The Aikido dress varies according to whether one is a Dan or Kyu grade. All Kyu grades wear trousers, jacket and belt of the Kimono style. These clothes are suitable for the art because of the freedom of movement and the strength of material.
Dan grades wear Hakamas. This dress has been kept from the old days in Japan when the Samurai used to wear them. The dress has the other advantage that it teaches the student to move properly by keeping the feet closer to the mat.
Cleanliness is very important in Aikido as well as the other fighting arts. Not only is it very important to keep your body and clothes clean but also your mind. Aikido's aim is to make harmony and this will not be achieved if one person in the Dojo is clean and another dirty. You will find that no one will want to practise with the dirty club member. This can cause bad feeling in the Dojo. Harmony will thus disappear.
In Aikido toe and finger nails can be very dangerous so these should be kept trimmed. When stepping on to the mat, the student should bow to it. This is to give thanks to the mat because without it one would not be able to practise. Therefore we respect it for being there and it teaches us not to take things for granted.
Slippers should always be worn to the edge of the mat and when they are removed one should step straight onto the mat. This prevents any dirt or grit getting onto the mat. One should never walk on a mat wearing ordinary shoes.
When practising try not to have the same partner all the time as you will find that you get too used to each other. Everyone is different in build, weight and height. Your techniques becomes more adjustable if you change your partners.
One should not have stupid strength contests with each other or fool about. Try to help to understand each other and help one's partner wherever possible.
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