Re: Heir apparents to shihans
Jamey's point about preplanning is critical in my opinion. Reacting after the fact will kick egos into high gear during an emotional and short time frame. It could destroy or severely damage a large organization, especially when multiple shihan are involved. I belong to the Shudokan Aikido Association, a small group of dojos here in Texas and Mexico under Hiroshi Kato shihan. We all recognize he will someday retire as will all the shihan. In preparation of that likelihood, our board of directors is taking steps to prepare. Sensei has multiple dojos and recently picked up Indonesia under his guidance. However, it is nothing as formal as USAF or ASU, etc. If something should happen or he retired suddenly dojos under his direction could be out in the cold with regards to affiliation with the Aikikai. That is why we are working diligently to make sure we are prepared in advance. We definitely hope that sensei has many many years to teach, but also recognize that many of the top shihans are all at retirement age.