Could you elaborate a bit on what you mean by fair treatment? It sounds as though you're saying everyone ought to be treated in the same manner and that belt ranks and wearing a hakama at dan ranks can get in the way of that.
This one's a hard one to put to words, but I'll try...
Perhaps "coexistence of the ranks" is a better term. In the group a came from, we varied in the ranks from the kyuless (me) to the shodans ( Sensei and one other). Over that gap, no one is treated like they are more important then the other because of rank, or lack therof. Save for one person, who I no longer partner with. Its not a pissing contest or a seniority thing. Its almost like rank doesn't exist.
Now I go to a different group and few seminars and I come to see a difference in the interaction between ranks. There is this giant gulf between Dans and Kyu's, the hakama'd and the non hakama'd. Thats what truly bugs me . Especially the colored belt scheme. You divide people up and split them into factions. A white belt, blank belt, orange belt.. mother-of-pearl belt and so forth.
Perhaps its shock or stubborness to change, but the gaps , imho would seem to be more hurtful then helpful.
When I went to my first seminar I got pegged with three different things. No kyu, 4th Kyu and even 2nd kyu (I pin that one on the koshi) all because of my gi and the belt ( which is beige, not white.
QUOTE] When I'm at a seminar, I often seek out the people in hakamas 'cause I know I'll learn a lot from them.[/quote]
I even tried to train with some of the hakama'd folks. One was 6 foot 7 and threw me about twenty feet, "because you looked like you could do the ukemi." a few others turned out to be kyu ranks, as some schools allow you to wear a hakama when you are financially able to.
And then you run into the white belts who are really black belts in disguise.
Boy did I gather some frequent flying miles with those people...
‘scuse my ranting. Lack of Aikido make me grumpy LOL