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Old 05-17-2010, 12:42 PM   #1
RED
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Re: Hakama Question

Am I nasty? I don't wash the hakama... :/ never have... my teacher doesn't either... :/

MM
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:04 AM   #2
ruthmc
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Re: Hakama Question

Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
Am I nasty? I don't wash the hakama... :/ never have... my teacher doesn't either... :/
You may not need to if you don't get it covered in sweat (your own plus other people's!), and your training surface is clean (and kept regularly and properly clean).

Unfortunately in our case we never clean the training surface, both our jigmats and foam mats plus canvas are 2nd hand, the jigmats especially are in a poor state of repair, somewhat stinky, and kept in an outdoor shed full of dust and spiders between each weekly use

We can't clean the canvas - it's enormous and we don't have anywhere to clean it properly, so it only gets spot cleaned for blood. It's full of dust too (you can tell when a hand slaps down and a cloud rises up!) but it's kept at a large community sports centre at which we have limited time, so no chance of even vacuuming it

As for sweat, the training environments we are in can be somewhat variable in terms of interior climate, so some of our sessions get very hot and sweaty indeed!

All we can do is to clean ourselves, our dogi, and occasionally belts and hakama in order to avoid smelling bad.

I do envy those of you having private / sole use / permanent tatami which can be cleaned properly!

Ruth
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Old 05-18-2010, 12:10 PM   #3
RED
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Re: Hakama Question

My training surface is always clean...and I wear a judo gi...my hakama never seems wet no matter how much i sweat.(i'm not a sweater anyways..Floridians, go figure.)
My hakama never seems dirty at least, or smelly. :/

My teacher told me to never wash the belt..... bad luck. The truth is the belts shrink in the wash. Plus if you wear a white belt long enough you won't have to buy a new one when you come up for shodan.

MM
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Old 05-18-2010, 01:23 PM   #4
Basia Halliop
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Re: Hakama Question

Quote:
My teacher told me to never wash the belt..... bad luck. The truth is the belts shrink in the wash. Plus if you wear a white belt long enough you won't have to buy a new one when you come up for shodan.
I wash my belts whenever I wash my gis. I suppose it's possible they did shrink a tiny bit the first time, but unless they're just barely long enough it doesn't matter. And it makes them less yellow or grey and sweaty... I don't buy the bad luck thing either! Why would it be bad luck to be clean? Seems better to be cleaner. I suspect 'more traditional' to keep as clean as possible, too.

Plus a new belt is kind of stiff and hard to keep tied until it's been washed once or twice...
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Old 05-18-2010, 02:18 PM   #5
Walter Martindale
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Re: Hakama Question

Quote:
Basia Halliop wrote: View Post
I wash my belts whenever I wash my gis. I suppose it's possible they did shrink a tiny bit the first time, but unless they're just barely long enough it doesn't matter. And it makes them less yellow or grey and sweaty... I don't buy the bad luck thing either! Why would it be bad luck to be clean? Seems better to be cleaner. I suspect 'more traditional' to keep as clean as possible, too.

Plus a new belt is kind of stiff and hard to keep tied until it's been washed once or twice...
Someone probably washed their belt once and then got hit by the shinkansen, so it's bad luck to wash your belt.
However - it's one of those traditions - people rarely wash their obi. I know someone wearing a black belt that's so worn that it is white in a lot of places - 16 years and counting, never washed.
The gi gets cleaned after almost every training (well, mine does), and the hakama once or twice a year, usually after a hot sweaty summer.
W
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Old 05-18-2010, 02:35 PM   #6
RED
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Re: Hakama Question

I took a class by Peter Bernath Sensei. I asked why he was wearing a white belt.. I mean he's a 7th degree Shihan. :/ I was told it used to be black most likely.

MM
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:00 PM   #7
ninjaqutie
 
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Re: Hakama Question

The silk covered black belts lose their color in no time. If you have ever seen a person wearing a black belt that is mostly white (and they have had it like a year), that is more then likely the type of belt they have. The completely dyed cotton ones hold their color a lot longer. Just depends on preference.

