Well they must be worth something, they're stamped by a very nice secretary in the hombu office
The sad part is that there is really little or no benefit to being a member of the Aikikai aside from that paper. Now, I'm not necessarily anti-Aikikai, but they need to figure out a paradigm in which they provide some kind of real benefit. They used to rely on the loyalty of the instructors - but now most instructors have never even been to hombu, and doshu wouldn't recognize them walking down the street.
Never a true word spoken in jest.However I am not too sure its Doshus fault that he is slightly ?isolated from the masses.I have met him socially a few times and he is a nice man.However in Cardiff [as an example]due to vast numbers I do not think there was much chance of him and his son to meet the people.Even at the dinner or visiting high ranking guys ?? from the current Aikikai recognised groups he got very little chance to talk or r have a drink with the people at this meal.In the evening the buffet [cost 15 pounds]composed of cold sandwiches, and the odd chicken dipper.The Hotel provided no seating , too many punters.After complaining to the management about this I was told the organisers were told that there was not enough seats.I and my mates exited as fast as our little legs could carry us to the local den of iniquity[the pubs ] where we quaffed a few beers at much reduced prices.The course itself was poor, like being in a can of sardines-too many people.
I am not saying this was Doshus fault -just how it was.Never again.I also got the impression the Doshu was bored to tears with the the demos.Cheers, Joe.