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Old 02-16-2003, 01:42 PM   #1
aikidoc
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White Hakama

Can anyone tell me (from any martial art) what is appropriate with respect to wearing a white hakama.

I saw someone wear it during a iado demonstration (he does not have a black belt).

I have seen pictures of Hikitsuchi sensei wearing one.
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Old 02-16-2003, 03:21 PM   #2
erikmenzel
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As far as I have understood it the colour of a hakama only matters if one already makes a big issue out of wearing a hakama in the first place.

Erik Jurrien Menzel
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Old 02-16-2003, 04:22 PM   #3
Gene McGloin
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One of my kenjutsu sempai often wears white hakama, especially when we are practicing iaido. I never got the impression that this had anything to do with ranking or years of experience, just another hakama in the drawer.

Way back when, I asked one of Hikitsuchi sensei's students why his sensei wore a white hakama. If I remember correctly, I was told that it had to do with Hikitsuchi sensei being a Shinto priest.

Regards,

Gene McGloin
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Old 02-16-2003, 04:29 PM   #4
Hanna B
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Around here, some people say that at fifth dan in aikido you can wear a black gi top instead of white if you like, and at sixth dan white hakama is optional. I have no idea where this comes from or how accurate it is.

Other arts might of course have other standards for hakama wearing and/or colours than aikido. I think I have seen striped ones in iaido.
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Old 02-16-2003, 04:47 PM   #5
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Hanna Bj÷rk (Hanna B) wrote:
Around here, some people say that at fifth dan in aikido you can wear a black gi top instead of white if you like, and at sixth dan white hakama is optional. I have no idea where this comes from or how accurate it is.

Other arts might of course have other standards for hakama wearing and/or colours than aikido. I think I have seen striped ones in iaido.
Before the war there was a time when everybody in Aikido (it wasn't called Aikido then) wore white hakama. Problem was, the white hakama got dirty during training, so they started dying them black (according to pre-war student Takako Kunigoshi).

On a side note, I saw an old old picture of some folks playing baseball in Japan. They were wearing hakama - not because hakama were special, it was just what they happened to be wearing that day.

Best,

Chris

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Old 02-16-2003, 10:38 PM   #6
Nacho_mx
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On Shinto temples you┤ll even see some nice red or purple hakamas around. Wearing a dark "utilitarian" hakama (black or blue) makes more sense than wearing a prettier white one.

Last edited by Nacho_mx : 02-16-2003 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 02-16-2003, 10:58 PM   #7
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bad white hakama experiences..

I think it is a shame what regulations and dogma have been attached to hakama in the last 50 yrs. I think Ueshiba's original idea about hakama-wearing being a meaningful tradition to be followed by all who take aikido seriously was a great one.
Now it's not about 7 virtues or whatever, rather its about what rank you are and what status you are....

About the white color, I (like all but one person in this thread) don't know of any hard rules about the wearing of it. However, I remember a thread on this forum from a while ago where one person had a white hakama, and was visiting a dojo, and everybody at this new dojo got PISSED at the person and hated him because his hakama was not blue or black. "Who does he think he is, O-Sensei?!" was their paraphrased quote as I remember. So be careful, some won't allow it..
--JW
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Old 02-16-2003, 11:17 PM   #8
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Interesting reading regarding hakama at Aikido FAQ

Last edited by Dross : 02-16-2003 at 11:19 PM.
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Old 02-16-2003, 11:27 PM   #9
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White color has always been associated with purity, and I have the impression white hakamas are mostly worn by Kenjutsu and Jojutsu masters. I have seen a few guys wearing white hakamas in Kendo as well, but that's not very usual, and it certainly attracts attention. In Aikido, I have only seen pictures of Osensei, and less frequently late Doshu Kisshomaru wearing white hakama. I have never seen any picture of present Doshu Moriteru or any other Aikido Shihan wearing white hakama except for Hikitsuchi Sensei as mentioned earlier.

My opinion is that if you decide to wear something different from others , you will invariably attract attention. And it is definitely pretentious to want to differentiate yourself from others by your garments. It is better to differentiate oneself with outstanding technique not by some fancy colored hakama...

Last edited by Edward : 02-16-2003 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 02-17-2003, 12:38 AM   #10
mattholmes
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Although I certainly don't understand to any great degree the history of hakama wearing, I think that it's gotta be a joke to assign these rules. The regulations should add to the understanding or teaching of the art, and beyond that, should not exist. Can you teach me any less effectively because I'm wearing purple?

I've heard of the white hakama in an elevated context; that it was reserved for exceedingly advanced practitioners.

I am opposed. From what I understand, these really cool people do not need to demonstrate that to me through the color of their clothes. I've heard tell that, actually, that those people do not want to show that off. ("With knowlege comes responsibility.") So, although I don't even wear hakama (I just don't; it's not a rank thing), and if I do, it will be dark because of my dojo's convention, I don't think this is at all necessary or even a good idea.

Here's why: Aikido is the practice of peace. This is not the normal for my world. Many, many people in my life are violent, upset, and scared. So when I study, I am learning to be different. This is stressed in many dojos. However, I'm really not any different than "those" people, I'm just learning to develop. So I don't want to conform to my dojo any more than I conform to my normal, out-of-the-dojo life.

Just some thoughts... Have a nice day,

Matt
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Old 02-17-2003, 08:14 AM   #11
DGLinden
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In Some dojos in Europe the white belts wear white and the black belts wear black or navy blue. Seems to work for them. Saotome Sensei wears a white one when teaching at the Aiki Shrine in Sarasota during Shihan training.

White being the color of death in Japan it makes one wonder if it has any significance, but I've seen brown, forest green and some lovely pin stiped and paisley ones over the years. In gabardine if I'm not mistaken. Very nice.

