Michael Stuempel wrote:
Regular students were/are(?) just a way to pay the rent. However, a student on the uchideshi track and taking care of the master of the dojo is worth putting effort into. So the skill level between a "regular student" and an "uchideshi" is fairly pronounced for more than just the obvious time and dedication reason.
I strongly second this opinion/observation. Now, the interesting thing for me is that the VAST majority of dojo both in Japan and out are headed by people who were NOT "uchideshi." Nor are they connected to people who were "uchideshi." I am using quotes for "uchideshi" to point out that it is not a title. Uchideshi is a word to divide students in the minds of instructors. Also noteworthy to this line of thinking is Aikikai Honbu's insistence that there were no uchideshi at Honbu after the war.