Charles Hill wrote:
I think that this is a difference between most Japanese and American dojo. (I don't know about other countries.) In my experience, every Japanese dojo is strongly centered around a specific individual. We don't study Aikido, we (ideally) study the instructor. In contrast, in the States, I often hear things like, students should learn from a variety of sources, go to other dojo and seminars and come back and share what you learned, you have to discover "your" Aikido, etc. I think that this is a huge difference that doesn't get a lot of attention. In my dojo, the answer is a 100% no.
Hi Charles - very good point about the difference. However, numerous examples of a student or group of students taking the place of a dead sensei in Japan. Often, with advancing old age, there is an effort to designate successor.