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Old 07-25-2002, 08:45 AM   #26
BC
Location: Chicago, IL
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 432
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Quote:
Rachel Massey (rachmass) wrote:
The modesty thing was told to me by someone in a dojo who requires all women to wear hakama. She said that the dojo-cho considered the gi as pajamas for women (why not men?) and it was immodest to be on the mat without a hakama. For that matter, women were also not allowed to fold their hakama on the mat and had to do that in the dressing room.
I practice in a dojo where the policy is exactly as described above. When I visit my parents in another state, I will often visit a dojo where everyone wears hakama after their first kyu test. And every time I visit, the host instructor offers to let me borrow a hakama to use while I'm there. And every time I respectfully decline, citing my late Sensei's preference (he was a VERY traditional Japanese instructor from Aikikai Hombu dojo). This host instructor is kind enough to respect my wishes, since he knew my Sensei. After that, it usually takes a technique or two until his students realize that I'm not a completely new beginner. All-in-all, it makes for some amusing conversation after class.

Does it matter to me whether or not I should be allowed to wear a hakama? Not really. Does it matter to the female mudansha in our dojo that they have to wear hakama? I think maybe on hot summer days. Cost really isn't too much of an issue, since we make sure they can either borrow hakama from seniors or purchase them cheap. To me one possible advantage for not having to wear a hakama is that it makes it easier for instructors and sempai to spot problems with my footwork so that I can correct them.

Just my two cents (again).

Last edited by BC : 07-29-2002 at 09:39 AM.

Robert Cronin
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Old 07-25-2002, 09:15 AM   #27
Kevin Wilbanks
Location: Seattle/Southern Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2002
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For me, on the few occasions when I trained without a hakama, after being very used to one, I felt like a dork. With the hakama, I feel like I'm working with a wide, solid foundation, and without it, I feel like there are spindly little sticks holding me up. I don't really have skinny legs, either. It's just a weird psychological thing that's built up. Although it doesn't bother me when I'm doing non-Aikido stuff in a gi.

From a practical viewpioint, we'd be better off without hakama, or even obi. I have practiced an interactive, relaxation game that is like a dynamic, wide-open version of pushing hands (developed by Peter Ralston). Since there were no uniform rules I just wore a karate gi top with the strings tied on the sides - no belt. The automatic increase in relaxation and freedom of movement was very surprising.
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Old 07-25-2002, 10:32 AM   #28
bcole23
Dojo: Eagle Rock Aikido, Ammon, ID
Location: Ammon, ID
Join Date: Oct 2001
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I think that the main reasons that most dojo's choose to only let more advanced students are as follows:

1. Beginners NEED to learn footwork.

2. It helps differentiate between relative levels of experience.

3. When one is no longer a guest but a true part of the dojo and can acceptably represent Aikido.

I also think that it may have a bit to do with the fact the we're mostly gaijin (foreigners) and the hakama is a definite Japanese thing. Once you get the hakama it's also an indication that you "get" the Japanese way of thinking just a little.

But all this is so different all over the place and I'm not sure if some people even think of why they form their rules the way they do. In Japan, you'd be required to perform in the full outfit if you were protecting the shogun etc etc. It's analogous to putting on full combat gear in the army, or the average TKD'ist being able to do jumping quintuple super monkey kill kill floating butterfly astro kicks in their normal clothes.

Which leads to an interesting question. How good is your akemi in the clothes you wear every day? How many of you think about the clothes you wear and buy clothes that allow freedom of movement rather than butt shaping glory?

P.S. differentiating between the clothing women and men can wear is wrong.

Last edited by bcole23 : 07-25-2002 at 11:06 AM.

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Old 07-25-2002, 11:04 AM   #29
Erik
Location: Bay Area
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I'm surprised that no one has brought up the Japanese culture on this one. Change is often slow in certain areas.

I found this article interesting.

http://www.askasia.org/teachers/Inst...R_japan_47.htm
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Old 07-25-2002, 11:17 AM   #30
Kat.C
Join Date: Mar 2002
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In our dojo only the senior students wear hakama, I don't remember if they start wearing hakama at 3rd kyu or when sensei starts them teaching. All students who wear hakama at our dojo teach by the way. Nobody seems to attach any importance to it other than these are the best people to go to for help (if you can't get sensei),and one of them has to be there if you wish to practice after class. It works quite well and has never been an issue so far as I know.

Quote:
Brandon Cole (bcole23) wrote:
P.S. differentiating between the clothing women and men can wear is wrong.
Both women and men wear hakama,so it's not different clothing,just in some dojos they start wearing it at different times, it's really no big deal. But men and women do wear different clothing,at least usually. Women often wear dresses, men usually don't. Do you think this is wrong?

