Re: Poll: How necessary are organizations in aikido?
You have a student learning aikido from a teacher. The teacher keeps the student on track with his training. At times, the student learns the necessary techniques for the next test and at times the student learns things that aren't part of the "requirements". The teacher tries to teach in such a way that the student learns all the quality things that the teacher has learned. The student finds his/her own personal way in aikido.
Apply that to an organization. The organization exists to keep the members on track with its curriculum. The members learn the curriculum but at times are exposed to outside teachings from other organizations (usually from seminars). The organization does its best to instill a quality learning system for its members. The members find their own personal way in aikido.
For the most part this is what happens for everyone below advanced belts. The difference between organizations is how the *people* at the top decide to run their organization. And that is where politics enters the situation.
For all the rest of us, being in an organization is a lot like being in the dojo. Except the organization is not at the forefront of our thinking. It's an intangible object that occupies some of our time, mostly when we have to pay dues or test fees or attend seminars, etc. However, the teacher is at the forefront and does occupy our thinking while at the dojo. And at other times when reflecting on training outside the dojo.
Do we need organizations? Not really when you pare everything down. But, as others have said, man is a social creature. We create organizations such that like-minded people can have a place to get together. And with human nature the way it is, there is usually created a hierarchy to keep things in a somewhat orderly fashion. It's the way of organizations. But like-minded people will gather no matter if there is an organization or not. It just makes things easier and more orderly when there is one.