Based on Fujita Shihan's advice, the 5 main points of a good pair of Aikido Hakama are as follows:
- The Aikido Hakama should be easy to move in
- The Aikido Hakama should look good
- The Aikido Hakama should be safe to use
- The Aikido Hakama should be durable
- The Aikido Hakama should be inexpensive
Since then, these 5 points make up the core concept behind every Aikido Hakama that Tozando makes and sells, even to this day.
The very first Aikido Hakama that Tozando introduced in 1996 was the
TOZANDO Deluxe Polyester Aikido Hakama, AH500
, and Stanley Pranin
, the then editor-in-chief of Aiki News tried it on and sent us his complimentary letter by fax, saying the AH500 were "the best Aikido Hakama ever
". These hakama set the standard for the industry and have remained the original aikido hakama to this day.
The Soul of Tozando Craftsmanship
At Tozando, we believe that a Aikido Hakama should not only be durable, comfortable and look good, but also be made to accommodate the specific needs of Aikidoka. Our Aikido Hakama are tailored by our experienced tailors at the Tozando Nishijin workshop in Kyoto and at the Tozando Factory in Iwate.
In consultation with our Aikido staff, our tailors who have many years of experience making traditional Hakama and Hakama for Budo, painstakingly make each Hakama piece by piece, mixing tradition and technology, making Aikido Hakama by Aikido practitioners for Aikido practitioners, and providing the best Hakama for our customers.
Some of the features that make our Aikido Hakama so special, besides being completely hand-made in Japan, is that all our Aikido Hakama feature 7 lines of stitching along the whole of the front obi, making it more durable, easier to tie and also preventing creasing. Our Hakama also feature an Aikido cut, meaning that we have tailored them to provide a slim and beautiful silhouette and promote smooth footwork by making the front of the Hakama slightly shorter.
Even the angle of the pleats have been calculated so that they don't spread too wide and look untidy when you wear your Hakama. In addition to that, our Hakama also feature inner-pleats stitching, side slit reinforcement and double edge stitching on the bottom hem by default in addition to two very handy loops that can be used for hanging your Hakama after washing it.
Needless to say that all Tozando Aikido Hakama are Aikikai-approved. From the fabric, to the tailoring and to the finish, everything is made by our own craftsmen in Japan, producing the highest quality Aikido Hakama and available at a reasonable price! Don't take our word for it, please see the quality of Tozando for yourself!
Tozando Nishijin Workshop
The Tozando Nishijin workshop in Kyoto is where Tozando makes most of our Gi & Hakama. The tailors have many years of experience, not only in making traditional Hakama and Gi, but also Hakama and Gi for Kendo, Aikido and Iaido. Using traditional craftsmanship, while at the same time adapting to the times by using the latest materials and techniques, they painstakingly make each Hakama by hand.
Our tailors are present in the whole process from choosing the fabrics to making the Hakama and finally the finishing touches, before handing it over to our distribution center, so that they can have full control over the whole production and ensure that each product is acceptable according to their quality standards. This is why they also are very flexible and can swiftly take care of tailor-made orders and special requests which no other manufacturer can take care of.
Blending tradition with science, they put their utmost efforts into bringing the highest quality products to you, our customers, directly from Kyoto in Japan.