I'm not trying to be annoying or anything but as we often wear different clothes outside of the dojo why is it such a problem in the dojo?

I'm lucky though,as a child and later on in life I was exposed to a people with a variety of different cultures and customs,so I don't get offended or insulted easily by different rules.Besides I'd just be happy to be training.

Kat

I find the aquisition of knowledge to be relatively easy, it is the application that is so difficult.
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Old 07-25-2002, 01:34 PM   #31
jimvance
Dojo: Jiyushinkan
Location: Mesa, AZ
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Quote:
Erik Haselhofer wrote:
I'm surprised that no one has brought up the Japanese culture on this one.
Unless I am on everyone's ignore lists, I thought I had mentioned the different standards of Japanese dress-code in my first post.

<sniff; wipes eyes dry>

Jim Vance
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Old 07-25-2002, 01:41 PM   #32
Erik
Location: Bay Area
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Quote:
Jim Vance (jimvance) wrote:
Unless I am on everyone's ignore lists, I thought I had mentioned the different standards of Japanese dress-code in my first post.

<sniff; wipes eyes dry>

Jim Vance
I blew that one. Too much scanning combined with too little reading.

There's only one fellow on my ignore list and I assure you, you ain't him.
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Old 07-25-2002, 02:02 PM   #33
rachmass
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
Location: Somerset Michigan
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Question

Hi again,

Yes, it is a Japanese martial art, and Japanese culture cannot be ignored, but why is it that if a gi is considered immodest, that it is only immodest for women and not men? Why must a woman cover with a hakama, while a man needn't?

Guess I am being a bit daft here, so if anyone has a really good answer, please let me know
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Old 07-25-2002, 02:24 PM   #34
Kat.C
Join Date: Mar 2002
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Quote:
Rachel Massey (rachmass) wrote:
Hi again,

Yes, it is a Japanese martial art, and Japanese culture cannot be ignored, but why is it that if a gi is considered immodest, that it is only immodest for women and not men? Why must a woman cover with a hakama, while a man needn't?

Guess I am being a bit daft here, so if anyone has a really good answer, please let me know
No the people who are being daft are the ones who consider it immodest for one sex and not the other, or immodest ar all. When I was in karate everyone wore a gi but no one wore hakama, never saw one until we had an aikido sensei at our karate camp. As a few people have stated in other threads about hakama the tradition of wearing them has become a bit skewed.

Kat

I find the aquisition of knowledge to be relatively easy, it is the application that is so difficult.
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Old 07-25-2002, 02:30 PM   #35
jimvance
Dojo: Jiyushinkan
Location: Mesa, AZ
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 199
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Quote:
Rachel Massey wrote:
...it is a Japanese martial art, and Japanese culture cannot be ignored, but why is it that if a gi is considered immodest, that it is only immodest for women and not men? Why must a woman cover with a hakama, while a man needn't?
Who is considering it immodest? Let me be blunt.

A woman's legs, hips and crotch make most Japanese men uncomfortable. It is kind of like going into the girl's locker room, a social taboo. In Judo, for example, men and women normally don't train together, and they don't wear hakama. Aikido has a greater percentage of women involved, and the training is co-educational. So there has to be some rule to prevent impropriety. Voila, all women wear hakama.

The real question is not about hakama at all, it is about the transfer of cultural standards. What we consider a breach of civil rights is to the Japanese the most natural thing on Earth.

Jim Vance

Last edited by jimvance : 07-25-2002 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 07-25-2002, 02:35 PM   #36
rachmass
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
Location: Somerset Michigan
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Jim says:

"Who's right? Who cares? Do what your teacher tells you, and if you disagree, find a new teacher."

Hey, it's just a conversation

I wear a hakama, but that is because I am a dan grade. That is the custom in the dojo in which I train.

I like my teacher
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Old 07-25-2002, 03:20 PM   #37
AikiAlf
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 47
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well, in the US going topless is considered immodest for women, but not so socially taboo for men.

In my dojo all people can wear Hakama from the get go, but people gradually start to adopt them whenever they feel 'ready'.

Some people do so earlier than others. It doesn't change much except for the initial adjustment time.

It's nice to see some uniformity in the room, but it's a purely aesthetic consideration I think. That's not to downlplay the aesthetic aspect either.
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Old 07-25-2002, 03:21 PM   #38
Leslie Parks
Dojo: Tenshinkan Dojo
Location: Chicago
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 41
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Blending

I wear hakama and black belt because I am a dan grade and that is the way we do it at our dojo.

And as Rachel, Jim and others say, 'Who cares?', listen to your instructor, and I will only add that when you visit another dojo, inquire as to their standard policy (when in Rome) and be ready to leave the hakama in your bag.
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