Re: Hakama and Obi tying. . .
Interesting! I can understand where you are coming from, I know that most of the clubs/schools I have trained with have only allowed yudansha to wear hakama, but I know that in some, women are allowed to wear them regardless of rank, and in some, all are to wear them! Now looking back into why we wear the hakama it is very interesting, not overly practical but that also depends on the way you look at the reason why we wear them, but interesting all the same! Although not so traditional, I think that if your instructor has insisted that you wear it and you are happy to do so that you you do, although the grading thing may be an issue, again, non-traditional, but if you were to wear your obi on the outside then this would at least allow others training with you to see that you are not yudansha and therefore not pound you into the mat as they may do otherwise (speaking from a 'Yoshinkan' perspective here lol). In my opinion, and so be it if I get slapped on this one, I think you are in an honoured position to wear a hakama at your stage and if all are happy then go ahead and so so. From my personal teaching experience, I would not allow it, maybe because I wouldn't want to break rules, maybe because I wouldn't want and injury caused from confusion, but thats just my own opinion. More importantly, I think you should have some way of letting the other students know you are not yudansha as you could put yourself at risk of injury maybe?
Bottom line, Hakama rule, although they are hard work, I see mileage in the benefit they gave me in re-learning footwork etc.