Hello: All these makes me wonder: Is there any way of checking Aikido instructors credentials? For example: A Hombu database to search for the teacher's name to see if it checks out.
Watch and train with them - then you will know what qualifications they have.
p.s. - But as far as checking, just look at their certificate and see who the sensei was who signed it... no? Im sure there are bound to be photos with them and their sensei as well...or them displaying pics of their test, etc. (As one person basically said, in the digital age it makes it where not having any of the above would seem suspect.)
At the end, does what they do work? It doesnt take to long to figure out if its bunk or not.
My instructor recently moved out of state and asked me to take over his dojo (I accepted his offer because I wanted to continue training). So I am teaching a lot earlier (only a shodan) in my life then I would have liked but my instructor is still my aikido "parent" and comes back on occasion to conduct seminars and conduct the testing of my students.
I have no problem learning under a shodan - or a brown belt for that matter.
In fact my teacher is shodan, and his teacher (main instructor for grading) is 4th dan.
But then again, our system here is a bit different in regards to ranking, from what I can tell, than to stateside. It seems here a brown belt would be a shodan stateside. - just a different emphasis at what point someone gets a belt, thats all.
But skill is the main point, well of course personality...you find the teacher that suites you.
note: case in point, in a small village outside of our town there is a blue belt teaching...(2nd kyu).
He is a police officer who started teaching lower ranks when he was at about green belt...(3rd kyu.) - He is connected to my our dojo and test under the same Sensei we do. (4th dan.)