Then how many years of aikido experience does one need to have before being able to evaluate a teacher?
You can evaluate a teacher after 5 minutes in their class, I'm sure.
I went to a kung-fu class and within about 9 minutes I thought he (instructor) was one of the biggest idiots I've met in a while.
On the other hand I had an old boss who I thought was a fool.
After knowing him about 10 years I started really seeing his leadership style and method of teaching (and what he accomplished long term) and it blew me away. I thought he was an idiot because I was looking at short term when he was operating long term.
Year of Aikido critiquing someone who might have 15 or 20? Dunno.
And what advice would you give to people who want to begin training in aikido and have several dojos to choose from? How can they evaluate the teaches in those dojos?
Distance from your house.
Quality of the dojo.
Atmosphere of the class.
Maturity of the students and teachers.
Quality of instruction.
Quality of senior students.
Would you prefer a school with a happy go lucky friendly sensei who doesn't take training that that seriously or would you go to a school where as the sensei is a prick and has the social skills of a wolverine but really knows how to handle himself in a fight (and passes it on to students)?