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Old 07-27-2004, 09:06 AM   #1
Woitkiewicz
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Hakama length...a matter of taste?

I am new to Aikido and just purchased a hakama. I found that it is about the length I wanted but it is not quite a long as some of other folks in the class. I was figuring since I was new I'd get caught up in it less. Is there a customary length that it should be? (btw: I do realize it is designed to hide foot movement). Thanks!
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Old 07-27-2004, 09:28 AM   #2
Yann Golanski
 
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Re: Hakama length...a matter of taste?

As far as I know the "to hide foot movement" is a myth.

Long Hakama means that it will get dirty, pick muck from the street and carry it into your home. Not something I am sure most Japanese would consider good. Hell, I would not consider it nice to carry muck into my own house!

The long hakama started as a court grab within the Tokugawa Shogunate. The idea that long sleeves on your trousers would trip you up if you were to attack anyone. I believe lord Asano (of 47 ronin fame) suffered just that fate.

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
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Old 07-27-2004, 10:23 AM   #3
akiy
 
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Re: Hakama length...a matter of taste?

Quote:
Yann Golanski wrote:
As far as I know the "to hide foot movement" is a myth.
Yup -- old martial urban legend. If I were being attacked by someone whose intention was to kill me, I wouldn't care much about whether they "stole" my footwork. Better to hike up the hakama and be able to move...

As far as the length of the hakama goes, it really varies. Some places will have it just touching the floor, whereas others will have it about ankle bone height. Other places will even have it higher. And so on. Having one that's touching the ground will, of course, make the hem fray a lot faster than one that's off the ground.

As an aside, these days, I often hike up my hakama by pulling up the corner of the hip "vent" and tucking it under my hakama himo.

-- Jun

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Old 07-27-2004, 11:32 AM   #4
ian
 
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Re: Hakama length...a matter of taste?

Originally the hakama was just below the knee - it comes from horse-riding trousers. Fashion changed and it touched the floor. For aikido I find ankle length the best (still looks good but you don't trip as much). Apparently they make them differently now anyway; there is a section missing which used to make them 'swirl' out more; not sure about this last factoid. Can anybody confirm this?

Ian
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Old 07-27-2004, 01:30 PM   #5
j0nharris
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Re: Hakama length...a matter of taste?

I'm not sure about the length of the hakama itself, but I've heard a number of times that it is considered rude to be able to see the gi pants under the hakama! So the hakama should be the length of the pants or longer.

(Kind of like wearing white socks with a black tuxedo?)

-jon

jon harris

Life is a journey...
Now, who took my @#$%! map?!
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Old 07-27-2004, 03:10 PM   #6
Woitkiewicz
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Straight Face Re: Hakama length...a matter of taste?

I will stop wearing white socks with my tuxedo too.
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Old 07-28-2004, 01:39 AM   #7
Chuck.Gordon
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Re: Hakama length...a matter of taste?

Jon Harris said:

>... it is considered rude to be able to see the gi pants under the hakama! So the hakama
>should be the length of the pants or longer.

Pants? You wear pants under your hak???

Just kidding, sort of. Most times, I only wear zubon under my hakama if the weather's real cold. I also replace the judogi top with a 'kendo' style keikogi. No side slits.

Cooler in summer, never worry about showing pants'leg ...

Chuck

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Old 07-28-2004, 11:46 AM   #8
Kent Enfield
 
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Re: Hakama length...a matter of taste?

Quote:
Jon Harris wrote:
but I've heard a number of times that it is considered rude to be able to see the gi pants under the hakama! So the hakama should be the length of the pants or longer.
I'm with Chuck here--that's what you get for wearing two pairs of pants at once. Either don't wear judogi pants under your hakama or hem them way up.

Kentokuseisei
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Old 07-29-2004, 04:20 PM   #9
p00kiethebear
 
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Re: Hakama length...a matter of taste?

I remember a seminar with Lorain Dianne sensei. Her hakama was almost a foot longer than her legs. She was walking all over it but didn't seem to have any problems.

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
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Old 08-01-2004, 12:59 AM   #10
ruthmc
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Talking Re: Hakama length...a matter of taste?

