Re: What's in a name? sensei, shihan, etc.
Here's something interesting from Yamata Sensei from the Interview of same on the term "Shihan."
(Interview link found in the Aikido and Budo Thread.)
Q: ", what do You think Sensei about the shihan system?"
Yamata Sensei: "I don’t know how this system started but again because of this system, Aikikai has a lot of troubles. Shihan is not a title. It is a different way of saying “Sensei” in Japanese, but with a little more respect. So you could be a Shihan to your students. If you were a little bit older, and your students respected you a lot, they would call you a shihan instead of a sensei. That is all! It is not a title. That is why it is the only certificate that Aikikai doesn’t charge for. It is free." [laughs]
Now... that's funny. And, cynical. But, very realistic/practical.