Nishio, for all his griping, was always a stalwart Aikikai guy.
Personally, I like the idea of a general umbrella organization. I'm not sure, however, that the current umbrella organizations are the right ones for the future - at least, not as they are currently organized.
I would like to see a loosely organized peer group that provides actual, valuable services to its members. Facilitating networking between groups and members, for example - this is something that is very hard to come by in the arts that have really gone down the splinter path.
Just a thought...
Could you not provide those same services and networking as part of a larger, style agnostic, martial arts association? Wouldn't you want networking amongst people doing different "arts" help each other improve, rather than just the echo chamber that arises where people believe they're really all doing the same thing? I think that is some of what Nishio is getting at, no? And it seems very relevant to what Chris Hein is discussing: we can't even admit we're all on really different tracks with really different results, let alone discern what makes one track better than another. Really, we can't even figure out what a track is, it's really, really sad.
You could look at CMA as an example of something that splintered in the past, and that due to recent political/government forces has consolidated, but what has that consolidation done for it? Just turned it into a mess of mass market new age tai chi yoga fusion mcdojos. Whereas if you look at the past couple hundred years, there were countless significant different martial disciplines flowering. Most of them are probably dead, in name, but if you look past the idea of passing on some notion of a system or an organization or a complete organized system of whatever, the skills all do survive, taken apart, recombined into new things, sometimes just only partially passed on and then salvaged together with other parts to make new and interesting things that are still relevant facsimiles of those things early in their lineages that spawned them. You have to chase down people with skill, you can't just be lazy and seek out Joe Random Tai Chi Master, but there are people in the CMA with valuable things to teach, but those things are not within the neatly painted lines modern CMA has drawn.
If this were physicists, and we set out to build a fixed organization in the service of Newtonian kinematics above all other tools of physics, what good would that do? It's just a tool, a model, that we find useful to approximate certain problems in certain contexts, but we can pass it on in isolation and without attaching great importance to it on an organization level. Sure, you can go to certain universities who have certain specialties in terms of acquired faculty and research, but they're dedicated to research and advancement of the field. If that means ditching Newtonian kinematics, when, say, relativity comes into the picture, they'll do it, and if good results come from another university, as determined by a peer review, they'll riff on it futher with more research, because the results are more important than the incidental tools or personalities or universities.