There are lots of ways to tie a hakama for Aikido and I’m sure most are equally valid. Here are the two most common and most distinct methods. Each may have innumerable variations, but they’re all based on these two fundamental techniques.
One Knot in Back and One in Front
With the method I learned (and which I still use), the front himo (the ones that are attached to the front of the hakama) are tied behind the back. So, you end up with one knot in front and the other in back. From what I’ve seen, most Aikidoka in the U.S. and Spain use some variation of this method. That’s not to say that it’s more or less correct or advisable than the other method. It simply seems to be more common. Anyway, the drawback to this method is, of course, that you’ve got a knot against your spine. Personally, I’ve never really been aware of any discomfort. And there is something to be said for aesthetics.
Tying All Himo in Front
In Aikido, we take a lot of ukemi, of course. So, some people prefer to tie both the front and rear himo in the front. Tying the himo in the front avoids having any knots against your back which might cause some discomfort when taking ukemi. The only drawback to this method is that the front himo must then wrap around the outside of the koshiita. It might not be as aesthetically pleasing as other methods, but it’s certainly practical and, no doubt, more comfortable.
What Knots to Use for the Himo
What? You thought that was it? Oh no. We’re just getting. There are probably dozens of ways of dealing with the dangling himo after you take care of the functional part of keeping your hakama pants on. Below are three of the most common methods of dealing with the dangling himo. FYI: There is no “Aikido-specific” way of knotting/disposing of the himo. In fact, if you notice, in the first video, Tsuneo Ando Shihan doesn’t even mess with the himo. He just leaves ’em hangin’, which is fine, too.