Only to satisfy my own personal curiosity about the world of Aikido and Iaido; please do not take my inexperince out of context.
We practice Aikido 2 days a week (although I often <learn> once a month), Jodo once a week and Iado once a week. I find that due to it's inherent fluidity, Aikido takes much longer to learn. Iaido has basic katas that create the forms and we use these katas for study towards our Aikido and this (eventually) leads to better Aikido technique.
However, in visiting some other dojos and reading some posts, it seems different dojos teach weapons at different level, and sometimes do not teach Iaido at all. When, normally for you, is it traditional or called for you to learn Iaido? Am I just lucky that my Sensei wishes to teach these classes?
Also, I have read about O'Sensei requiring Hakama to be worn for practice. We do wear Hakama for Iaido, Jodo, and Aikido at certain levels (5th Kyu), which seems to be a way of torture which forces you to move properly and/or learn to roll better. Does everyone wear Hakama in every form of Aikido or does it depend on the Sensei?
Again, I am only curious as to what is out there and why or how so much diversity exists from a single martial art created by a single individual. I have seen that other arts like Tae Kwan Do are almost cookie cutter-like in their ability to replicate themselves (as was its design when created), but why is there not one Aikido basic style, teaching, etc?
Thanks for your input!