Re: Aikido Frauds
Ian: I'm not familiar with the UK situation. Most of my interest has been on what I see happening here in the states. There is no regulation here like there is in a lot of European countries. you can pretty much do what you want.
Splinter groups will always be an issue. O'Sensei had many of them and some he even encouraged from what it says in the literature. They all earned that right by years of rigorous training and study. A 40 year old master of 40 arts and a half dozen self awarded or soke organization awarded 6th and 7th dans however does not in my mind fall into the same criteria. So if your group head was a long term student/instructor and broke away with some decent rank, more power to him. Although some of the guys doing this are physically gifted and can fake a lot, they generally aren't just all that good and their understanding is pretty shallow and their egos pretty deep. A lot of them have pretty weak connections with legitimate organizations as well. One here in Texas studied under a legitimate organization but did not like to test and never was awarded a black belt. Now 10 years later he's a 5th dan shihan. It can get pretty bizarre with the stuff these "masters" make up. One had a 3rd dan in a legitimate organization, made a new organization and became 10th dan and wrote a lousy book.