The thing is, though Greg, that there isn't a discussion of "quality", there's a discussion of "quality control". And that's a very different thing. "Quality" means that you are asking if there is anything or anybody worth studying from in the art, or organisation, which seems to be what you're addressing here (same with Cryo earlier). "Quality control", on the other hand, means that there is a uniformity to the organisation. You can have quality with no quality control, but it tends to be rather haphazard at best, and is more about the individual, rather than the art. In other words, a quality practitioner in an organisation with little to no quality control would most likely have been a quality practitioner no matter where they were. You can, conversely, have little quality in an organisation even with quality control... all it means is that everyone of the same rank is roughly the same in terms of skill, ability, knowledge etc. It just might not be a good organisation to be in, but at least you'd know what you're getting into! That is not what is found in the Bujinkan, though. You may be learning from a 15th Dan, but is it a 15th Dan at Nagato's level, or Tim Bathurst's even, or is an RVD-type 15th Dan? The simple fact that there is such variance for this rank (and all others, frankly) is proof positive that there is no quality control in the Bujinkan. Other evidence is seen in your post, when talking about Hatsumi Sensei's promoting methods, and the idea of a student needing to find a good instructor. Now, all arts have good and less-impressive instructors in them, but the degree of difference, especially in the higher ranks in the Bujinkan is ridiculous. I'm sure you'd agree there. When it comes to your phrase of needing to find "the diamond in the ruffage" (uh, pretty sure you meant "Diamond in the rough" there, otherwise that's not a pretty image, ha! And, while I'm here, it's really not a good phrase to use, as a "diamond in the rough" refers to an unpolished and uncut stone, with the hidden beauty yet to be revealed by careful polishing and skillful removal of unnecessary parts, not searching for something good amongst a lot of bad, or lesser examples. Unless you're saying that the students can learn from a bad instructor and still create a "diamond" out of that school....), frankly that's just a cop-out. If there was quality control in the first place, that wouldn't be a part of it. Honestly, the simpler, easier, more reliable, and better result for the student would be to attend a school where the quality is assured before they stepped in the door. Otherwise, what on earth are these lesser persons' doing claiming to represent an art/organisation by being such bad examples of it? Surely as a Bujinkan member you'd be outraged by that? Same goes for the "just enjoy the training and the rest will follow" comment. Seriously, just a cop-out. Be better. Demand better. Don't train with those who have low standards. Don't support them as members of the organisation. Be better. Demand better. That way everyone wins. I honestly don't think that Menkyo Kaiden in the Ryu-ha has anything to do with the Bujinkan, really. For one thing, Hatsumi isn't teaching the Ryu, he is teaching Budo Taijutsu, which is his modern martial art creation, with it's technical basis being taken from his experience and the Ryu-ha that he is caretaker of. But it's not the Ryu-ha themselves. As a result, having Menkyo Kaiden or not has no real bearing on the individual's ability to transmit Hatsumi's Budo Taijutsu; it would only have bearing if they were transmitting the Ryu themselves. After all, that's why Manaka Sensei, for example, doesn't teach Budo Taijutsu, he teaches the Ryu-ha. Budo Taijutsu is Hatsumi's, Manaka has authority to teach the Ryu (he is ranked in them specifically). But it is really a different kettle of fish.