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Thread: Correct way of wearing uniform.

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    Default Correct way of wearing uniform.

    What is the correct way to wear a hakama (I am Karate student so I've never seen one in person on a teacher). is it with the belt on the outside or underneath?

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    Talking Wearing Hakama

    The proper way of wearing hakama is rather a simple procedure (as most people who wear them in training will attest). To answer your question directly, and not to go into to much detail, you wear the hakama over the obi. Now when I say obi, although the term is also correctly used in regards to your karate belt, I mean the kind worn in traditional Japanese clothing, made of silk or cotton. You know the one you often seen worn over or on top of the male kimono or yukata. Well it's also worn over the Keikogi, but under the hakama, with the hakama tied over it. There is a practical reasoning for this of course, which you'll find when you actually learn to tie it. If want more info on how to tie it all together visit a Kendo, iai, or any website dealing with traditional budo. They usually have a diagram showing step by step how to properly do so. Or ask any other member of this site.
    On another note, having practiced karate myself, I hope you don't plan on wearing your hakama when practicing karate. Not that it can't be done, but it's not what they were intended for. I hope that answers your question, best regards.
    Gary MacMullen
    MJER Jikishinkai
    Big Green Drum Japanese Martial Arts
    (Formerly Aikido of West Florida)

    Mi ni tanoshimi o takamazu - Musashi
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

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    don't worry gary i wasn't planning on wearing it in Karate, it was just out of curiousity.

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    Default Re: Correct way of wearing uniform.

    Originally posted by Shorite
    What is the correct way to wear a hakama (I am Karate student so I've never seen one in person on a teacher). is it with the belt on the outside or underneath?
    I have actually seen a karate-type belt worn over a hakama once or twice, but I don't remember where. I think it was a jujutsu demo.

    That was the exception to the rule, however. The rest of the answer as to what is the "correct" way to wear a hakama isn't so simple, as there is more than one way. Different schools may have different ways of tying it: front first, then back, or back first; himo (cords) under the back, or over it; etc. Some of it is dictated by use: grappling art, modern sword art, classical sword art, etc.

    Also the way it is worn by tradesmen and artists may be different from the way it is worn by warriors.

    For a good description of how to wear formal kimono and hakama, try finding a copy of The Book of Kimono by Norio Yamanaka.

    Or visit a kendo or aikido dojo and ask a senior student after class (just tell them you're curious about the uniform and how it's worn. Most Budoka are friendly and gregarious types, and would probably be glad to have an attentive ear).

    But tell me, you're asking about how to wear a hakama. In another thread you asked how to pronounce "ryu." Your not going to open some kind of ninja-samurai-grandmaster-dojo are you?
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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    No kenshin, i am just a very curious person who wants to know everything he can about martial arts. when i am in public, i want to represent my dojo and my sensei with excellence, i don't want to be messing stuff up, also probably the fact that i am a perfectionist doesn't help either. also, did you check out the victorious hands website in the "language" section?

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    Originally posted by Shorite
    also, did you check out the victorious hands website in the "language" section?
    I did. Interestingly, I got my first introduction to karate at a "Karate for Christ" exhibit many, many years ago. I don't know if that organization still exists. People used to joke about "break a brick for Jesus" and stuff, but the lead guy was actually a very sincere and serious karateka.

    And just to be sure you know, I was joking about you opening a ninja-samurai-grandmaster-dojo. I'm going to do it first.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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    oh yeah!!? maybe we should join forces and make a ninja/samurai/grandmaster/student/tai chi/nhb dojo. it would teach nothing but nipple attacks!

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    Originally posted by Shorite
    it would teach nothing but nipple attacks!
    I'm not gonna touch that. Er, no...I mean

    I'm not gonna go there. Uh, no, wait...that sounds just as bad.

    I mean....oh, I give up.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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    ha ha. oh well maybe not then.

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    You should find the answers to your questions in here (zipped PDF), a manual about kendo equipment:

    http://www6.big.or.jp/~budogu/manu/equipment.zip

    Nobody legit wears a karate-style coloured belt overtop of a hakama. Kendo and iaido people are the most common wearers and they wear no rank indicator at all. Aikidoka also wear hakama, but usually only after they already have shodan. IIRC they still wear their whole judogi-style uniform under the hakama, pants and belt and all.
    Neil Gendzwill
    Saskatoon Kendo Club

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    Originally posted by gendzwil
    Aikidoka also wear hakama, but usually only after they already have shodan. IIRC they still wear their whole judogi-style uniform under the hakama, pants and belt and all.
    This is true of Aikikai folks, but other traditions may do things differently, esp. independant groups like mine. I wear gym shorts under my hakama, and an Iai obi rather than the usual narrow MA obi/belt.

    I wear my hakama like this: After tying or wrapping the obi securely, tie the back ties of the hakama in front just above the obi. Then wrap the front ties around neatly and untwisted and tie them in front the same way as a thin MA obi. If the remaining ends are long, tuck them in under the wrapped area. The waistband and obi should rest fairly low on top of the hips, not at navel height. Make sure that the front and back of the hakama are at the proper height so the side vents don't gape...this mean the back may sit a little higher than the front.

    All this takes some fiddling and practice and more than a few mirror checks. Try your hakama on a few times before you have to wear it in public. Practice walking around in it too...it's easy to trip and take a header if you aren't used to wearing it [and sometimes even if you are!] The overall effect should be neat, flowing and graceful. If there are bits of clothing sticking out the side vents or above the waistband, you don't have it right, so get everything tucked in . [Note that in some illustrations, you will see the top 1/2 inch of obi sticking out above the hakama. I have found it next to impossible to make this work...I suspect trickery and a lot of help to get this effect...]
    David Anderson
    Calgary, Alberta


    "Swords are the rosary of Aikido"

    D. H. Skoyles Sensei 04/03/01

    Nakayamakai KoAikido dojo

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    Make sure that the front and back of the hakama are at the proper height so the side vents don't gape...this mean the back may sit a little higher than the front.
    The back absolutely should be higher than the front.
    Neil Gendzwill
    Saskatoon Kendo Club

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    Originally posted by gendzwil
    Nobody legit wears a karate-style coloured belt overtop of a hakama.
    I'd be cautious of blanket statements such as that. The world is a large and diverse place, and styles do change over the years, even traditional Japanese ones, i.e. women wearing hakama, etc.

    I don't remember where I saw the photo of the group that wore the karate/judo style obi on top -- I'll search for it -- but I'm pretty sure it was a jujutsu school, and most definitely legit.

    Yes, it's not a common practice, but that doesn't mean it never happens.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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    OK, let me rephrase: every time I've seen a picture with a guy in a hakama with a karate obi on top, it's some "shihan" from a McDojo trying to look impressive. I concede that there may be some OK schools doing this. I doubt they're traditional.
    Neil Gendzwill
    Saskatoon Kendo Club

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    Originally posted by Yagyu Kenshi
    I don't remember where I saw the photo of the group that wore the karate/judo style obi on top -- I'll search for it.
    Well, I can't find the photo I'm thinking of; but a big chunk of my library went to Half Priced Books last year. I still cry over that, but that's what happens when one gets sick and doesn't have medical insurance. (Thank goodness I do now.)

    In the mean time, check out page 82 of Diane Skoss' Koryu Bujutsu. The Yagyu Shingan Ryu exponent on the right is definetly wearing some kind of narrow white obi over his hakama. I think Yagyu Shingan Ryu Taijutsu is traditional.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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