Re: Wearing Hakama
Imagine - you are in a large class, a guest at a new class, on a course etc etc, where not everyone is known to you. You may be training with people who are wearing hakama's, some wearing coloured belts, some wearing white belts. How do you know the skill level/experience each person has, can they cope with breakfalls, positive application of techniques, are they beginners etc?
If it is not obvious, I personally ask the person I am about to train with (if I dont know them), what grade/experience they have and tailor my training to suit.
My point being, with such diversity in clubs/organisations about wearing hakamas and not wearing coloured belts untill they grade to shodan, there could be some Health and safety/insurance issues. Especially so in this litigation culture. Injuries or worse, could occur due to for example an inexperienced aikidoka wearing a hakama being mistaken for an experienced black belt and thrown at that level. Or, a 1st kyu wearing a white belt applying technique at that level to a 5th kyu wearing a white belt. I totally support the freedom of organisations to apply their own 'dress code' as it were, but I would say to everyone, if you don't already know, please ascertain the experience of the person you are training with.