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Old 05-18-2010, 05:01 PM   #8
Adam Huss
 
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Re: Hakama Question

I believe the idea of not washing an obi...in pre Jigoro Kano days...was so one could show how hard they trained/experience they had. This was pre-colored belt system (hence Pre-Kano Sensei).

During a Dojo trip to Japan for the Kamakura Festival, it was revealed that many students don't wash their dogi after class...they hand them up in the dojo to dry between classes. Yuk.

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Old 05-18-2010, 05:33 PM   #9
Basia Halliop
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Re: Washing Hakama & Belt

Quote:
I believe the idea of not washing an obi...in pre Jigoro Kano days...was so one could show how hard they trained/experience they had. This was pre-colored belt system (hence Pre-Kano Sensei).
I've always heard that this is a myth. It also doesn't fit very well with what I know of Japanese culture (which seems very conservative in its attitude towards cleanliness).
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:59 PM   #10
RED
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Re: Washing Hakama & Belt

Damn, I wash my dogi like once a month. :/ I've gone like 6 months before. It is a heavy judo top. I hang up to dry everyday. No one ever said it smelled...I don't think it smells...and it stays white. Maybe I should wash it more. I wash my pants everyday...cuz that's just nasty!

MM
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:52 PM   #11
Chris Covington
 
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Re: Washing Hakama & Belt

My vote is nasty. Sorry. Stuff like MRSA is not cool. I think the double weave is worse because it has the extra layers to trap who-knows-what and you're less likely to notice it. http://www.cdc.gov/mrsa/mrsa_initiat...photo_003.html

Just because it doesn't smell or you can't see dirt on it doesn't mean it isn't there. Since budo in general and aikido in particular have close associations with Shinto I think it is important to stay nice and clean. See number 1: http://www.wikihow.com/Worship-at-a-Shinto-Shrine

Wash the belt a few times a year by hand and let it air dry. I wash my hakama every other time I wash my dogi. If you do a lot of idori work maybe everytime you wash your dogi. I think staying healthy is part of budo and some of the nasty viruses and bacteria are more deadly than anything you'll have to deal with outside of the dojo in most cases.

Best regards,

Chris Covington
Daito-ryu aikijujutsu
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:32 PM   #12
lbb
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Re: Washing Hakama & Belt

I wash all my clothing when it needs it, which includes hakama and belt. Why not? It's no big deal to do it. I wash the hakama on the gentle cycle (yay front loader), and hang it up on a skirt hanger to dry. The hakama probably gets washed once a month, the belt probably a bit less often. Gis get washed after a single wearing, no exceptions.

Also...there's a guy at my dojo, nice guy, everyone likes him, but the truth is, he doesn't wash his gi nearly enough. AFAIK no one has ever said anything to him directly, but...he's notorious. So, just because no one says anything doesn't mean that no one has noticed a certain funk in the house.
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:13 PM   #13
RED
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Re: Washing Hakama & Belt

there was a rule administered in the dojo for one person. his gi was stinking the place up so much he was forced to wash it regularly....everyone seems to be very vocal about funk around here lol

MM
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:34 PM   #14
Adam Huss
 
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Re: Washing Hakama & Belt

I wash my dogi as needed...usually every other class. I think it helps greatly if you hand it up to air out as Maggie said. If I am too lazy to hag up my dogi after a class it smells kinda bad (not like stinky BO, but more like musty/soured smell like if you leave laundry in the washing machine for a couple days).

Basia,
I could find out which dojo does that...I have pictures of this somewhere on one of the CDs from the Japan trip (there are literally like thousands of pictures as everyone traded discs with the photos they took..and I don't want to look through them all right now). I'll post it when I find it. And yes, it is kind of anathema to the focus on cleanliness that many attribute to the Japanese culture.

Chris,
So I'm kinda pissed now. I noticed you have what appears to be the Takeda crest on your user ID and your location is Baltimore, MD. I spent a little over two months in Hanover and was desperate to find a place to train! I trained at a few different places...but none as conducive to my Yoshinkan training mentality as I assume Daito Ryu would be. I would kill to get those months back and train at a Daito Ryu place for a couple months (I never have before!). Agh! I'm so mad at myself.

