Re: Poll: Do you think your aikido organization would surive without its chief instructor(s)?
As the son of a chief instructor I have been following this thread with more than a little interest.
I do Aikido for my own reasons and would never expect to hold a senior position on any basis other than merit. I have seen father to son transmissions in UK organisations almost all of which have caused problems.
We have a board type system where the association is run by its senior Shidoin, all of whom have autonomy as regards teaching and their students, but who co-operate over grading issues, appointment of Fukushidoin & Shidoin etc. That way we believe is why our association will remain strong even after my fathers inevitable retirement from Aikido as it avoids the cult of personality spoken of by an earlier poster.
One other issue. Sons are almost always compared to their fathers, and usually in a negative way if their parent happens to be a particularly dynamic and charismatic leader (as chief instructors tend to be). I feel that there is enough "Aikido isn't what it used to be" amongst certain sections of the greater Aikido community without adding "Well of course he's not like his father" to it.
I wonder how many talented Aikidoka we have lost because people have expected them to be likr their father?