Re: Wearing Hakama
I find the hakama does have an effect on my center which helps my practice. In fact this is also a contention in a paper by Inaba sensei of the Shiseikan in Tokyo ("Developing the Fundamentals of Mind and Body for Budo").
He refers to the use of the hundoshi (loin cloth), which used to be traditional, but is seldom worn these days. He refers to the Imperial Navy strategist AKIYAMA SANEYUKI who wrote "The HUNDOSHI Thesis", a note about cultivating spirit. "In battle, by tightening my hundoshi, I was sure that I could prevent my SHINKI (mind-KI) from wavering."
This is related to why sumo wrestlers wear a hundoshi.
"Keeping SHINKI in the TANDEN" means "preventing blood rushing and making possible the free expression of intelligence and KI RYOKU."
The HAKAMA, worn in BUJUTSU practice, has a similar effect to a HUNDOSHI, except for tightening a man's private parts. With the belt and hip strings tightening around the hips and the HARA below the navel, the SHINKI drops into the TANDEN, the HARA keeps the body power, and the TANDEN and the centre of gravity become unified. Breathing in this state during practice naturally becomes the TANDEN KOKYU that is necessary for BUJUTSU.