Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!
Not trying to shoot you down mate, I think that in a way what your striving for/towards is admirable, but just something to perhaps consider:
"I understand that in order to improve the physical movements of the students, sometimes the hakama can be an impediment, however I cannot say that I feel the physical learning is more important than the spiritual learning..." - Todd Worth.
I think that in this case your particular views toward the hakama are currently being an impediment to your training in aikido. whats more important, actually being able to train or a piece of cloth? (I understand that you view the hakama as a 'spiritual item' Todd, so I dont intend any disrespect). If you decide not to train with the above dojo's/people because of this issue, then your missing out on some great opportunitie's...