Jørgen Jakob Friis
This seems like a great opportunity to get some new perspectives on my training - but could someone please inform me a little bit about Yoshinobu senseis relation to hombu dojo?
I can see from sources on the internet that he is with the Aikido Kenkyukai International, and my sources with relation to Hombu dojo tells me that he is not someone they have met there on a regular basis. However in different sources he is stated as a member of the board of directors in hombu dojo.
Actually, the Aikikai has an organizational structure that is not well known outside Japan. The Aikikai (公益財団法人合気会) is the legal entity that sits at the top. Doshu is Chairman of this body and the President is a politician, I believe. Below this on the flow chart are three bodies: the Aikido Gakkou (the Aikido School), the Hombu Dojo, and the International Aikido Federation (IAF). Then the lines become more complex. Affiliated to the Hombu Dojo within Japan are (1) all the local organizations and clubs in Japan (including Takeda Shihan's Shonan Aikido Renmei), (2) all the organizations and clubs in the government and in companies, (3) all the clubs in the Japanese Self-Defence forces, and (4) all the organizations and clubs in the All-Japan Student Aikido Federation. This makes well over 2,000 organizations and clubs. My own dojo is part of (1). Some of these local organizations and clubs, which also have branches overseas, are part of the All-Japan Aikido Federation and it is this organization of which Takeda Shihan is a 理事 (Director).
The flowchart appears each year in the brochure distributed at the All-Japan Aikido Demonstration, held in May at the Nippon Budokan. Takeda Shihan usually gives a demonstration on this occasion.
I believe that Takeda Shihan is based in Kamakura. His teacher, Yamaguchi Seigo, also had a close relationship with the main dojo in Hiroshima, where I trained regularly, such that when I visited the Hombu Dojo, I also trained in Yamaguchi Sensei's dojo in Shibuya (no tatami here) and in his classes at the Hombu Dojo.
Best wishes, and apologies for the thread drift. I hope the training course is successful.