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Old 08-21-2000, 09:56 AM   #26
akiy
 
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Quote:
Aikisho-1 wrote:
I was called on as an uke when I was 5th Kyu.I was one of those people who could take ukemi pretty well so she assumed I was a higher rank.I wasn't and I should have listened to my sensei,and removed the hakama during seminars.She clobbered me,and I learned my lesson.
Did you get hurt?

Maybe she called on you because you could take ukemi pretty well and not because she assumed you were a "higher rank." Did you ask if she thought you held a higher rank or is this your own assumption you're bringing in here?

If you can take the ukemi, what difference does your rank make?

-- Jun

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Old 08-21-2000, 04:32 PM   #27
chrisinbrasil
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Ai symbol Hakama...

Hey there,
Where I train only black belts are "allowed" to wear hakama. Iīm in Brazil and speaking for most, not all, of the associations here. On one hand itīs a definate ego inflater BUT I believe itīs more than that. Iīve found that throughout the years, the hakama has become a symbol of preserverance, determination, sweat, years of mat time, and a general motivator for all those bright-eyed bushy-tailed newbies that come in drooling for some training. I enjoyed training with the hakama wearers because it usually meant guidance, correct and effective techniques, good explanations, and role models guaranteed. It gives people something to shoot for; it helps people grow when worn by the right people. In my dojo I donīt wear a hakama myself, nor did my sensei at times. The motion of the feet need not be concealed at all times, especially when teaching.
At your service,
Christopher

At your service,
Christopher Wilson
Hito no tachiba wo kanga eru.
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Old 08-25-2000, 11:21 AM   #28
jrfreed353
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Pride and commitment

Most of this discussion has been based on extrinsic reasons for wearing a hakama. How do others view you and your rank, a sense on unity with your dogo, rank, achivement, and etc. But aikido training is much more about intrinsic (inner-self) than what kind of attire you wear on the mat.

Being a member of my dogo (ASU), the hakama is encouraged by all students regardless of rank. And by this, the hakama is somewhat of a non-issue. In my opinion, the hakama is nothing more than my commitment to the art of aikido...nothing more.

-JRF
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Old 08-11-2004, 01:49 PM   #29
Steve Mullen
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Re: Wearing Hakama

hi all, this is my very first post on this really cool site (wow), I train in the White Rose organisation in England. Our founder Sensei Riley allows females to be awarded hakama at 2nd kyu, and males at 1st kyu, but this is generally for an exceptional grading. His idea is that a hakama signifies that the wearer is one of his senior students.
Just another point White Rose students wear a white belt until they take their Shodan. what are other styles' view on this?
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Old 08-11-2004, 02:07 PM   #30
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Wearing Hakama

While yoshinkan students often get a hakama at shodan, its usually not worn that much for training until sandan. At most seminars, its the instructor and his/her assistants who wear hakama...most just wear dogi and obi. I believe the shodokan (Tomiki) associations are pretty much the same.

Since I've spent sometime at seminars and a few classes in the aikikai, I've gotten somewhat used to training in the hakama, but it still seems to me I can work a little more freely without it. Different strokes and all that...

Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 08-11-2004, 05:24 PM   #31
Lan Powers
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Re: Wearing Hakama

Just a quick note to all interested folks....Bu Jin has (on their clearance rack) an assortment of hakamas of various sizes, koshita styles, and choices of colors (blue or black) for $55 hemmed to your length.
Enjoy
Lan

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
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Old 08-11-2004, 07:26 PM   #32
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: Wearing Hakama

Quote:
(due to "modesty")
I have heard this argument before. I read an excerpt from one of Saotome Sensei's books (sorry I don't reccollect which one) where he says that this is (and this in my words not Saotome Sensei's) rediculous. If Aikido is about everything it is supposed to be about then even suggesting that someone would be having improper thoughts about the women in class because they are not wearing hakama defeats the purpose.

Not as well put as Saotome Sensei put it.

My understanding is that the hakama was initially required as it was part of formal wear. Those who didn't have one could not practice. Therefore one had to beg, borrow, or buy a hakama to attend practice. Then afte WWII, fabric being so scarce, it was allowed to practice without.

Lyle Laizure
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Old 08-11-2004, 08:16 PM   #33
Zato Ichi
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Re: Wearing Hakama

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
At most seminars, its the instructor and his/her assistants who wear hakama...most just wear dogi and obi. I believe the shodokan (Tomiki) associations are pretty much the same.
In my limited time at Shodokan honbu, I've never seen Nariyama-shihan, his deshi, or any of the top ranked sensei wear hakama. One of the first things I was told when I came to honbu was, "We don't wear hakama. It's too dangerous for practice." We basically run around in dogi and obi, like Ron said.

