Who's your Teacher?
Lately I've been asked the question "who was/is my teacher?" As opposed to "who have I studied with?" In all honesty, I have trouble with this because I don't want to offend anyone inadvertantly.
My very first aikido instructor was Irving Faust (Aikikai). Although I only studied with him for about 8 months, I feel he laid the foundation for what is my aikido. So I definitely consider him one of my former teachers. Later I studied at a dojo where the chief instructor (8th Dan Aikikai) was hardly there. He is a great person and on those few occasions that I was able to spend time with him, I had many of those "eureka" moments but just about all of my training was conducted by a 6 Dan who also taught there. Although I consider that 6 Dan another of my former instructors, am I incorrect as far as etiquette goes not to consider that chief instructor one of my former instructors? His name is on some of my rank certs.
Also, I trained in a different Aikido system for a year (due to logistics). I loved the people, learned some good (different interpretations) things, and tested several times however in my mind I don't consider the instructor (3 Dan) there my teacher in a formal sense.
Are there rules governing this? Again, I don't want to insult anyone. I was reading about Mr. Pranin's delimna with Tohei Sensei way back when and was prompted to get clarification on this. I did karate for many years before aikido and the rules in karate are very clear on this.
Alot of times I read instructors bios and they have a list of instructors a mile long. Sometimes I know that is solely for marketing.
Any feedback will be much appreciated. Thank you.