But to train in? I'll stick with Bu Jin middle weight in navy blue thanks.

Daniel G. Linden
Author of ON MASTERING AIKIDO (c) 2004
Founder Shoshin Aikido Dojos
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Old 02-17-2003, 10:41 AM   #12
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The last person I saw wearing a white hakama was giving an Iaido demonstration at a small tournament. I asked him afterwards why he wore a white hakama ( I had not seen one in use before that day. ) and I was told he wore the white hakama during ceremony, special occassions, display of his art, etc. This being a display of Iaido for people very new to it, he wanted to wear the white. He attached no other significance to it other than that.

And despite his skill above "white belt", he still wore all white: belt, gi, hakama, foot coverings, etc. just for the look and the display.

It was interesting.

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Old 02-17-2003, 03:18 PM   #13
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Re: White Hakama

Quote:
John Riggs wrote:
Can anyone tell me (from any martial art) what is appropriate with respect to wearing a white hakama.

I saw someone wear it during a iado demonstration (he does not have a black belt).
Aikido is the only art in which I've heard of wearing different uniformss for different ranks, with the minor exception of those schools that use colored belts.

In kendo and iaido, you wear whatever color combination you want. It has absolutely nothing to do with rank. However, black, blue, and white are the typical colors, with blue and black being by far the most common for kendo and iaido, respectively. Those colors are chosen over white for practicality. White gets dirty really easily, and hence is usually not worn for regular practice. Blue is the most common in kendo, because the indigo dye from the bogu gets on your clothes, so might as well start with them blue.

That said, you can wear whatever color you want, but as my instructor once explained when someone asked him, different colored uniforms are like hawaiian shirts. Some people wear them and look cool; most people wear them and look silly.

Besides, people should notice your waza, not your pants.

The striped hakama are usually saved for special occasions as well, as they're usually pretty expensive.

In other arts, other colors and styles are the norm.

Kentokuseisei
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Old 02-17-2003, 06:42 PM   #14
SteveTrinkle
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I think that wearing those furry western chaps would be cool.

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Old 02-17-2003, 07:19 PM   #15
akiy
 
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Quote:
Stephen Trinkle (SteveTrinkle) wrote:
I think that wearing those furry western chaps would be cool.
You mean like this?

http://www.aikiweb.com/humor/baker1.html

-- Jun

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Old 02-17-2003, 08:54 PM   #16
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In a mythical land in a mythical future where I get to start my own aikido organization you will be able to wear whatever color/pattern hakama you want.

Everytime I walk through the fabric store I wish they would let us do that now. Lots of really cool colors and patterns. I particularly like the black fabric with red and orange flames

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 02-17-2003, 09:39 PM   #17
aikidoc
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I have seen a shihan tell a visiting black belt wearing a stiped hakama that he could not train in the hakama since it was not traditional.
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Old 02-17-2003, 09:41 PM   #18
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How bout Hawaiian print hakamas?

Q
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Old 02-17-2003, 10:40 PM   #19
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Quote:
John Riggs wrote:
I have seen a shihan tell a visiting black belt wearing a stiped hakama that he could not train in the hakama since it was not traditional.
but but.... it IS traditional!!

Oh well.. I guess what is and isn't traditional depends on which particular tradition you personally like...
This is the only link to Saotome sensei's story on hakama that I could find. Scroll down to the LAST portion.

Note that the first tradition was "wear hakama always," then it changed to "wear only black or indigo hakama if you are shodan or above."
http://www.shindai.com/articles/hakama.htm
--JW
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Old 02-20-2003, 05:00 AM   #20
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One of these days I'm gonna sew myself a new hakama with 'Bob the builder' print on it. THAT would be cool...

- J°rgen Jakob Friis

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Old 02-20-2003, 07:15 AM   #21
aikidoc
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I realize some think issue of color, rank, etc. are meaningless and problematic. However, there is often tradition associated with these issues. I'm interested in what the tradition is regarding wearing-in particular-a white hakama. Personally, I think it would be somewhat distracting to see a dojo full of all different colors-black and blue are enough for my eyes. Conformity, I realize sometimes requires one to transcend the ego. We all want to standout some or make our own statement in the world. I would rather mine be more traditional and my statement come from the quality of my art and not by wearing a pink or purple hakama.
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Old 02-20-2003, 08:46 AM   #22
Kevin Masters
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BOB THE BUILDER!

Heh, my daughter would love that.
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Old 02-20-2003, 09:49 AM   #23
aiki_what
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Quote:
Bronson Diffin (Bronson) wrote:
In a mythical land in a mythical future where I get to start my own aikido organization you will be able to wear whatever color/pattern hakama you want.

Everytime I walk through the fabric store I wish they would let us do that now. Lots of really cool colors and patterns. I particularly like the black fabric with red and orange flames

Bronson
Bronson, Would it be required to use micro-fleece for the cold months here in Michigan?

BTW, I have your iaido belt.
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Old 02-20-2003, 11:23 AM   #24
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Maybe the white hakama was caused by to much bleach lol

I think it harkens back to O'Sensei's involvement with the shinto religion.

Dont make me, make you, grab my wrist.
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Old 02-20-2003, 03:42 PM   #25
Bronson
 
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Quote:
Bronson, Would it be required to use micro-fleece for the cold months here in Michigan?
Not required but definitely a good idea

We have a guy in our dojo in Battle Creek who's big into Harley Davidson motorcylces. If I were rich I'd get him one made of black leather with the orange Harley wings on the koshiita.
Quote:
BTW, I have your iaido belt.
AWESOME!! You're the best Mark. I was gonna try my best to make your class this coming Monday anyway. Would have been there this week but I had puppy/vet issues

Thanks again,

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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