I have seen some of the university students wear hakama for enbu, but that's pretty much the extent of it.
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Old 08-12-2004, 01:34 AM   #34
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Re: Wearing Hakama

Quote:
Mike Collins wrote:
I don't think a hakama makes your Aikido better.....
I disagree with this , the hakama definately helps improve your kaiten movement. Being 6' 2", without a hakama I look like a beanpole and feel like a plank of wood when moving about just in dogi. As soon as I put a hakama on, it all starts to flow, my movement is much smoother.

When I joined my dojo, at that time we were told by our Sensei when to put a hakama on. In those days we didn't grade very regularly (not that we're much better now ) I'd been doing Aiki about 2 years and was 5th kyu when he suggested I get one. Times have changed, we now have different sensei at the club and we belong to a different organization, now hakama is still by decree of our senior instructor, but the association reserves it for 1st kyu (maybe 2nd kyu), and a couple of our legacy students who have been wearing them for years but haven't graded up.

When I moved to Japan, I joined the Aikikai, dropped my grades and went back in without a hakama. Every time I walked onto the mat in my dogi I still felt like a plank of wood. When I graded to shodan, my Sensei in Japan gave me a kuro obi embroidered with the kanji "$B0RIwF2!9(B" (ifuu dou dou - which translates to majestic and dignified), the hakama is most definately a contributary factor in attaining this.

rgds

Bryan

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 08-12-2004, 01:46 AM   #35
batemanb
 
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Re: Hakama Time!

Quote:
Dan wrote:
What it taught me was to keep my feet closer to the ground when I moved. This may not sound like much of a lesson, but think about how much more unstable you become as your feet get further away from the ground.
Your feet shouldn't really leave the ground when moving in Aikido, whether you're wearing a hakama or not . We shouldn't lift our feet up ala walking when we move, but should glide across the mat with the sole of the foot maintaining a light contact at all times. The hakama can be a great reminder of this, I once watched a friend being uke for the instructor in class (many years ago), as he stepped forward during his movement his foot went up inside the hakama and his toes caught as he went to plant his foot. It was a great kuzushi movent because it somehow managed to flip him 180 degrees upside down instantly, the only problem was that he dislocated his collar bone when he hit the mat .

rgds

Bryan

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 08-12-2004, 02:13 AM   #36
happysod
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Re: Wearing Hakama

Quote:
Your feet shouldn't really leave the ground when moving in Aikido, whether you're wearing a hakama or not . We shouldn't lift our feet up ala walking when we move, but should glide across the mat with the sole of the foot maintaining a light contact at all times.
While this may be true for your style Bryan, I can assure you this is not a cast-iron rule universally applied across all styles of aikido. Interestingly enough, lifting your feet does wonders for your aikido when you're outside and the terrain is more random.
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Old 08-12-2004, 02:59 AM   #37
PeterR
 
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Re: Wearing Hakama

Quote:
Ian Hurst wrote:
While this may be true for your style Bryan, I can assure you this is not a cast-iron rule universally applied across all styles of aikido. Interestingly enough, lifting your feet does wonders for your aikido when you're outside and the terrain is more random.
Yes let's not forget the Tohei hop.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 08-12-2004, 03:03 AM   #38
batemanb
 
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Re: Wearing Hakama

Quote:
Ian Hurst wrote:
While this may be true for your style Bryan, I can assure you this is not a cast-iron rule universally applied across all styles of aikido. Interestingly enough, lifting your feet does wonders for your aikido when you're outside and the terrain is more random.
Actually I'm a typical Aikido hypocrite here , I often fail to adhere myself, although I am working on it. You are correct, it's not a cast iron rule. I do do exercises that specifically involve standing on one foot occasionally, but when I was in Japan, Sensei in three diifferent dojo's used to reprimand me for lifting my feet when moving (and they taught exercises standing on one foot too .

