Re: Aikido Frauds (define it, please)
I've been following this thread for a while now without comment. In point of fact I found myself starting to skim rather than read whole messages because the points started to get, well, redundant. I think that's typical of a thread like this, so no criticism is meant.
There are a couple of comments I'd like to make, though. They are, in fact, echoes of things already said, but I feel like it's worth putting my two cents in.
First of all, it's not always about whether the school is teaching fraudulent MA, sometimes it's simply whether the school is right for you. People who have no MA experience are easily lead into schools which are completely wrong for them. They frequently have no guidance and no frame of reference. The instructors credentials will not help these people.
When fraud is a problem, inexperience remains a problem for these same people. They have no way of knowing if what they are learning has any validity. No guidance and no frame of reference. FWIW, this problem is not unique to MA. When I started in the aquarium hobby years ago I quickly discovered that not all aquarium stores are created equal and, in fact, two different people at the same store would give me different advice and one of them was always wrong.
Now, for those of us with experience the problem still exists, but credentials (like actual dan ranking) can help with this. Still, it doesn't tell you everything. It's a place to start (a good place, actually), but more is needed.
I actually think that something like a product review would be the way to go. But there is a catch. Look at most magazines that do product reviews. Notice that for the most part they only publish positive reviews. I was once involved in a discussion about this on another forum. A prominent reviewer was part of the discussion. When pressed about why he was always positive about products he reviewed his reply was basically that he simply wouldn't submit a negative review. He might send such a review to the product manufacturer, but he wouldn't submit it for publication.
Because negative reviews lead to lawsuits, right or wrong. Nobody sues over an overall positive review, even if a few problems are pointed out.
But, more than "is it good, is it bad" such reviews would provide a place to describe the overall atmosphere of a place. Because, fraudulent or not, if you are training in a place that isn't right for you, your learning experience will suffer.
A summation of what I'm saying might be: rather than try to ferret out the frauds, how about recognizing the good places?