How to tie a hakama for Kendo

Although there’s no “official standard” for tying a hakama, many Kendo clubs use methods similar to this one.

Video demonstration of how to tie a hakama

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Hi. I’m Taro Ariga, CEO of Today I will be explaining about how to wear a kendo uniform. The top portion and the bottom portion. The top portion is called kendogi and the bottom portion is called hakama. First of all you wear the keikogi first. Usually the keikogi comes with a string inside which can be tied or you can just leave it free. I don’t usually tie this one. I only tie the one in the front. I tie the front first. And make sure the kendogi fits well on you body.

Then you take the hakama. Starting with the right foot, put your right foot in, then your left foot. Make sure your kendogi is tucked in correctly. Take the front portion [of the hakama] first. Take the strings to the back. Then bring them to the front. Tie it under your belly. And bring it to the back again. So, the back will look like this. We’ll tie it right here.

(Notice that Taro ties a bow in the back, a variation from the example above).

Next, take the back portion of the hakama. Take this little plastic piece and tuck it inside the knot that you just made. Then you bring the front strings [actually the back himo ;)] to the front. Tuck [one of the himo] under the front strings that you just tied. Make a knot here. Then take this string that’s left over and tuck it to the sides so it won’t be hanging.

Also, you want to be sure that the back side of your keikogi is straight here [so] it’s not all wrinkled. And this is it. This is how you wear a Kendo uniform.

Thank you.

Hold the sides of hakama where the front and back seams come together in a “V”. Put your right leg in first, then your left leg.

Next, grab the front himo (belts) and hold the top of the hakama at the level of your belly button.

The bottom of the hakama should be approximately at the level of your ankles. If necessary, tie the hakama higher on your body and/or tuck the front of the hakama into your obi (belt for kimono or keikogi).

Wrap the front himo around your back.

Bring them back to the front.

Cross and cinch the himo across your waist about 2 inches below the top of the hakama.

Intertwine the himo once (don’t tie them in a knot just yet).

Then bring the himo around to your back. Cross and cinch the himo.

Slip one end up and underneath all the belt layers.

Bring that himo down and wrap the other himo around it to tie a knot.

Let the loose ends hang. They’ll get covered up by the back of the hakama.

Bring up the back of the hakama. If your hakama has a small hard “tongue” in the back, tuck it into the belt layers. This will help keep the back of the hakama level with the front.

Hold the back himo level with the front himo. The koshiita should be aligned vertically against your back.

Bring the back himo to the front of your body.

Cross the himo.

Slip one himo up and underneath the layers of front-himo.

Cinch the himo.

Tie the himo in a knot.

Tuck the loose ends into the sides of the belt and behind the back of the hakama.

There should be no gap between the layers of himo.

Straighten out the back of your gi by pulling on both sides at the same time.

And you’re all set.

I started practicing Aikido in 2000. It instantly became one of my main interests. And the rest is history.

Posted in Hakama, Iaido, Kendo, Kenjutsu Tagged with: , , ,
One comment on “How to tie a hakama for Kendo
  1. Joe DePascale says:

    Great instructional video. This made tying the hakama easy. Thank you

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