There are some interesting thoughts here.
I don't agree with becoming more traditional.
You have to be the kind of dojo you are. Berkshire Hills Aikido is an American Aikido dojo. We are not Japanese. We believe in Ueshiba's philosophy that Aikido is a universal language.
Our training has evolved as we continue to practice. Our way is not for everyone. We have let some of the ritual drop since it is not relevant to our training.
An aspect that I am very grateful which has sloughed away is the mystique around the main teacher and the resulting deference that comes from fawning students.
We believe that each person can step into their own power through dedicated practice of Aikido technique and principles. Ron and I strive to provide a safe atmosphere for students to train and grow along side of us.
These are good points. Thanks for sharing. I imagine we agree on many points, and any difference might come from my unusual way of using "traditional." I tend to draw a distinction between traditional and traditionalistic. There is something very traditional about adapting practices to fit one's circumstances, as you have done in dropping certain rituals not relevant to your training. To keep such rituals, especially when they are not relevant to one's training, is what I like to call being "traditionalistic" - tradition for tradition's sake.
Here is Pt. II. I think you will see more of what you are saying in Pt. II.