Re: Heir apparents to shihans
As sad as it is and will be to lose the people who have been practicing and teaching Aikido for so many years, it will be interesting to see how things develop.
I'm going to agree with John Riggs, and say that preplanning is probably the best planning. Organizations reacting after the fact a leader is lost hasn't seemed to work well in the past. I think if nothing else the endorsement from a respected leader helps reassure the community / organization that the person taking the reins is the "right" person for the job. This is even more true when no other tradition or precedent is there to follow, within that specific organization.