Like a lot of things in Aikido, there are correct ways, and not correct ways, until the time when the not correct way is the correct way

rgds

Bryan

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 08-12-2004, 03:05 AM   #39
happysod
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Re: Wearing Hakama

[sniffy voice]We prefer to call it a bounce [/sniffy voice] ... shodokan bullies, always making fun of the more enlightened, I get so mad I could meditate!
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Old 08-12-2004, 05:58 AM   #40
Peter Seth
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Re: Wearing Hakama

Imagine - you are in a large class, a guest at a new class, on a course etc etc, where not everyone is known to you. You may be training with people who are wearing hakama's, some wearing coloured belts, some wearing white belts. How do you know the skill level/experience each person has, can they cope with breakfalls, positive application of techniques, are they beginners etc?
If it is not obvious, I personally ask the person I am about to train with (if I dont know them), what grade/experience they have and tailor my training to suit.
My point being, with such diversity in clubs/organisations about wearing hakamas and not wearing coloured belts untill they grade to shodan, there could be some Health and safety/insurance issues. Especially so in this litigation culture. Injuries or worse, could occur due to for example an inexperienced aikidoka wearing a hakama being mistaken for an experienced black belt and thrown at that level. Or, a 1st kyu wearing a white belt applying technique at that level to a 5th kyu wearing a white belt. I totally support the freedom of organisations to apply their own 'dress code' as it were, but I would say to everyone, if you don't already know, please ascertain the experience of the person you are training with.
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Old 08-12-2004, 07:51 AM   #41
ruthmc
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Re: Wearing Hakama

I don't wear my hakama when teaching weapons, because I want the class to be able to see my feet, knees and hip movement clearly. Some folks consider this a breach of ettiquette, but I'll take practicality over ettiquette every time!

Often an instructor ends up hitching up the hakama and tucking it into their obi while teaching, as the students just can't see the leg movements clearly under the hakama. This makes me question the practicality of the hakama for teaching purposes, never mind training..

Personally I don't think my training gets any better or worse according to what I'm wearing!

Ruth
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Old 08-12-2004, 08:47 AM   #42
David Humm
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Re: Wearing Hakama

Is it not an Aikikai directive to it's members and affiliates not to wear hakama before Yudansha, unless specifically authorised ?

I can't comment on other Hombu regulations however, as a 1st kyu I was authorised to wear hakama but, when I travelled to the New York Aikikai, I was advised only Yudansha were permitted.
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Old 08-12-2004, 09:10 AM   #43
David Humm
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Re: Wearing Hakama

Quote:
Peter Seth wrote:
Imagine - you are in a large class, a guest at a new class, on a course etc etc, where not everyone is known to you. You may be training with people who are wearing hakama's, some wearing coloured belts, some wearing white belts. How do you know the skill level/experience each person has, can they cope with breakfalls, positive application of techniques, are they beginners etc?
If it is not obvious, I personally ask the person I am about to train with (if I dont know them), what grade/experience they have and tailor my training to suit.
My point being, with such diversity in clubs/organisations about wearing hakamas and not wearing coloured belts untill they grade to shodan, there could be some Health and safety/insurance issues. Especially so in this litigation culture. Injuries or worse, could occur due to for example an inexperienced aikidoka wearing a hakama being mistaken for an experienced black belt and thrown at that level. Or, a 1st kyu wearing a white belt applying technique at that level to a 5th kyu wearing a white belt. I totally support the freedom of organisations to apply their own 'dress code' as it were, but I would say to everyone, if you don't already know, please ascertain the experience of the person you are training with.
Hi Peter..

The issues you raise in the context of wearing hakama also directly concern the coloured belts vs. white debate and, the individual standards that can and often do, vary vastly between organisations.

I would hope that in any organisation worth its salt, students are taught to be respectful of one another to the point of understanding one's partner's standard (grade at least) just prior to technique to prevent the problems you rightly highlight in your post. I therefore don't see the wearing of a hakama to be more than an issue than standing in front of a white belt wearer and before I apply technique, asking "have you been training long ?"

As a personal preference, I'd rather all mudansha wear white belt, it evens out status and it forces us to at least be a little cautious in our first techniques with those we don't know.

As for hakama, as Jun states its nothing more than bit of material. Which, some of us unfortunately put on a pedestal, I really don't have any strong feelings on whom should wear the garment. From a purely aesthetic point, It looks uniform within a dojo if everyone is wearing the same.

Until the Aikikai change their regulation on the matter, dojo within that organisation must maintain the hakama at shodan rule.

Last edited by David Humm : 08-12-2004 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 08-12-2004, 10:05 AM   #44
Yann Golanski
 
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Re: Wearing Hakama

David,

I've trained in different Aikikai dojo in the UK and the states and in one I was told to wear a White belt in the other I was told wear what I wanted (black belt and hakama). As for who wears a hakama. I've seen it all from everyone to no one. I've even seen a 7th dan wear no hakama and a white belt. It was refreshing to be able to see what his legs were doing.