NB Post not to be taken seriously

Cool - so we can be fashion victims and choose from:

Floor-length hak - sophisticated, covers one's modesty, needs washing often.

Ankle-length hak - standard, what everyone's wearing, good choice for most situations.

Knee-length hak - great for more active pursuits, horseriding etc.

Mini-hak - shows off those designer gi pants to a tee, or legs if you've got 'em!

Hot-hak - dare to bare - only recommended for the younger adults or those toned enough to get away with it, can also be used for Sumo.

Ruth (Aiki fashion correspondant)
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Old 08-01-2004, 02:33 AM   #11
Chuck.Gordon
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Re: Hakama length...a matter of taste?

So Ruth,

Nex time we get together, you wear your black leather mini-hak and I'll wear my kilt, deal?



Chuck

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Old 08-01-2004, 10:38 AM   #12
oudbruin
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Re: Hakama length...a matter of taste?

First time I washed my gi pants - they shrank to clam digger length...thanks to the goddess I didn't cut the legs when I hemmed them.
--
As for the hak-our iaido crew generally have ankle length, altho sensai wears his hak floor length- i'd think the hem would frey too quickly.
--
Since we have a hot steamy new jersey summer not as bad as georga or fla , I'd admit, but still anything over80% humidity and 85 degrees is too hot for a hak and a pair of gi pants,- my uwagi is long enough to cover my short comings-; -)
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Old 08-01-2004, 11:00 AM   #13
ruthmc
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Re: Hakama length...a matter of taste?

Quote:
Chuck Gordon wrote:
So Ruth,

Nex time we get together, you wear your black leather mini-hak and I'll wear my kilt, deal?



Chuck
Nah - I'll wear my hot-hak if you wear your bunny ears

We really must sort out a mini-seminar sometime soon - I wannna see how you deal with my chains

Ruth
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Old 08-02-2004, 03:18 AM   #14
Chuck.Gordon
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Re: Hakama length...a matter of taste?

Quote:
Ruth McWilliam wrote:
Nah - I'll wear my hot-hak if you wear your bunny ears

We really must sort out a mini-seminar sometime soon - I wannna see how you deal with my chains

Ruth
Oh now you're just flirting!

Yeah, a mini-sem would be great. I had a couple of potentials to get to the UK to play this year, but both appear to have been eaten by the great Murhpy god of reality vs planning.

However ... our house is roomy, we've got a dojo in the basement, and access to a fine gym complex ...

If I can sort out the time, I'm still yearning to hold a Wood and Steel /slash/ mini Aikido-list sem sometime soon.

Most of my current hakama come from Meijin (via www.budogu.com), and when I send Peter my requirements, I get what I order.

Recently, I ordered a test hak (off-brand, new shop, cheap prices, just seeing what they had) with the same measurements and got one that swipes the floor. I've got to get it hemmed. Not a bad hak, very lightweight, though.

I remember the stories about hiding feet and such, and remember my teacher laughing them off. His hak was generally of the high-water variety, showing a fair amount of ankle.

In an aikido/jujutsu dojo environment, I hate to see anyone with a hakama dragging the floor. It's just dangerous, not just for the wearer, but more important, for the partners.

Chuck

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Old 08-10-2004, 04:55 AM   #15
O-Ren
 
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Re: Hakama length...a matter of taste?

Hay I have a question, and just so you understand why I am asking I havent even started my training yet, just doing some research. My question is that is there a differance in an Aikido and a kendo Hakama. Any help would be much apperciated. Thanks for reading this.

O-Ren
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Old 08-10-2004, 08:34 AM   #16
Chuck.Gordon
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Re: Hakama length...a matter of taste?

Quote:
Todd Stark wrote:
... is there a differance in an Aikido and a kendo Hakama.
No significant difference, no. Bujin Design offers an 'aikido-specific' hakama with no koshiita (back plate), but that's an adaption rather than a norm.

Chuck

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Old 08-18-2004, 05:15 AM   #17
Paul Kerr
 
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Re: Hakama length...a matter of taste?

