Re: Hakama Question
Took me 3 years to get to 1st dan. And our dojo`s policy is for yudansha olny to wear the hakama.
I moved around a lot after my training with my original sensei, and I`ve trained in several different dojo afterward. What I do is, I never take the Hakama with me and just put on a white belt. When people ask me about my skill or how long ive been an aikidoka, i tell them the truth, and it ends at that. And things always went well for me that way.
Truth is, i wasnt thinking about the color of the belt i was wearing, and I only wear my hakama and black belt whenever i would visit my original sensei.
The way I see it, you are a newbie when you step into a new dojo. New sensei, different rules mabye. I enjoy re-learning things from scratch. That`s all that matters to me.