The question of standards is a worrying one to everybody, but I personally belive that aikido standards remain the same, whilst the way we train is in flux. Of course each club trains according to the world that surrounds it and this is one explaination of why techniques are practised differently. However the fundamental principals should be upheld by the shihan and the shihan themselves need the trust and communication of those who proclaim to follow their system.
WHEN ALL THE SHIHAN ARE GONE:I believe (help please PeterR?) that what should happen is each shihan is prepared by their shihan for the task. Mr. Tomiki trained our current shihan so that nothing was lost in transmission. Therefore each shihan has the knowledge of the last.
Therefore I believe that standards now at hombu are the same as forty or fifty years ago.
The reason for any deterioration standards is therefore the fault of those who do not practise as they do at hombu either through ignorance or an egotistical opinion that they do not need guidance even at supposedly high levels.
KAMI: 1. I believe that the uchideshi system is still very much in use.
2. I am disappointed you have used this thread as an opportunity to bash randori.
Is a negative statement concerning competition in a forum with tomiki followers not a little competetive?