2 differences I know of (as I do both kendo and aikido): Kendo hakama has a small tag at the koshita to tuck into the himo ( I forget its name ). That would be uncomfortable for ukemi. Also, himo are a different length as a kendo hakama ties the long himo at the back.

Paul Kerr
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Old 08-18-2004, 11:23 AM   #18
Bronson
 
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Re: Hakama length...a matter of taste?

Quote:
Paul Kerr wrote:
Kendo hakama has a small tag at the koshita to tuck into the himo ( I forget its name ). That would be uncomfortable for ukemi.
I've never found the little tab to be uncomfortable at all. In fact I can't even tell it's there. What I have found is that it rips off, sometimes with disastrous results. A guy at summer camp had his rip off and it left a gaping hole at the bottom of the koshiita.

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 08-18-2004, 12:45 PM   #19
Chuck.Gordon
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Re: Hakama length...a matter of taste?

Paul talked about the tab ...

My hakama have almost always had the peanut butter spoon and I've never had trouble with it.

Some hakama (generic) have NOT had 'em, and I've missed being able to tuck it in to help keep the koshi ita in place ...

Chuck

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Old 08-19-2004, 05:18 AM   #20
Paul Kerr
 
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Re: Hakama length...a matter of taste?

I made a wrong assumption it seems. I've only ever seen aikido hakama without the tab (name, someone please!!). All the hakama I've bought for aikido (Iwata or Bujin) have been tab free. Even cheapo starter hakama for kendo have it in them.

Paul Kerr
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Old 08-19-2004, 08:24 AM   #21
Troy
 
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Re: Hakama length...a matter of taste?

Quote:
Mark Woitkiewicz wrote:
Is there a customary length that it should be? (btw: I do realize it is designed to hide foot movement).
As far as I can find out, the traditional length of a Hakama should touch the tops of your feet. The hakama is sapposed to hide knee movement, not feet. If it hid a samurai's feet, and he was in a fight, he would trip on his own hakama, and that would be bad.

"The Art of Peace is the religion that is not a religion; it perfects and completes all religions."
-Morihei Ueshiba
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Old 08-20-2004, 02:09 AM   #22
Chuck.Gordon
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Re: Hakama length...a matter of taste?

Quote:
Troy Copes wrote:
As far as I can find out, the traditional length of a Hakama should touch the tops of your feet. The hakama is sapposed to hide knee movement, not feet. If it hid a samurai's feet, and he was in a fight, he would trip on his own hakama, and that would be bad.
Hakama aren't supposed to 'hide' anything (except maybe the fundoshi). Lengths vay widely, depending on style and function intended of the garment.

In practice, the legs were often pulled up and tucked into the tapes or belt to free the legs.

And, really, not all samurai (such a generic term) wore hakama all the time.

Some courtly hakama were meters long and were folded and tucked in such a way that the wearer couldn't rise without assiatance (a security precaution on the part of the person holding court, I suppose).

"Field" hakama (sobakama?) had straight legs ad looked more like modern pants.

Some hakama were, indeed, skirts, rather than culottes, too ...

Daily wear hakama, however, which is pretty much the model for the ones we wear in budo, ranged from ankle-length to knee-length. I've seen pics of shorter ones.

The more or less standardized budo hakama is usually ankle-length, though.

Chuck

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Old 03-01-2005, 08:11 AM   #23
Victor Ioncu
 
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Re: Hakama length...a matter of taste?

Quote:
Paul Kerr wrote:
I made a wrong assumption it seems. I've only ever seen aikido hakama without the tab (name, someone please!!). All the hakama I've bought for aikido (Iwata or Bujin) have been tab free. Even cheapo starter hakama for kendo have it in them.
The tab's name is hera and can't be unconfortable since the ukemi is made diagonally, avoiding the place where the hera tucks into the obi to touch the ground.

Victor
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Old 03-01-2005, 09:26 AM   #24
malsmith
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Re: Hakama length...a matter of taste?

i never hakama could be so complicated.....
it makes me kinda nervous about getting one. (im a newbie)
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Old 03-01-2005, 02:25 PM   #25
Eric Webber
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Re: Hakama length...a matter of taste?

No worries, Mal, you get used it after some time.
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