Monday, 22 October 2007

How to put on your hakama?

There are several ways to tie your hakama on. I think you should choose whichever you like best or whichever fits the length of cords (himo) of your hakama.

If I needed to do it for the first time I would try to copy someone I know. You might have a master who prefers you to tie on the hakama in a certain way and expects you to do so either. I think it's also easier to copy someone as you can ask them to stop whenever you want/need or ask them to explain how they do it.

Before getting my hakama I looked up ways to put it on on the Internet. I found several figures, a couple of videos but there were too many ways to do it so I couldn't choose immediately. I had to wait until I got my own hakama and I tried a couple of versions because I didn't want to go to my first hakama training without any knowledge about how to tie it on.

Although later, I recorded how the advanced aikidoka do it in our dojo. This is a version I had never seen before online (unbelievable! Amazing! :D:D) but they say it is the easiest and quickest way, and I believe them :).

However, I do it differently (I am allowed to :)). I think my way of doing it is a mixture of things I found on the web. I try to follow a video found on youtube but finish with the 'flower-like' knot (which is from another document). I'm not including a video of me now, you would get bored at my speed as a beginner hakama wearer. Watch my video source instead.

I think the most cited (and copied) non-video method is in the document created by Bu Jin (pdf). Many other web pages use the same figures to illustrate how to tie a hakama on.

Other hakama-tying resources:

Some, for me at least, interesting ways of tying on and wearing a hakama:
- some people don't wear a belt so their hakama tying is different and not really applicable to us.
- the traditional Japanese way to tie a hakama also falls into this category as you don't wear a training obi with your hakama in civil life (or the belt is different).
- I saw aikido practitioners wearing a hakama and belt 'inside out': hakama inside, belt tied on top.

My knowledge about traditional Japanese clothes is limited to what I read in some articles online so if there is anything I didn't get right or missed out please tell me about it in your comments.

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