Respect for Katana
How to Guides
Bow In Ceremony
Warm Up Exercises
Bow Out Ceremony
Is my sword sharp?
8 Basic Cuts
Target Prep & Spiking
St Petersburg Dojo
Code of Conduct
Classes and Fees
Putting on a Formal Uniform
A formal uniform consists of Juban (under kimono), montsuki (formal
kimono with family crest), obi (belt), and hakama (pleated pants). The
uniform may also include tabi (socks), zori (sandals), haori (jacket), and
haori-himo (jacket tie). These must be put on properly and the details
may change based on the style of swordsmanship practiced. The
following defines the proper way they should be worn in the Konjaku Kioi
Toyama Ryu Dojo. Formal uniforms should be of conservative colors and
may include any mon. A black montsuki with grey/black striped hakama
The Juban (under kimono) is put on first. It is fastened in place
with a simple obi. It is important to make both sides even and wrap it
tightly around the body.
- The sides are grasped at the waist and pulled forward making sure
the two sides are even.
- The right side is wrapped around the waist followed by the left
- The Juban is held in place with the right hand while the left is
used to wrap the Juban himo (lightweight cord used to tie juban)
around the waist.
- The himo can be tied in the front with a simple bow.
The montsuki kimono is put on over the Juban. The sleeves of the
Juban should be worked down into the sleeves of the montsuki. It is
important to make both sides even and wrap it tightly around the body.
- The sides are grasped at the waist and pulled forward making sure the
two sides are even.
- The right side is wrapped around the waist followed by the left side.
- The montsuki is held in place with the right hand while the left is
used to wrap the obi around the waist.
Most men wear the obi just under the hipbones while most women wear the obi
above the hipbones. A kaku obi (3.5 inch wide traditional obi) is recommended.
The obi must be tight enough to keep the katana in place but not too tight to
make saya biki (drawing saya back off of the katana) difficult.
- The first foot of the obi is folded over with the open side oriented
- The top of the folded section of the obi is aligned with the top of
the obi as it is wrapped around the waist three times
- The remaining section of obi is folded over with the open side
- The starting end of the obi is pulled out, wrapped around the
remaining section, and pulled tight.
- The remaining section of the obi is rolled up into a 6-inch long
section and centered on the knot.
- The starting section of the obi is wrapped over the top of the
folded section and threaded under the obi around the waist.
- The knot is then rotated clock-wise around the body to the back and
the loose tail is tucked in under the obi.
- A standard iaido obi may be too thin and can be tied without folding
in steps 1 and 3.
- If your obi is too short only wrap it around the waist two times in
The hakama should just touch the top of the feet. Himo (straps)
should be snug and their placement is important. Having a properly tied
obi knot in the back and keeping the rear himo tight will keep the koshi-ita
(rigid board section) in the right place.
- The front of the hakama is aligned with the top of the obi.
- The front straps are wrapped around the body and are aligned along the
top of the obi.
- The straps cross over the top of the knot in the obi and return to the
front at the bottom of the obi.
- The strap coming from the right side is wrapped over the strap from
the left side over the front of the left hip.
- The straps should be long enough to return to the back and tie below
the obi. These can be tied with a square knot or bow.
- The koshi-ita (rigid board section) of the hakama is worn above the
knot in the obi. If a tab is present, it is put under the obi to
keep the rigid section in place.
- The rear straps are wrapped around the body and slipped under the
front straps. They should cross below the front straps with the strap going to the
right below the strap going to the left.
- The strap going to the right is wrapped over and then around all the
straps in the center. It should now be hanging down in the center
of the hakama.
- The strap going to the left is folded over and the strap going down
is wrapped around all the straps a second time.
- The strap going to the left is rolled into a three-inch long section
and positioned in the center.
- The strap going down is then wrapped around this section and all the
- This strap is then wrapped around once more, but the end is left
hanging out of the top. The bottom loop should be about 1.5 inches
- The top is then tucked in creating a loop matching the length of the
- If the front straps are not long enough for step 5 they must be tied in
the front with a square knot. The excess straps should be wrapped around
the tied strap.