I’ve purchased clothing for Aikido and Kenjutsu from a variety of places. Obviously I haven’t worn every brand of gi and hakama, but I’ve worn a few. So far, the best clothing I’ve gotten has been from Nine Circles.
The hakama I currently wear is the black polyester/rayon Miyabi-brand Aikido hakama from Nine Circles.
I’m quite pleased with the hakama. The construction of the hakama is definitely sturdier than that of the ones I’ve owned previously. It’s held up very well so far.
I don’t really know anything about the “Miyabi” brand. I assume it’s a Japanese manufacturer, but don’t quote me on it. The hakama is made from a polyester/rayon blend. This particular blend of fabrics is often referred to as tetron. In fact, although Nine Circles’ US site refers to this hakama as a polyester rayon hakama, their UK site refers to the same hakama as a tetron hakama. Go figure.
Anyway, as they mention, the hakama does have some nice features specifically for Aikido. For example, it has a rubber Koshi Ita which feels more comfortable than the Koshi Ita of my last hakama. (I’m pretty sure the Koshi Ita on my old hakama is plastic.) And when I say it feels more comfortable, I’m, of course, talking about when taking ukemi.
I’ve owned two hakama before this one. In both cases, it didn’t take long before the Himo were literally hanging on by a thread. This Miyabi hakama, however, has 7 lines of stitching securing each Himo in place. These Himo aren’t going anywhere.
Last, but not least, I’m kind of thrifty. So, I like that I don’t have to spend $200 to get a decent hakama that’s gonna last me more than two days.
There are two versions of this hakama. There’s the traditional Japanese cut which is what I own. And there’s the wide Maehaba cut which is apparently better suited to the often wider “Western” waistline.