Re: hakama use
In the club I am studying in in Japan, the girls wear the hakama after about 3 months of training and the guys don't wear it until they reach the 1st dan. I was really excited to be told that I could wear it when I hit that 3 month marker but then I continued to trip over it and the piece in the back hurts my back when I do ukemi. I am a klutz in general so adding to my klutziness is not a good idea I think.
Yea I am not awed by it so much anymore also. For me, I kind of want to go back to not wearing it until I am more proficient at the techniques and it doesn't become more of hindrance to my well being when I try to stand up and walk.