Re: Traditional vs Non Traditional training...questions
I am sure you will get may response to your post, this is a very interesting topic
traditional vs non traditional is a very old and comp[lax argument among MA styles, and some time people who have stuck rigidly to tradition have actually stunted their growth but one the other side some of the people who have thrown away all tradition have become martial artists with no root,
Some things from your post I found interesting:
‘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'
If you don't learn at least some Japanese terms this makes it difficult to train in other dojos either nationally or internationally, I have trained in other countries where the only language I had in common was ‘Aikido Japanese', it helped a lot. I suppose if you only intent to practice ein the one place the it is not really needed.
I also wonder why they find the Japanese term for teacher demeaning
‘They don't teach weapons until 3rd Dan'
I have come across this a few times that schools not teaching weapon techniques until higher grades I guess they have their reasons but for me I would really miss my bokken work
He said that the average time for making Black Belt is about a year and a half
This I find very interesting, To be honest the time is really really short, and it make me very skeptical if all you want to do is learn some techniques and have a work out then maybe it is ok, but Aikido and all martial arts should go a lot deeper than that and it takes a lot longer to reach black belt
Without seeing the dojo it sound as if these people ae offering ‘Aikido lite' a few techniques but nothing else, which I guess is ok for some people who just want to hang out and throw each other around but If you are interested in aikido for real then I would look elsewhere
On a personal note, I really hate dojos like the one you describe, they do a lot of harm to martial arts and generally are run by people with limited skill that have been kicked out of other organizations or left because the got the smell of money