)

Finally, I think one's keikogi, obi and hakama should be correctly worn/ tied, whatever the occasion.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Goldsbury

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Old 09-07-2001, 04:53 AM   #12
guest1234
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Sensei,
What is it about the particular hakama that determines if the short himo tie on top or beneath the back panel?
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Old 09-07-2001, 05:18 PM   #13
Peter Goldsbury
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Quote:
Originally posted by ca
Sensei,
What is it about the particular hakama that determines if the short himo tie on top or beneath the back panel?
Colleen,

There is no 'deep' reason whatever. I have a black hakama that I have used for many years and it is gradually deteriorating, especially the stitching around the back panel. (In Japan, people do not seem to know how to repair hakama.)

It is now a spare hakama, but I find that tying the short himo over the back panel keeps everything in place better, especially when practising koshi-waza.

Best regards,

Peter Goldsbury

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Old 09-12-2001, 06:35 PM   #14
David Humm
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In responce to Mr. Goldsbury's reply

Sir,

To be totally honest, I don't recall anyone wearing the obi you describe, (No one removed their hakama at the time) The issue regarding the method of one's belt was raised by Fujita Sensei himself, having seen a Yudansha walking off mat with a normal belt tied in the mannor where it was not crossed at the back. I had not heard of this being described as a 'feminine' way before.

I wear my hakama with the shorter lengths as the final tie, I seem to recall this being the most favoured method of members of the BAF. (I do not presume to speek on their behalf, my comment is based upon my observation during their summer school last year)

Kind Reagrds
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Old 09-12-2001, 11:12 PM   #15
Chocolateuke
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I thought that there where more than two ways to tie a hakamma in fact I know there are at least 3 because of different teachers at seminars. and my sensis tie them different. My yoshinkan teacher ties it with a big round part ( not a knot) and it makes him look fatter than he is not to say he is fat at all.. and my shizenkai teacher ties it differntly but no round part. anyhow check out my dojos Website www.muhudojo.com it is a simple site.

Dallas Adolphsen
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Old 09-24-2001, 01:09 PM   #16
Chuck.Gordon
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Obi wan Hakama?

Originally posted by Dave Humm

>Sensei himself, having seen a Yudansha
>walking off mat with a normal belt tied in
>the mannor where it was not crossed at the

OK, so I'm really just a little girl inside ... I've always worn my obi wrapped flat and not crossed, whether it was an old-style sword belt or a new-fangled (Thanks, Mr Kano!) one.

The older style, used for many years in budo, is wider, softer and longer than the one you probably got when you bought your judogi or karate uniform. The belt I almost always wear nowadays is one of these. It's worn and ties slightly differently (and there are, indeed, several different, all 'traditional' ways to tie 'em).

>back. I had not heard of this being
>described as a 'feminine' way before.

Me either. Ever.

>I wear my hakama with the shorter lengths as

Umm, dang, lemme think. I don't even think much about putting a hakama on, really. It's just something my hands seem ot know how to do.

Hmm. I wear the hak differently for weapons than for empty hand. For weapons, I don't tuck the waist band of the hakama at all, for empty-hand, I do. However, both are tied pretty much the same otherwise. I learned to tie the front first, wrapping the himo and tying them in back; then the back goes over the belt knot (worn in the back, BTW) and tied snug.

Someone said the knot in front (short himo, I think) is called a 'fat sparrow' or somesuch.

There are about as many ways to wear a hakama as there are schools that use 'em.

Chuck

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Old 09-25-2001, 10:09 AM   #17
jimbo
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Re: left lapel over right?

Quote:
Originally posted by ian
Why is the left lapel over the right? I've not heard that before. Is it so right handed people find it harder to put a choke on you (with your gi)?

Ian
It is a long tradition in Japan--even one that my Japanese wife (who is not involved in any way with any martial art) recognizes. I was taught that it was an easy way to mark the dead on the battlefield, but I don't know how that would have really happened....BTW, it's often fun to look at catalogs for dogi and laugh at the "dead" models!

--jimbo
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Old 09-26-2001, 06:49 AM   #18
ian
 
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Hi Jimbo -

I recently read some stuff on this in Shiflett's book "aikido - excercises for teaching and training" (v.good book - see the book reviews):

"At a time when "to be civilised" meant to be like the Chinese," Japanese clothing styles followed Chinese clothing styles. When the Japanese court moved to Nara in 1710, it adopted dress rules based on the Tang clothing code which specifically mandated that all robes cross left side over right side just as in Chinese fashion. The Chinese (and hence the Japanese) considered the right-over-left to be the sure sign of a barbarian (Dalby, 1993)."

It also goes on to say,

"The one exception to closing a garment left side over right side is for the dead. Health care workers in areas with high populations of elderly Japanese are carefully trained in this tradition because of the problem of patients of good prognosis dying apparently from reading too much significance into the way that a Western nurse happened to close their garment."

Ian

P.S.

this book also refers to the correct way of tying the flat/reef/square knot (all the same)is so that it 'points to the left', and states that the ends should hang loose as the weight helps to keep pressure on the knot.

One thing with the reef knot, is that it is only stable when lateral pressure is applied i.e. if you don't like it too tight around your waist it is more likely to come undone.
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