What Do I Need In Order To Practice?

People new to Aikido are not expected to buy anything until they are certain that they intend to continue (maybe one or two months). For this time it is recommended to wear loose clothing such as track suit bottoms and a plain T-shirt (preferably white, and preferably long sleeved). The dojo does not take responsibility for any damage sustained to clothing. Please remember to remove jewellery, watches, rings, breakables, etc. Due to the vigorous nature of practice it is common to have a Hand Towel (い, tenui)

Aikido is a traditional Japanese martial art so the appropriate clothing is needed for practice. For Aikido this is white keiko-gi (稽古着),or Aikidogi (合気道着). This suit is made of weaved cotton and comes in 2 peices the uwagi(上着)top and Shitabaki(下穿き) pants for Aikido these should have no badges or markings; however it is permissible to have your name written in katakana or kanji on the left upper sleeve. It is important to note that the jacket sleeves should not be rolled up during practice it is considered bad etiquette.

The Keikogi is fastened over the top of the Uwagi with a sash like belt called an (OBI 帯 ). These are often made of thick cotton and are about 5 centimetres (2.0 in) wide. The martial arts obi are most often worn in the koma-musubi (駒結び) "Foal knot".

 

In the B.A.F. we follow the traditional Japanese Aikido system of two belt colours for adults white for kyu grades, black for dan grades. However in the B.A.F. juniors follow a colour belt system for their grades to help encourage them. 

Footwear should be worn when not on the mat to preserve cleanliness of the tatami, Wooden or straw sandals called Zori (草履) or white split-toed socks called Tabi (足袋) are commonly worn off the mat though other footwear will suffice. Footwear should be left with the heels touching the mat while practising. 

Females above rokkyu and males from Shodan are permitted to wear a hakama the latter on top of their black belt. 

A Hakama () are a type of traditional Japanese clothing. They are a type of Trousers with wide legs the type worn for Aikido is an umanori (馬乗り, "horse-riding hakama"). Hakama are tied at the waist and fall approximately to the ankles. Hakama are secured by four straps (himo): two longer himo attached on either side of the front of the garment, and two shorter himo attached on either side of the rear. The rear of the garment has a rigid trapezoidal section, called a koshi-ita (腰板). Below that on the inside is a hakama-dome (袴止め, a spoon-shaped component sometimes referred to as a hera) which is tucked into the obi or himo at the rear, and helps to keep the hakama in place.

Hakama have seven deep pleats, two on the back and five on the front. Although they appear balanced, the arrangement of the front pleats (three to the right, two to the left) is asymmetrical.

As it is rooted in weapons practice it is common to bring practice weapons to the dojo. In particular Aikido uses a wooden katana shaped sword called a bokken (木刀), A wooden short staff called a Jo (杖) and a wooden dagger called a tanto (短刀).

Some instructors have been known to use a shinai (竹刀), or an iaito (居合刀, for practicing the art of Iaido). If you do not possess weapons a dojo usually has spares to lend.