Charles Burmeister wrote:
Just seems strange that a self professed "old hippie" would be going on about an item that (according to you and maybe others) symbolizes the belief systems of a militant class!
An answer has been presented to you already. Looks like you have two main choices. One of the choices you have already ruled out do to your own observations. The second choice looks to be a nice fit according to the list that you provided. HOWEVER, you won't be wearing a hakama in Thambu sensei's dojo. So, which is more important to you? Learning aikido or doing it while wearing a hakama.
Hehehe yeh I see what you mean, perhaps I chose my words badly... I actually said "old fashioned hippy", and what I meant (jokingly I might add, hence the smiley) was that I tend to not follow new fashions, instead opting for older values such as opening doors for people, saying please and thankyou and excuse me when shuffling by people on the train and not pushing and shoving in a race to the seats at the expense of others, saying "pardon me" when I pass wind in public, "Ladies first" etc - chivalry for lack of a better term; and the hippy bit is referring to the fact that I'm very spiritually inclined... Maybe it's different where you are, but around me, most people who are spiritually inclined these days get called a "hippy". I didn't take into account that the colloquial (slang) value of the term is most likely different in other circles. Apologies for the confusion.
As for your saying "So, which is more important to you? Learning aikido or doing it while wearing a hakama" Well, I must admit that I'm still hoping for another option... But you make a good point, and this is what I meant in my previous post where I stated "Still, I wonder whether OSensei would say that I would be better to train alone/not at all, than to train in a manner going against his tradition. We may never know."
Until very recently, I still held hope that I would not have to make this decision (no hakama or nothing at all), and so I think that I may have to spend some time thinking very seriously about it.
I have to be honest and say that my first inclination would be to visit Yoshinkan as they seem to very very nearly meet the mark. As has been pointed out earlier, at least there is an equality, and when the more formal occasions arise, the more formal dress code is taken up, which seems sensible to me. However I also know that I am not one to keep a secret, as I consider it lying by exclusion, and I fear that my opinion on these matters when voiced would almost certainly offend the seniority of the school, which would mean that I could be a detriment to the school, and I would hate to show disrespect to the school while training with them....
I'd really appreciate advice on this new matter ...