Until a Gi (Uniform) is purchased, loose fitting clothes are preferred.
* Regular Jogging Pants and Sport Shirts are preferred for beginners.
A hakama is the skirt-like pants that an Aikidoka wear. It is a traditional piece of samurai clothing. The standard gi worn in aikido as well as in other martial arts such as Judo or Karate was originally underclothes. Wearing it is part of the tradition of (most schools of) aikido.
The hakama were originally meant to protect a horseman’s legs from brush, etc., — not unlike a cowboy’s leather ‘chaps’. Leather was hard to come by in Japan, so heavy cloth was used instead. After the samurai as a class dismounted and became more like foot-soldiers, they persisted in wearing horseman’s garb because it set them apart and made them easily identifiable.
The 7 folds in the hakama represents the 7 Virtues of an Aikidoka
1. Yuki = Courage
2. Jin = Benevolence
3. Gi = Justice, integrity
4. Rei = Etiquette, courtesy
5. Makoto = Sincerity, honesty
6. Chugi = Loyalty, devotion
7. Meiyo = Honor
Jo and Bokken (wooden Sword) for use by beginners are available in the dojo however those taking up regular training will soon require their own weapons. Contact instructors and senior students for further advice and details of reputable suppliers.