Re: Organizations- How important are they to you?
From a ranking point of view, organisations can be quite important. Imagine qualifications in other skills, such as medicine. Although I’m sure there are some excellent “bush doctors” out there, saving lives in volunteer clinics every day using just a coat-hanger and gaffer tape, given the choice, I would want the surgeon operating on me to be certified by a recognised authority. It’s still no absolute guarantee of competence, but there’s a good chance the guy won’t be a quack.
I guess it depends where you are in the aikido world – I’m sure there are people on the fringes improving lives with unrecognised, unaffiliated aikido, but on those fringes, you’ll probably find plenty of “quack aikido” too. Going back to the medical certification analogy, I have a great deal of admiration for those recognised and fully qualified doctors who go to third world countries working for NPOs. I’m sure they learn as much as they teach. The same goes for aikido masters who do the same sort of thing.