Last edited by Adam Huss : 05-18-2010 at 10:34 PM. Reason: spelling

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Old 05-19-2010, 08:34 AM   #15
Neal Earhart
 
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Re: Washing Hakama & Belt

I have never washed my black belt.

I wash my gis after every class...it is a simple sanitary courtesy to the other people you work out. You may think your gis don't smell after a few classes, especially in the summer...but, they do. They also get dirty...nothing is more unsightly than a sweat-stained, dirty gi....

Also, take some clorox to them every so often...maybe every 10-15 washings or so...and no, it doesn't ruin them. I have cloroxed the heck out of many of my gis and I assure you, they are just fine...and some of them are quite old.

Wash your gi...!!!

I have multiple hakama. I use a deluxe polyester from Tozando for Iaido. That hakama gets washed regularly. I have Iwata indigo cotton hakama for aikdo. It gets washed about once every 2 months...or as needed.

I just don't understand how people can practice, sweat, come in contact with other people's sweat, and a mat surface and not wash their gis.

I was at a seminar in NJ in early May. There were a lot of participants who clearly never washed their gis or if they did...it was on a yearly basis...needless to say, I avoided working out with them...
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Old 05-19-2010, 09:10 AM   #16
ruthmc
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Re: Washing Hakama & Belt

Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
Damn, I wash my dogi like once a month. :/ I've gone like 6 months before. It is a heavy judo top. I hang up to dry everyday. No one ever said it smelled...I don't think it smells...and it stays white. Maybe I should wash it more. I wash my pants everyday...cuz that's just nasty!
Hi Maggie,

I think you're getting away with it because you train in a clean, well ventilated environment, and you're not a sweaty person, or getting much of other folks' sweat on your dogi.

However, you may find as you get older that you will sweat more - I'm a lot more sweaty in my late 30s than I was in my early 20's

Some of our training sessions can be pretty intensive, and my dogi and hakama are both damp afterwards - I wear an Aikidogi which is made of thick cotton like a Judogi - so of course it must go straight in the wash! It's actually part of our dojo rules that you must wash your dogi after every class, and at Summer Camp many people wear a clean dogi in the afternoon because their morning one has got sweaty and dirty The laundry room there is always really busy

As for the not washing your belt thing, yes that is nasty and not based upon any kind of logic - an instructor may not need to wash belt and hakama as often as a student because s/he isn't getting such a workout, they're not sweating or rolling around. Fair enough. However, if the student doesn't wash their belt and is sweating through their dogi jacket regularly, then it will discolour and start to smell - ugh

It's only fair on your training partners to wash your clothing as often as is required for it not to be an unpleasant experience to train with you And as your circumstances change, this may mean more frequent washing is required!

Ruth
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Old 05-19-2010, 10:06 AM   #17
Keith Larman
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Re: Washing Hakama & Belt

Just to state the obvious... A gi that smells obviously needs to be washed if for no other reason common courtesy. However, there are a *lot* of bad buggies out there that come off skin, the mat, blood, sweat, whatever. They exist everywhere. And they don't necessarily make a stink. A sweaty gi is probably a better host environment for many bad things, but that doesn't mean a dry, clean smelling gi is clean. Frankly a gi that has been through a month of workouts but hasn't been washed could very well be vastly more "bacterially dirty" than a gi that smells like the owners garlic chicken dinner from the night before.

I wash my gi after every class. I will line dry it when I can (sunshine is a wonderful thing). I periodically wash my belt and hakama (I know, sacrilegious). Every now and then I add a small bit of bleach (1/2 of what they recommend on the bottle for cleaning) for the gi itself. I fill the tank, let it agitate for a minute to mix the bleach and detergent, pause it, then drop in my gi. I let it agitate until the gi is saturated, pause it, then let it soak for a while. Then I turn it back on to finish the wash. It doesn't take much bleach to kill buggies, certainly less than it takes to "bleach" something white. At higher concentrations bleach will start to damage fiber. So if you're finding your gi is wearing out prematurely, cut back on the concentration. But constant washing will also wear things out faster. But that's what it costs to stay clean...

