Re: Poll: How important are organizations in aikido?
Unfortunately, Chuck there are still organizations or instructors out there that have problems with training in other organizations. One of my students moved recently. He wanted to train at two different schools with different organizations (both aikikai though). The one instructor told him he had to chose. The other was totally fine with training in two "styles" of aikikai aikido.
Over time organizations generally lose the flexibility they were initially formed to promote. As an organization gets larger, it seems they need to impose more restrictions and controls on the members. For such restrictions, the individual dojos or groups also are likely to receive less individual support. Often, this results in several breaking away to join other less restrictive groups or to form their own "organization" with looser rules.
I do see several advantages though in the areas of promotional uniformity, training opportunities and support of higher ranking instructors. By having a board address promotions of dan ranks, individual biases tend to be less (assuming of course there are no political games).