What do you think the state of the aikido community/world will be like in ten years?
Almost all of O Sensei's original students will be gone by 2011, those that will be alive will probably not be active in Aikido. The senior students now, would be the new leadership in these future aikido organizations. That means more nationalities represented in the top ranks, not just Japanese.
Because the founding instructors would not be there, this could create an opportunity for some wide-spread schisms. However, I tend to believe that all the major styles of aikido
(like Yoshinkan, Ki Society, Tomiki and Aikikai) will continue as separate organizations.
There will probably be less independent dojos
around, since aikido seems like a martial art where credentials and centralized authority are important. Although it will be harder for the centralized authority in Japan to deal with its various national organzations, since things will be more like the UN than a Japanese megacorporation.
There also might be more blended aikido
. This would be where the martial artist studies aikido & "name another martial art here
". It is more likely the other martial art will be tournament oriented. In this way, the individual uses the technical principles of aikido to gain an edge in a sports/tournament-setting.
You will also see the "Principles of Aikido
" used more in settings outside of the traditional dojo. Just like Aiki Extensions
now, things learned on the mat will be used more in areas like sociology and psychology.
Of course, there could be some other great event that would overshadow everything else. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.