David Valadez wrote:
Just wondering about this one comment, made several times, on how organizations allow folks to train with and learn from a Shihan, etc. I'm a bit more skeptical when it comes to this claim. For me, I would have worded this as, "Organizations allow folks to be on the mat with shihan (if one continues on with this line of thought - "allowing them to inaccurately say that they have studied with and learned from the shihan.").
I think that David V. is right on target here. I have in mind the large seminar that the IAF organizes every four years in Tokyo. These seminars have become more popular each time and I think one reason is that they allow overseas visitors to come to Japan, stay in the centre of Tokyo cheaply, and do other things as well. However, I find it very hard to believe that people come to the seminars just to practise with any individual shihan. There are too many people on the mat for this to happen.
What does happen is that a Japanese shihan living overseas comes to Japan participate in the seminar and brings a group of students. There is always a good atmosphere at these seminars and people tell me they are popular precisely because of the international flavor that that they give to aikido training. However, such seminars could never substitute for regular training in one's home dojo.
Best regards to all,