Jonathan Lyons wrote:
Richard, he's a 4th Dan.
Kent, I will be sure to ask other Aikido instructors in town about him.
Brian, he told me his sensei's name, but I don't remember it. Ok, so they sell stuff giving the impression that they're throwing it about. But like I said, affiliation doesn't really matter to me. It's his skill at teaching that does. I'm just still trying to decide if he's worth the up-front risk.
Again, Seeing as I'm willing to commit for at least a year, I'm not worried about the depostie thing as far as loosing it goes. There's no reason I wouldn't be able to do it for a year there (and if I don't go out of town for college, even longer)
Reading between the lines it appears to me that you have pretty much made up your mind and would like to train with this teacher.
Your only query is that of expense, if that is the case then you must decide is this teacher worth the money? You say that affiliation does not matter and that rank is of no significance I agree with you I know a lot of people claiming to be high ranking with all the paper work but their martial arts stinks, so if you trust this teacher is a good one then cost should not come into it, why go to a cheaper dojo with poorer quality teachers, when for a little more money you can have a great teacher and know you are getting a good education.
IMHO I think you should go with your gut feeling, thats the feeling that comes form the part of our being that knows, if it feels right do it, if it doesn't don't, but don't put money in front of what you want most, and in this case its a good education.
Please don't think I am advocating for this teacher I don't know him I don't even live in your country, all I base my information on is that my Karate instructor was affiliated with all the right places, and in the end politics chased him away, he has 7th dan in Karate and a 3rd dan in Kobudo but when I came to him I did not know that, I trusted in my gut feeling that it was right I would not have cared if he was a no rank, what he taught me was good and it worked, I have been with him now for 30 years, and he still is not affiliated with any org's in Australia, yes we are in Japan and in Okinawa because we find the people we associate with over there don't care for the politics but care a lot for the teaching, I pay lots of money each year just to fly to Japan and Okinawa to learn fro 4 to 8 weeks a year, and its worth every cent.
Good luck with your search,
Take care, be happy