Originally posted by Kami
KAMI : Hello, Andrew! I suppose, from your post, that you are talking about japanese Shihan. If so, what will happen when they all are gone? Aikido will get downhill? Or not?
I'm really curious to understand correctly what you are expressing...
Well, no, that's not what I meant at all. I think if you've got a number of people who've studied diligently for 20-40 years under a number of masters each, there will be no drop in standard. Some things will change slightly in the art, some become more emphasised than others, but I don't think things will be "lost." I do think aikido will evolve like this, and is evolving, and has done, though.
Let me just state I fully believe in the old cliche that "you can't learn aikido from a single teacher." I think there's enough Shihan teaching enough people who will become Shihan to maintain standards worldwide.
So far as I'm aware, nationality isn't an issue when deciding whether somebody is a Shihan for some time now, but I don't interest myself in aiki-politics (odd term) enough to know whether it still occors. There _ARE_ non-japanese shihan, I just don't know how many are allowed call themselves shihan. That's a whole other issue.
I think, when the current Shihan are all dead, there will be younger shihan alive who have each learned a lot from several of the current shihan. I hope I'm being clear...