J�rgen Jakob Friis
So... Joe... should they 'keep it real' or should they conform to the wishes of the 'customers'?
It's a bit like parenting. I try to change and become better at being a dad as long as my children grow up and express different needs and wants, but I also have to stick to my core principles. I can't change my decisions based on what my kids want since they change opinions every other day, and since what they want might not take the big picture into account.
As I see it Aikikai is not a business but an organisation - which in my book is closer to a family. It will develop and change, but not always in a way that every member approves on, and often in a more moderate pace than some might want since the incentive for change must come from within.
Therefore we are not shareholders - we are members. If you don't like the club - you are free to leave it, or you can choose to go into a fruitful cooperation and try to influence it from within. The latter takes time and effort but as I see it that is an approach much closer to the uke/nage relationship that you mention.
Well, I'm not a child and Doshu ain't my Dad
I've said it before, but the family art model doesn't really work, IMO, with a large international organization composed of people who have never met each other. I know a lot of 6th dans who have never been to Japan, never met the Ueshibas, and whose name Doshu wouldn't even remember. Where's the family?
Of course, everybody's free to leave, and that's a big problem - for the Aikikai.
The people who walk out don't really lose much, because they weren't really getting much in the first place. If the Aikikai, on the other hand, wants to keep things together, then they have to create a model that gives people some reason to stay and send them money.