Re: aikido politics - implications on training opportunities
Politics in Aikido is sadly a very real problem and to me anyway - quite ridiculous. I was at a course at the weekend and a couple in front of me realised they'd handed over the 'wrong' passbook for signing - they were visitors from another (Aikikai linked I might add) association and so they swapped the books for their personal ones.
It's not just linked to Aikikai related organisations however - my previous club who were independent have a blanket ban on anyone training at my club (well, with me really) - they can come, but they will be asked to make a choice upon their return! Last time I checked this was a hobby for most people and we're all adults, right? I get visitors from time to time from my old club, we make them sign in with an x and call them 'the others' all in good fun, but it's not good fun for them when they go back if anyone has seen them or checked our website and spots them in a photo. It's nice to know they're so paranoid and scared in some ways. All my students are free to go and train anywhere and with anyone - including my old club - however when they do go to them they don't usually say they're with me as I doubt they would be allowed to train.
Having said all of that I think that it can be worse in Japan from some of Peter's previous comments and postings on this sort of thing.