Alec Corper wrote:
Whatever happened to the idea of vsiting more than one dojo and selecting your teacher based on your own senses, what you see and feel, what their students can actually do on the mat, how they treat visitors to their dojo, how the instuctor behaves and talks, etc. etc. Yes, I know that without experience its hard to judge, so get some before you commit. A student does not "waste" time studying under a teacher without papers if the teacher can do and teach.
BANG! Nail struck squarely on head. And ALL credentials are purely subjective, especially from the point of view of someone belonging to a "rival" organization. Let me give you an example: A guy with a Dan grading in Shin Shin Toitsu (Ki Society) Aikido is teaching in your town, but since his grading is not Aikikai, is it less than genuine? You will say "No, It's OK, because Ki Society is a recognized system." Recognized by whom? YOU... that's who. You have made a subjective decision based on your own value system. Ultimately, that's what EVERYBODY has to do. It's just that some (many, actually) prefer to look at a guy's Aikido, rather than his diploma. But the decision is, and MUST be, left up to the student.