Hakama for non-yudansha
Sorry if this topic has been covered before.
I was wondering how people felt about non-yudansha being able to wear the hakama in practice. I read Saotome Sensei's book, the Principles of Aikido where he mentions that O-sensei required everyone, even brand new beginners to wear the hakama if they wished to train. O-sensei's stand on this was that the hakama represented the seven virtues of bushido.
I will (hopefully) be training soon with a sensei who studied under Saotome Sensei and encourages those of 6th kyu and above to wear the hakama. I find this rather refreshing, as unfortunately, I've met some yudansha who feel that wearing the hakama is a rank of status. I feel that this goes against the grain of the spirit of aikido...not just because O-sensei said so, but because to me, it smacks of being too concerned with status and being recognized externally for one's skill or effort. And some even think it's an aikido tradition, even though they may know that Iaido, Kendo and Kyudo beginners all can wear the hakama.
How many people here are in classes that don't allow non-yudansha to wear the hakama? If so, do you feel that it's the Sensei's right to not allow non-yudansha to wear the hakama?