While kyudo does have a competitive aspect, it also places emphasis on good shooting form, so the perfect fitting kyudo uniform is key.
The length of the hakama is very important. If it is too long, the hakama might get stepped on when standing up from kiza (the kneeling position) or might catch and cause the wearer to fall while walking. On the other hand, if it is too short, the leg above the tabi (socks) might be exposed, which is undesirable.
Ideally the hem should fall around the middle of your ankle when you are standing facing forward with your feet together. The length of a men’s hakama should extend from just below the belly button or around the hip bone to the ankle. The length of a women’s hakama should extend from just below the bust to the ankle.
Synthetic fabrics like Tetron and polyester are the most commonly used in uniforms aimed at beginners. Synthetic fabrics have the advantage of being comparatively cheap and easy to clean, making them great for beginners who need to wash their hakama often.
For beginners we recommend a umanori style hakama made from Standard Tetron. Intermediate and advanced kyudoka usually wear wool or silk, so it’s important to learn the proper care of your hakama along with shooting technique.