Thank you, guys, for the replies. They affirmed my understanding of the definition of an "independent " dojo that is non-alignment or non-affiliation.
Thanks again, Don, for the reference to Aikikai's regulations. Again, as I have observed, the rules are not cast in stone.
I did not ask "Why dojo operators go independent?". I am not going to anyway - THIS IS the end of my thread. I would weigh these reason to be more on the commercial rather than politics. Politics are more often the veils. This question, I expect would generate a lot of "political" responses that would most time be indiscrete, personal, ugly and distorted. Most times, the responses would be from students who know half the truth or can't tell the difference due to blind loyalty and hence immature to judge ones character and know the true meaning of budo (the martial way).
If you guys want to continue on this line, I appreciate it very much if you can start another new thread.
Thanks, goodbye & happy training.
PS. Unless the instructions in aikido go against the essence and principles of O Sensei's teaching - I would say Aikido is just (his) Aikido.