George S. Ledyard wrote:
So while it may be an inaccurate exageration to say that the best Aikido is being done ouside of Japan, I do think that the number of places at which you could get the most complete, high quality training is greater here than in the art's homeland at this point. I defintely think that it is not necessary to go to Japan to train except as a way to become familiar with the culture in general.
I have to say that I can't think of a single US city that has even a tenth of the number of high ranking Aikido instructors that you would find in Tokyo - and that doesn't take into account the many other martial traditions you can dabble in there. Of course, many (most) skilled instructors in Tokyo are just unknown in the US - that doesn't mean that they aren't there. It goes the other way too - ask the average Japanese Aikido student in Tokyo who Yamada, Chiba, Kanai, or Saotome is and you're liable to just get a blank look.