George S. Ledyard
I completely agree with you. This is a failure on the part of the Shihan or other senior instructor(s). It's one thing to leave someone on his own to figure things out. Its quite another to keep promoting him and letting him open a dojo when all he is doing is passing on very bad habits to his students and ruining another generation of practitioners. I think it is wrong. I have publicly objected to this repeatedly. The transmission is largely broken.
It is our responsibility to fix this. No one else's. The folks who created the problem will not be the ones to create the solution. Much of the discussion on the forums here revolves around different folks take on what the issues are and what the solutions are. That is why there is hope. The folks who created the problems with the transmission are not discussing anything. They are not looking for new ideas or alternative methods. They decided these things long ago and are not interested in change. The best of them will at least give you some encouragement if you show signs of trying to do better yourself. The worst of them will actively stand in your way.
Well if you ask me the transmission was broken right at Morihei Ueshiba. He learned what he needed to know from his teachers, but he never created a pedagogical method to pass it on. The default pedagogy of mainline aikido was basically adapted from Daito-ryu without much thought about whether and how it should be changed to transmit the essence of this new art. Some of Ueshiba's students (Shioda, Tohei, Mochizuki, Tomiki, etc.) thought they could improve on the default method and broke off and started their own organizations to teach their methods, but I don't think any of them really succeeded at capturing what Ueshiba was doing in a way that could be reliably transmitted.
I think aikido is a good idea for an art in theory but one that as of yet has no good practical implementation. I'm not even sure if it's possible to come up with one, but I do believe that the only way to redeem the art and attain its true potential would be a wholesale overhaul of the existing training method. I simply cannot see this happening within a major group since most groups are essentially defined by their training method. If you start making large changes to that, you are pretty much putting yourself outside of your group.
Either way, it doesn't make much sense to expect the current training system to produce different results than it has been demonstrated to produce. Aikikai aikido is basically geared towards producing large numbers of practitioners who can look good doing complex techniques with a cooperative partner. The people that manage to go beyond this are rare, and they almost have to go against the system to do so. Think about much farther they could go in a system that was trying to help them get to their goal rather than impeding them.