Traditional vs Non Traditional training...questions
I know there are other threads with similar titles, but I do have specific concerns and questions that I would love answers to. I'm a beginer with Aikido. I've been studying the last month and 1/2 with a pretty traditional Birankai affiliated dojo. I enjoy the teaching method there. I have a lot of respect for the art and feel like it's important to pay homage to the tradition...ie learning Japanese terms, the implementation of weapons traing and how it affects my Aikido, the philosophy of O'Sensei... The only down side is that it's a 45 minute drive 1 way. I make it to 2 classes/week. I live in a part of the world where there's not a ton of choices when it comes to dojos. However I recently found a Tomiki dojo locally. They're a pretty private bunch. I spoke with one of the instructors this evening. They are not affiliated with any international organizations. They use a color belt system for testing. They're very untraditional in the sense that they do not use Japanese terms including the word Sensei. They feel that it is a demeaning term. They don't teach weapons until 3rd Dan. which kind of bummed me out because that's my favorite class. He said that the average time for making Black Belt is about a year and a half. His complaint about organizations is that they hold you back from rising through the ranks at a respectable speed. All of those philosophies fly in the face of what I believe(d) to be true...up until this point. Could someone tell if this is true with all Tomiki dojos or is the exception to the rule? Is this a realistic and/or a proper way to train and truly learn Aikido? I know that there's more than one way to learn the art. I'd love to save travel time and money, but I don't know if I completely get the teaching method.
I'm truly interested in getting opinions on this.