Re: Underqualified Sensei
I agree with just about everything in yout last post, and you can trust that I have know how lucky I have been to be able to learn from some of the aikido fanatics out there. I am also quite aware that what I can expect to achieve is tied to what I decide I can put in.
I still think though, that a system could be imagined in which quality full-time instructors could be trained and supported. In the current state of affairs, even among the really great instructors out there, only a few really make a living off their art. In more established professions and fields of endeavour, there are known and plannable "paths" to making it. These paths are not necessarily easy, but at least they are visible. The fanatics will allways be the greats, but it might be nice to find a place for the more standard dedicated types in between the fanatics and those that would never dream of wanting to take the responsibility of teaching and running a dojo (the last group being the vast majority of practitioners in my opinion).
I wonder if all the "marginal" dojos out there are part of the problem. There are probably enough aikido students in my area to support a full time instructor, especially since such an instructor would likely attract even more students. But we are divided into at least half a dozen small clubs, none open more than 3 or 4 days a week. Not a great situation in my opinion.