How to fold a Hakama

There are many ways to fold a hakama (that's the pleated skirt-like thing worn when practicing arts like aikido and kendo). The important thing is that it is done at the end of a class, and that it is done intricately, so that by the time you've finished folding it everyone else has finished putting the mats away.

folded hakama

The exquisite chirashi udon or "scattered noodle" style of hakama folding

Last night I was lucky to witness one of the most intricate examples of hakama folding — this is the rare chirashi udon style, rarely seen outside of Japan. It's amazing that this knowledge is out there, and that those who have mastered it are passing amongst us, even here in the UK.