Re: Masters of the Universe, the Aikikai and the Shihan Certification
OK my experience.
My principal instructor asked Hombu what the procedure was and from my end it went something like this.
I had to send my Aikido CV to the Hombu dojo. During the next year a Hombu Shihan observed me teach (at Summer School) and sit on a grading panel (up to Sandan). I then got a nice certificate and letter following the next Kigami Biraki ceremony.
So I guess there is some kind of quality control. As I see it if you join the club (Hombu) then you play by the rules.