Our Sensei was previously trained , in the earlier years of his aikido career in a Ki-Society group, and later in a "splinter" of that scool of thought. As Asim pointed out Ki-Soc. attaches a certain expectation of skill to the hakama. Sensei allows any student who wishes to wear one to do so, after gaining rank of some level. As he explained to me, not everyone who wishes to train will want to, or should be expected to, or will stay in training for long enoufgh to warrant the expense of one.
He is gracious and indulgent about us who are still "on fire" with the enthusiasm of new students. (You know us... we chatter excitedly on and on about aikido and bubble with enthusiasm till you just want to scream!)
I really like the feeling of wearing mine. I like the quiet stillness in folding (just so) and in the camraderie of those final few minutes of mat time.
I often learn as much or more of what needs work, how to improve, etc. from those few minutes at the end of class.
Everyone has a life outside. They are ready to get home, have supper, etc. So class is through.....off we all go.
I would often wish for just a bit more time to go back to the technique that wasn't "just right" and repeat it a few times to hopefully improve.
While we are removing, folding etc. of the flappy pleated pants in question, the "key" point that needs to be conveyed to me (or some one else) will "click" for sensei and up he jumps, hakama half on, straps flapping to step through the point in question.
I for one would not trade those times for anything.
Just one point.........