I agree you cannot judge people by their credentials. However, there are a lot of fakes and charlatans out there that give themselves lofty credentials and create their own "styles" which are little more than a smattering of this and that art. Go to the e-budo site and see some of the stuff people are throwing out. It is appalling. Someone who has a legitimate 3rd dan suddenly becomes a 10th dan soke by setting up his own soke organization and founding his style of aikido. Then writing a book as an example. There are many other cases. I personally ran across such a fraud in Tennessee claiming to be a 7th dan (he called a 4th dan his mentor). My bs detector was going off. He made up his own organization, bylaws promoting him to 7th dan, etc. It was a little suspicious when he started stealing techniques from me after he asked me to teach classes(a shodan at the time).
The issue of credentials is important in an environment where the unsuspecting and unaware are cheated by charismatic bearers of fake credentials. At least when you earn them, there is no question. That does not mean you are a good teacher, but at least you have a valid background that can be documented, not one where you print your own certificates. Such frauds in my opinion are solely out for taking the public. As such, they do not earn my respect.
Mixing arts can enhance one's aikido or it can destract from it-depends on the person. I used to do 3 arts at one time until I decided I wanted to focus more on the aikido. It enhanced my aikido since I looked at the other arts from an aikido perspective to see what the similarities were and whether I could employ the techniques with an aikido flavor.
I disagree with you on the dubious credentials, sorry. There are few Mushashi's around. Especially most I have seen with dubious credentials. There are too many of the dubious credential types taking a few classes and they saying they teach aikido because it's popular. The art is not the easiest to learn and be good at it. To do so requires mat time-plain and simple you have to train and train with a good instructor. To do otherwise will delude the dubious one into thinking they understand an art that most take a lifetime to feel comfortable with.
Last edited by aikidoc : 12-14-2003 at 08:18 PM.