George S. Ledyard
When I say that you cannot reach an acceptable level of skill in Aikido unless you are training a certain amount, that is a totally separate issue from someones love of the art. They may have totally had their lives changed by their practice. They may have been a crucial element in the founding and survival of a dojo. There are all sorts of ways in which people can care and be committed. As far as I am concerned we should have ways of recognizing this contribution that is separate from rank or, we could have a separate track for teacher certification that is separate from rank. Then the many different ways that people can be committed could be recognized. Thirty years of Aikido is something, even if it isn't taken to a very high level. That person deserves recognition.
That person doesn't need
recognition. That's what the "masters" will never understand. How could they? If you're all about the recognition, you'll never get what makes these people tick.