Wearing Uniform outside of dojo?

by Renee
(Beijing, China)

Hello, last week I joined a Kendo club here in Beijing. It was my first experience ever doing Kendo (or any Japanese martial art).

The Kendo club comes to my university and practices in one of the gyms here. Since my apartment is within the university the gym is a short walking distance.

My question is this:

Since I do not know how to put on my hakama/kendogi by myself yet, I watch videos in my room on how to put on/fold it.

Would it be considered improper etiquette if I put on my uniform BEFORE I come to the gym (dojo)? And would it be considered improper etiquette if I leave the class with my uniform still on, taking it off once I get to my apartment?

I really don't want to have to keep asking for help in wearing/folding my uniform as I think I would be annoying others. Plus, I really need to learn how to fold properly on my own.

By the way, I have a cotton kendogi/hakama and washed it last week. Unfortunately it now has many wrinkles and I'm unsure how to get rid of them. (I'm also having trouble folding my hakama despite watching several videos, they all seem to use a polyester hakama).

I might ask someone at the club if they know of a dry cleaner who knows how to care for the pleats. Do you have any recommendations?

Thank you so much!

Answer: Thank you for your question. To me it is not improper for you to go to and leave from your dojo in your keikogi and hakama on. But you should ask your instructor first. He/she might have a different point of view.

Oh, no!! You washed your cotton hakama? No dry cleaner. They probably do not know. You can try but I think there is very weak possibility that they know.

Get your friend and ask him/her to show his/her hakama and try to iron your hakama very carefully. Do the back first. Make sure that you move the crotch to the right (usually). And take a close look at your friend’s hakama to revive yours :)

Good luck!

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