I think that the main reasons that most dojo's choose to only let more advanced students are as follows:
1. Beginners NEED to learn footwork.
2. It helps differentiate between relative levels of experience.
3. When one is no longer a guest but a true part of the dojo and can acceptably represent Aikido.
I also think that it may have a bit to do with the fact the we're mostly gaijin (foreigners) and the hakama is a definite Japanese thing. Once you get the hakama it's also an indication that you "get" the Japanese way of thinking just a little.
But all this is so different all over the place and I'm not sure if some people even think of why they form their rules the way they do. In Japan, you'd be required to perform in the full outfit if you were protecting the shogun etc etc. It's analogous to putting on full combat gear in the army, or the average TKD'ist being able to do jumping quintuple super monkey kill kill floating butterfly astro kicks in their normal clothes.
Which leads to an interesting question. How good is your akemi in the clothes you wear every day? How many of you think about the clothes you wear and buy clothes that allow freedom of movement rather than butt shaping glory?
P.S. differentiating between the clothing women and men can wear is wrong.
Last edited by bcole23 : 07-25-2002 at 12:06 PM.