Looking your best in the dojo.
Choosing your hakama can be a complex decision in this guide we break down what is and isn't important for our students (Iaidoka).
Types of Hakama
There are basically four types of Hakama, one for Aikido, one for Iaido and Kendo, one for Kyudo and lastly the Nobakama (or field hakama) used in only very specific martial art applications.
There is no material difference between kendo and Iaido hakama so you can make your choice within between a kendo or Iaido hakama based on other factors.
The next thing to consider is colour, which tend to be limited to black, blue, white or striped unless you choose something bespoke.
The club does not prescribe a uniform for its Iaidoka, (it does not affect your training) that said black or blue show up less 'floor dust' than white and are therefore easier to maintain.
Choosing the fabric is the next most important step and generally your choices will be between Tetron, Polyester/Linen or Thick Polyester.
All are easy to maintain so the choice is a personal one, for regular practice Tetron provides a medium weight, 'all seasons' hakama that holds its pleats well. Polyester/Linen offer a lightweight option while the heavy polyester weigh more as implied by the name.
The size of your hakama unsurprisingly will be linked to the length of your legs and where you the tie the hakama straps.
Men tend to tie their hakama at the hip whereas women normally tie at the waist; in both cases the Hakama is worn so that it reaches the ankle bone as a minimum but it can and is acceptable to be worn slightly longer.
Given that Hakama do not have a 'belt' the only thing to consider is that you may need to get a hakama with longer straps if your waist is greater than about 38inches.
Once you know your measurements most providers offer a reference chart to determine the correct size to order. Where the sizing selection is small, medium or large (or similar) you might not get the fit you are after.