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Aikido in Everyday Life: Giving in to Get Your WayAikido Books 15.95 $Add to cart
ZooBoo Mens Cotton Kendo Aikido Hapkido Martial Arts KeikogiAikido Equipment 42.99 $Add to cart
Recommended Aikido Equipment list:
1) A Gi (martial arts uniform)
The Gi is the first and most important of your Aikido equipment. It has to fit properly and feel comfortable on your body. The following aspects must be taken into consideration:
– Make sure that the sleeves are long enough; for some people, this might mean getting a bigger size than usual.
– Look at the length of the trousers. They usually have to be somewhat longer than the feet, but not too long. If they are too long or too short, it might lead to discomfort during practice.
– Look at the texture of the material. The cotton fabric should neither stick to your body when you are hot nor make you feel cold when you are sweaty. It is also a good idea to check the type of fabric used for the inner side of the Gi.
– It is recommended to wash your Gi at least once before you use it, as some companies might finish them with a particular smell that later on will never go away. That is why it makes sense to test it first – if you can’t stand the smell, you should pick another one.
2) Hakama (Aikido divided skirt, divided trousers in Tenri style)
You can find many unisex khaki Hakamas that are appropriate for men and women alike. However, you might want to consider getting a pair specially designed for women in order to feel more comfortable. The design should be skilfully adjusted to the female body, which might significantly affect comfort during practice. Your Hakama should fit perfectly, not to mention that you can find many different forms and designs.
3) Obi (belt)
There are various types of Obis – thin, wide, soft, or stiff ones. It might be difficult to find the right one, as you will probably wear it for years and your satisfaction with it might vary over time. It is normally good to try several ones before you pick one – this way, you can see how it feels on your body and whether or not it would be comfortable during practice.
4) Tabi (split-toed socks)
Tabi is worn by both men and women. They can be found in various colors, patterns, and designs. It is good to test them before you buy a pair as they might not fit your feet well or feel too tight on the skin.
5) Zori (flip-flops)
Zori is worn by both men and women, depending on their preference. You can wear them instead of tabi. However, there is one thing that must be kept in mind – you should not wear your zori outside after you have practiced with them inside the dojo, as they might carry some dirt from the tatami mat.
6) Saya (sword cover)
Aikido equipment for women requires a Saya – it is the only way to carry your sword, bokken, or jo. It is important to pick one that will suit you the most – not too long, not too bulky. You can also find some models with decorated ends called Kurikata.
7) Hakama Tare (a kind of jacket)
A Hakama Tare is designed to avoid any discomfort caused by the tare’s knot pressing against your body. It has two pockets, one on each side of it – this way, you can carry spare shoelaces or a spoon with you.
8) Tenugui (thin cotton hand towel)
Tenugui are usually white or black, but you can also find all sorts of designs on the market. If your sensei hands out a specially designed one to you, it is considered rude if you don’t use it for wiping off sweat, cleaning your weapon and hands, etc. Afterward, it should be folded in half and tucked inside your obi so that the fold is sticking out.
9) Muneate (chest protector)
Muneate is worn to protect the chest during practice with weapons. They come in different designs – some have a simple strap closing while others need to be tied with a special knot.
10) Tare (a kind of jacket)
Tare is worn over the Hakama for protection during practice. They come in many different variations – some are made of silk while others are cotton or synthetic, there is an option to dye them yourself and not only. It is important to find one that you will feel comfortable in. It is recommended to tie it with the knot called wakishō instead of using velcro or any other fastener.
11) Hakama Tare Gake (a kind of belt)
Hakama Tare Gake is worn on top of the hakama tare – they serve an exclusively functional purpose. The upper belt is tied with a knot called Osae while the lower one is knotted with a slightly different type of knot – nijūyon-no-knot, which you can easily learn from your sensei or a senior student.