|What is a hakama and who wears it?|
A hakama is the skirt-like pants that some Aikido and Ju-jitsu practitioners wear. Traditionally, it was worn by the samurai. The standard gi worn in Karate and Judo classes as well as in other martial arts was usually the underclothes worn under a hakama.
Originally, the hakama was worn as an outer garment to protect a samurai horseman's legs from brush, weeds, etc. In Japan, since leather was so very hard to come by, heavy cloth was used in its place. After the samurai made the transition from mounted soldiers to foot soldiers, they continued to wear the hakama largely due to the fact that it set them apart and made them easily identifiable.
The old dojo was a very colourful place, with all the various colours of hakama. Traditional hakama were not just solid colours. The material used often had patterns woven or printed onto them.
In most Aikido and Ju-Jitsu schools of today, the hakama is reserved for the black belt students. Few schools allow all practitioners to wear one, while some schools allow women to start wearing it much earlier than men (general modesty of women is the explanation, since a gi was originally undergarments).
The modern hakama has 7 folds in it (5 in the front, 2 in the back) and has the following symbolic meaning:
These illustrations were found on the internet, the first one is put out by Mr. Alvar Hugosson, we have tried to contact him to inform him we were including them on this page without success, and we decided to use it because it is excellent.
|Folding the hakama|
|First see to that the back fold is straight and in correct order.|
|Then grab the hakama at the hip ...|
|... and at the end of the legs and flip it over so that the front comes up.|
|Make sure to keep the fold at the end of the legs|
|Don't loose the grip while flipping.|
|Fold the hakama alternately|
|all the way ...|
|... so that you get only one straight fold at the front and the back. Then stretch the legs.|
|Fold one of the legs into the middle.|
|Do the same with the other leg. (Half the width)|
|Fold the legs on the middle.|
|Then fold again, this time about one third of the length.|
|And finish up with another fold. (Totally one sixth of the length)|
|Straighten the ribbons.|
|Make them overlap.|
|Turn the hakama over the ribbons, so that the ribbons cover the folds of the back of the hakama...|
|... until you only have about 30 cm left.|
|Wrapped ribbons in close up.|
|To fasten the ribbons in the hakama fold the ribbons like the picture shows.|
|Then put the folded ribbons underneath the wrapped ribbons.|
|An alternative way to wrap the ribbons around the hakama.|
|Straighten out the Uwagi and put the lapel with your name on top. Then fold one sleeve.|
|And the other sleeve.|
|Fold the Uwagi ...|
|... twice so that you get one third of the original width.|
|Fold up the bottom part of the uwagi so that the vent/slit comes inside the folded uwagi.|
|Put the folded hakama on the uwagi.|
|Fold the uwagi around the hakama.|
|Put your obi (folded to half of its length) under the little "package".|
|Tie the obi ...|
|... so that your name is visible.|
Now you have a little nice and handy package of your dogi, that also will keep the form of your hakama.
|Folding a hakama by the Nagenata society|
Hold the koshi-ita under the chin, and the front of the
hakama with your left hand. Move the gusset to the right with your right hand.
Lie the hakama front down on the floor with the right hand side 2 cm over the left, and straighten out all the wrinkles.
Take the koshi-ita with the right hand and flip the hakama over by securing the bottom of the hakama to the floor with the left hand. The back should be on the floor with the front facing up.
Pull the left cord up and move it down to the diagonal right and thread it through the loop where the right back cord is wrapped around the front cord.
Acknowledgements: All diagrams and text published by the All Japan Naginata Federation (Zen Nihon Naginata Renmei)
|How to tie the Hakama|