I have just returned from Australia, where I was guest instructor at the Aikikai Australia Winter School. From my experience of training with Japanese shihan, I believe that the readiness or otherwise of some organizations to welcome 'fellow travellers', for want of a better term, depends pretty much on the attitude of the shihan. With Sugano Shihan, I believe it is a fundamental matter of commitment to him, as a direct disciple of the Founder. Some other shihans I have known do not appear to insist on such commitment (but, since it is so much a part of traditional Japanese martial culture, I suspect this is simply tatemae). Of course, I do not think this is simply a bad or unpleasant attitude. There is a lot more to it than this.
i'm moving interstate within Australia very soon, and plan to continue with my aikido training. unfortunately, the place where i'll be going will not have any dojos under my current umbrella organisation. i have no qualms training in another good dojo, but i've heard that some dojos/organisations are very political and will forbid their students to train anywhere else.
having a strong attachment to my previous dojo, i would obviously love to drop by once in a while, and attend the occasional national seminars/gasshukus when possible.
the biggest issue seems to be that this is not unique to the occasional, parochial dojos; but apparently the biggest/main aikido organisation in the country is in fact the biggest stickler about that policy.
i must admit that this is just hearsay at the moment for me as i haven't approached any of these dojos yet, but i've met at least about a dozen aikidoka who have trained under that organisation who have told me the same, and i'm quite concerned about that.
does anyone have specific experience/insight about the matter and would be happy to provide for some advice?
thanks in advance.