Soke made the comment last night again regarding the need for the Bujinkan to focus on the aspect of community. (Another recent successful example of this is the European Taikai. Thanks Arnaud for the T-shirt!)
He clearly made the point of the importance of finding a good teacher in your training. A good teacher is defined as someone who maintains and strong connection with the Bujinkan Community and trains regularly in Japan or with someone who does.
According to Soke, the teachers of the 15th Dan level generally can be considered “just” teachers. It is important for students to develop eyes for knowing what is right and wrong, being able to judge whether a teacher of the Bujinkan is a “just” teacher. Unfortunately, there are still many people out there that claim to be teachers and claim their connection with Soke who really have no backing behind their connection.
In my opinion, the best way to gauge this is to understand how often that teacher makes the trip to Japan, or if they train regularly with someone who does. Furthermore, if they are not a person who maintains this idea of Bujinkan Community and chooses not train with other Bujinkan members, then this person is most likely not credible.
Also, as my opinion develops-having a photo with Soke on the wall of your dojo does not make one a teacher of the Bujinkan. Having a Dan level certificate in the Bujinkan does not make one a teacher in the Bujinkan
Teachers who maintain connection with the Hombu and are an active member of the Bujinkan community don’t need to be called “sensei or shidoshi”. They don’t need to have a picture on the wall with Soke. They don’t need a rank cert, because everyone knows who they are and what they are capable of
This in my opinion is what Soke means by Community-and IMHO we are getting there.