There's a new teaching schedule at the NY Aikikai this month and there have been some interesting changes.
I'm not exactly sure of the full reasoning behind some of the moves, but a lot of them seem to reflect an intention to get the two shihan into contact with more members -- a very good thing.
The most immediate effect was that on Sunday, Yamada-sensei teaches the first class and Sugano-sensei teacher the second and the weapons class to follow. Since Sunday is a very popular day for training, I'm sure more people will see both teachers.
Another change is both senseis will each take a 6:45 p.m. class during the week. This is very significant. That last class of the day is sort of like the bastard step-child of the dojo. It's sparsely populated, mostly by beginners and others of kyu rank. A lot of us can't make any other classes during the day, so we will have more exposure to the shihan on a regular basis.
But by necessity, the schedule for other classes had to be reworked and you can't please all of the people all of the time. One yudansha was upset that Donovan Waite's classes had been scaled back. "I'll just have to go to Center City (Donovan's dojo in Philadelphia) on Saturdays."
I, myself, was sorry to see Harvey Konigsberg's Tuesday afternoon randori class eliminated. I certainly couldn't make that class on a regular basis, but it was great to go anytime I could. This change, however, seems unrelated to the rest of the schedule change, as no one is taking that class over, it is just out. What a pity.
Anyway, on the whole the changes do improve the schedule and I'm sure everyone will benefit. Personally, I'm happy I'll have more chances to see the senseis as well as all the other great instructors.