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Old 05-19-2010, 10:28 AM   #18
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: Washing Hakama & Belt

I wash my hakama two maybe three times a year but in between washings I like to hang it up to air out.

Lyle Laizure
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Old 05-19-2010, 10:53 AM   #19
Janet Rosen
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Re: Washing Hakama & Belt

The aikiweb public health nurse supports regular washing of all the things we wear :-)

Janet Rosen
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Old 05-19-2010, 10:53 AM   #20
ninjaqutie
 
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Re: Washing Hakama & Belt

My gi gets washed every other class. More in the summer because men leave big sweat puddles on the mat. GROSS! As far as my hakama goes, I have had it for a few months and have never washed it (though I only wear it in iaido). As for my obi, I have never washed it. Even belts I had for years in my previous style were never washed. The few people I know who wash their belt end up shrinking, fading, getting damaged or turn a completely different and ucky color. One guy in our dojo washed his white belt and ended up with a pinkish/brown belt. :O/

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Old 05-19-2010, 10:55 AM   #21
Janet Rosen
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Re: Washing Hakama & Belt

Quote:
Ashley Carter wrote: View Post
The few people I know who wash their belt end up shrinking, fading, getting damaged or turn a completely different and ucky color. One guy in our dojo washed his white belt and ended up with a pinkish/brown belt. :O/
Well clearly they need lessons in how to properly sort laundry, sheesh.....That is no excuse for not laundering.

Janet Rosen
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Old 05-19-2010, 11:05 AM   #22
RED
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Re: Washing Hakama & Belt

Quote:
Ruth Rae wrote: View Post
Hi Maggie,

I think you're getting away with it because you train in a clean, well ventilated environment, and you're not a sweaty person, or getting much of other folks' sweat on your dogi.

However, you may find as you get older that you will sweat more - I'm a lot more sweaty in my late 30s than I was in my early 20's

Some of our training sessions can be pretty intensive, and my dogi and hakama are both damp afterwards - I wear an Aikidogi which is made of thick cotton like a Judogi - so of course it must go straight in the wash! It's actually part of our dojo rules that you must wash your dogi after every class, and at Summer Camp many people wear a clean dogi in the afternoon because their morning one has got sweaty and dirty The laundry room there is always really busy

As for the not washing your belt thing, yes that is nasty and not based upon any kind of logic - an instructor may not need to wash belt and hakama as often as a student because s/he isn't getting such a workout, they're not sweating or rolling around. Fair enough. However, if the student doesn't wash their belt and is sweating through their dogi jacket regularly, then it will discolour and start to smell - ugh

It's only fair on your training partners to wash your clothing as often as is required for it not to be an unpleasant experience to train with you And as your circumstances change, this may mean more frequent washing is required!

Ruth
Really? I'll get sweatier as I get older? lol I never factored that in.
I take usually 2 classes a day(1 iif I'm hurty, which I have been this week because of a weekend seminar )...that might warrant more washing.
There is actually a laundry mat down from the dojo. I've been wondering if we should start collecting gi's for a regular washing. Honestly, some of the boys need to wash it more. They get this rotting milk smell

MM
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Old 05-19-2010, 11:07 AM   #23
RED
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Re: Washing Hakama & Belt

Now,
I've only known one instructor that actually washed their hakama. The dojo is very clean and well ventilated though.
I'm wondering if it is normal that for the most part we don't wash the hakama.

MM
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Old 05-19-2010, 11:30 AM   #24
lbb
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Re: Washing Hakama & Belt

Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
I've only known one instructor that actually washed their hakama.
How many instructors do you know?
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Old 05-19-2010, 12:17 PM   #25
RED
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Re: Washing Hakama & Belt

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
How many instructors do you know?
my school has 7, only one washes the hakama.

I known many outside my dojo, but I can;t comment on their washing regularity because I'm not around them as much.

MM
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