OK, here's my dilemma boiled down to as simple a story as I can manage. I have been training at the same dojo for about a year now and have managed to avoid becoming involved in any of the "politics" I know have been occurring. This has never been a problem until recently. Several high ranking senior students have left and either started their own dojos, or completely quit training ( I don't know why they left). Sensei has tried to maintain regular class scheldules and seminar attendance for the rest of us, but without his senior students to help, I think this has become increasingly difficult for him. As a result, classes have lost some of their energy and flow, and I don't feel like I am getting the most out of my training. So my question is this: If I leave my current dojo to go practice with someone else (maybe one of the runaway sempai) am I committing a huge breach of protocol? I feel like I would be insulting sensei to do this, but I also feel like I need to find someplace where I get positive energy when I'm on the mat. Any suggestions?
Your post is so similar with my position it felt as though we could be in the same dojo. But this event happened to me almost 2 years ago. I made my decision to leave, and it was made on the ground of personal gain. I look out for my own interest first, protocol or loyalty second.
Whenever I meet my old sensei, I still confer to him my upmost respect, I have even attended some of the seminars that his organization/dojo organized.