As noted by PAG (roughly paraphrased by me), those that got it figured it out for themselves.
The way I would phrase it is that everyone grabs as much information wherever they can and then the rest depends on how hard they work at it and how well they can figure out the gaps.
There is a broad spectrum of abilities and understanding and there is a broad spectrum of specialized ways to apply these skills. To give an example of what I'm trying to say, even though they all understood "aiki", Shioda, Ueshiba, and Tohei (to grab examples), those three still had varying degrees of the other things they could do with those skills. If it comes to "aiki" itself, the one that I see on film having the widest repertoire of aiki applications seems to be Shioda.... he apparently revelled in that part of it. Ueshiba appears (to my eyes) to have something about power-release skills that Tohei and Shioda didn't have. And so on.
"Figure it out" is certainly part of it. My opinion is that these are the early days of western Aikido people beginning to acquire and apply these skills into Aikido and it should be interesting to watch the developments by some of the up and coming crowd. Good times.