What does this have to do with lineage? Anybody ever played the game "Telephone" or one of it's variations, where a statement gets whispered through a chain of people? The more people are in the chain, the better odds that one of them will convey the message incorrectly. A subtle miscommunication in the beginning leads to completely incoherent conclusion later on. So are we saying that the farther away Aikido gets from O'Sensei, the more it suffers? Or that, "it's just a matter of time before somebody screws up the teachings and everyone is screwed forever and ever amen"? Maybe, if this was about a specific set of techniques, but it isn't. Its about an applied principle and a specific value system. IMO, the techniques seem very intuitive once you are grasping the principle. I feel more personally connected to O'Sensei, than I do to my own relatives from 200 years ago. Why? Because I feel that I understand what O'Sensei was heading towards, I understand and share much (of what I can understand) of his vision. I relate. I can't say the same about my own ancestors, I don't even know most of their names, much less whether or not I would have agreed with their philosophy on life and existence. So, regardless of pedigree... Very Connected.