Re: Poll: How necessary are organizations in aikido?
It is sometimes forgotten that O Sensei's Kobukan Dojo (and branches) became the Zaidan Houjin Kobukai (Kobukai Foundation) in 1940 and was officially recognized by the Japanese military government at that time. The head of the organization was Admiral Isamu Takeshita.
Was it necessary? Probably. Japan was fighting the Pacific War and everyone was pressed into helping the war effort. The martial arts were clearly in the front line in instilling the necessary 'fighting spirit' among the general population. I think it would have been very difficult for Ueshiba's organization to have remained outside the Dai Nippon Butokukai. In 1947, the Zaidan Houjin Kobukai became the Zaidan Houjin Aikikai and official recognition came from the Japanese Ministry of Education.
So, for as long as 'aikido' has existed in Japan, it has had an organizational structure and has been recognized by the national government.
The US does not have such a need for nationally based martial arts organizations. It is a vast country dedicated to the free market economy and so anyone can set up a dojo, claim to be a 'master' and teach the martial arts. Fine. With such freedom comes the need for websites like Baffling Budo/Bad Budo, over at E-Budo.
I am not claiming that martial arts organizations are strictly necessary. However, I think the total absence of such a need in the US colors the discussion in US-based discussion forums such as this. The US delegates at IAF Congresses are sometimes left shaking their heads and wondering what all the fuss is about.
Best wishes to all,