Frankly, who cares? It's just trousers... I seem to wear my hakama to go clubbing and it's always a hit. Many people want to know where I can get such funky trousers. *grins evilly and waits for the outrage and flames*

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
yann@york-aikido.org York Shodokan Aikido
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Old 08-12-2004, 10:10 AM   #45
David Humm
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Re: Wearing Hakama

lol @ Yann.. Nice one mate... Which club you go to.. ?
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Old 08-12-2004, 02:05 PM   #46
p00kiethebear
 
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Re: Wearing Hakama

I think the "yudansha only get to wear nice swishy pants" rule is stupid. I did kenjutsu for a year before i started aikido. Everyone was allowed to wear hakama in that class. When i joined aikido i felt naked working without it.

But for me my reasoning is actually a little more simpler.

It was o sensei's wish that his students wear a hakama at the dojo.

Since in most dojos, we are practicing in the presence of o sensei (you know, the picture on the shomen and all?) then i think it would be best for us to train with our pants on, and not, as he put it, in our underwear.

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
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Old 08-13-2004, 05:09 AM   #47
Robert Cowham
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Re: Wearing Hakama

I find the hakama does have an effect on my center which helps my practice. In fact this is also a contention in a paper by Inaba sensei of the Shiseikan in Tokyo ("Developing the Fundamentals of Mind and Body for Budo").

He refers to the use of the hundoshi (loin cloth), which used to be traditional, but is seldom worn these days. He refers to the Imperial Navy strategist AKIYAMA SANEYUKI who wrote "The HUNDOSHI Thesis", a note about cultivating spirit. "In battle, by tightening my hundoshi, I was sure that I could prevent my SHINKI (mind-KI) from wavering."

This is related to why sumo wrestlers wear a hundoshi.

"Keeping SHINKI in the TANDEN" means "preventing blood rushing and making possible the free expression of intelligence and KI RYOKU."

The HAKAMA, worn in BUJUTSU practice, has a similar effect to a HUNDOSHI, except for tightening a man's private parts. With the belt and hip strings tightening around the hips and the HARA below the navel, the SHINKI drops into the TANDEN, the HARA keeps the body power, and the TANDEN and the centre of gravity become unified. Breathing in this state during practice naturally becomes the TANDEN KOKYU that is necessary for BUJUTSU.

Robert
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Old 08-13-2004, 09:16 AM   #48
gilsinnj
 
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Re: Wearing Hakama

In our style (Kinokawa and specifically our dojo Aikido Mt. Airy), we wear hakama as yudansha. This is more of a business thing, though in our case. It is difficult for new students coming into a dojo to figure out who is leading class unless they see the black belt or something that stands out.

We are an independant organization, and don't have many yudansha at our dojo. By wearing hakama, we are easily recognizable when new students come in to join. Since we don't have a large pool of yudansha to work from, our shodan's haven't gotten the big head sometimes associated with yudanship at some other dojos. We've all been humbled at one point or another by our main instructor.

-- Jim
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Old 08-16-2004, 12:40 PM   #49
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Wearing Hakama

Hi Robert,

Is that fundoshi or hundoshi?

Thanks,
Ron (linguistically impaired...)

Quote:
Robert Cowham wrote:
I find the hakama does have an effect on my center which helps my practice. In fact this is also a contention in a paper by Inaba sensei of the Shiseikan in Tokyo ("Developing the Fundamentals of Mind and Body for Budo").

He refers to the use of the hundoshi (loin cloth), which used to be traditional, but is seldom worn these days. He refers to the Imperial Navy strategist AKIYAMA SANEYUKI who wrote "The HUNDOSHI Thesis", a note about cultivating spirit. "In battle, by tightening my hundoshi, I was sure that I could prevent my SHINKI (mind-KI) from wavering."

This is related to why sumo wrestlers wear a hundoshi.

"Keeping SHINKI in the TANDEN" means "preventing blood rushing and making possible the free expression of intelligence and KI RYOKU."

The HAKAMA, worn in BUJUTSU practice, has a similar effect to a HUNDOSHI, except for tightening a man's private parts. With the belt and hip strings tightening around the hips and the HARA below the navel, the SHINKI drops into the TANDEN, the HARA keeps the body power, and the TANDEN and the centre of gravity become unified. Breathing in this state during practice naturally becomes the TANDEN KOKYU that is necessary for BUJUTSU.

Robert

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 08-16-2004, 01:31 PM   #50
Chuck.Gordon
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Re: Wearing Hakama

I've always heard Fundoshi, but the Japanese F and H are sort of interchangeable, depending on dialect and such ...

Chuck

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