Change is inevitable and change is good. I don't necessarily think Iwama branching off is good or bad. I do believe that Aikido was not made to become stagnant. Should Aikido remain as it has since the early '70's? The older generation of Shihan are now leaving us and it is up to us to now carry on. This is a much different day and time than it was for them. Tohei, Tomiki, Shioda and others were also considered radicals (maybe still). I train using the Ki Society method so believe me I've heard it all! But when people train with me they are surprised that I actually do Aikido:-) I started with the Aikikai but, I have found that the Ki Society method works best for me. My point is, there are and have always been inconsistencies in rank as relates to skill. Don't blanket the organization when it is a very local point. I'm not knocking the Aikikai but we don't need the Aikikai to govern all training. There are disparities there too. After all, how many us began training to join any organization. I thought the point was to train.