Re: Aikido for all or one...
I haven't trained for 15 years, but I have trained long enough to know the tough spot you are in. Be with the same sensei for that amount of time is monumental and admirable. But, would I be wrong in saying a relationship lasting for so long isn't going to have a few bumps in the road along the way. But now you are at an important cross roads, asking what is the right decision.
I have heard of the type of the inflexible Aikido sensei who is very controlling not allowing students to cross train, visit other dojos or go to seminars. Many sensei's are insecure feeling they are the only one. Whether it is insecurity, or another reason you have to ask yourself after 15 years is this a healthy and productive relationship to be in? A relationship that doesn't let you grow and develop is stagnating.
You put allot of emphasis on your sensei, but what about you, don't you deserve to expand your horizons. Are you suppose to stuck in one place like the Bronte sisters never experiencing anything beyond the walls of your room, the dojo? A relationship is a two way street where both have needs and it is fair when one person in the relationship stifles the other.
The cross road you face is if you leave, you could burn the bridge of a 15 years relationship you value. By leaving, it means you violate a long held verbal contract between you and your sensei. By waiting until now to train elsewhere, your sensei may personally feel violated and hurt. Usually, the result isn't pretty and more risky when there is a long history, emotions run high, and feelings are hurt all the way around. After all, you are both human. If you stay you keep the relationship intact, but sacrifice your freedom, personal development and independence something you strongly seem to desire, I mean even crave. What is the direction to take isn't a easy decision for sure, or something taken lightly.
Is there a possibility to have a one on one talk outside the dojo between you and the sensei in private to make a compromise, a new contract? There is a chance no compromise will happen. The silver lining in that cloud is your perspective of your sensei changes. Change can be good, leading you to seeing the sensei in a different light. The benefit is the illumination of a new path to move forward on. It is not unreasonable to think the relationship has run it's course, and time to move on. Cutting ties is always difficult emotionally. I would be wrong, but as it stands now you are asking others if you should take an important risk associated with great value and merit. By the nature of reaching out to others maybe it is time for change of some kind.