Once more I have a question that was raised on my research over Aikido. It is concerned to the use of the Hakama, and the most important thing I readed was:
" Currently, most Aikido dojo do not follow O Sensei's strict policy about wearing the hakama. Its meaning has degenerated from a symbol of traditional virtue to that of a status symbol for yudansha. I have traveled to many dojo in many nations. In many of the places where only the yudansha wear hakama, the yudansha have lost their humility. They think of the hakama as a prize for display, as the visible symbol of their superiority. This type of attitude makes the ceremony of bowing to O Sensei, with which we begin and end each class, a mockery of his memory and his art."
Reading this from a student from the O Sensei named Shigenobu Okumura Sensei, and comparing to this,
"So, in my opinion, there are two approaches to hakama wearing that feel right:
1. Everybody wears a hakama from the first time they buy a "uniform" and we live with the drawbacks from day one and get the advantages too.
2. Hakama are worn by yudansha, always and exclusively. So beginners don't have to deal with the cost or the problems and are less hidden. Yudansha have reached the level where elegance and dignity should be important aspects of their practice so they are expected to show that.
I've been in many dojo with many different philosophies on this matter - and in my experience, these are the two that work best."
this is a personal opinion, wich I respect as much as I respect the first one, but what I cant understand is that if the Hakama is a symbol of Humility and commitment, why distinguish beginners from advanced when according the the elder O Sensei everyone without a Hakama shouldnt be allowed to step the mat, regarding this last opinion with this sentence,
"So beginners don't have to deal with the cost or the problems and are less hidden. Yudansha have reached the level where elegance and dignity should be important aspects of their practice so they are expected to show that."
it shows only that the Hakama is used as trophy and as an object of arrogance only concerning the looks, so my final question is, a beginner by not wearing a hakama has no dignity ? Do the "looks" become more important than the man ? If everyone is so much influenced by the O Sensei, whay adulterate the one simple tradition ? Hakama is meant for the Elite ?
PS: None of this is personal, but it just made me think a while, and since I am trying to choose a dojo, should I take in consideration the fact that I should choose one more close to the O Sensei or something more "modern" if you can call it that.