On high level technique......
I have felt high level technique from many, most obviously Takamura sensei but this also includes several top notch Daito ryu shihan, aikido shihan. Don Angier, Ushiro Kenji, Tetsuzan Kuroda, Mikhail Ryabko, Vladimir Vasiliev etc...
Is it all the same? No. Each manifest their advanced application of waza in different in way. Kuroda takes your center immediately with a very soft touch. It's like an encounter with a ghost and unlike what I've felt from anyone in Daito ryu. I'm not saying its necessarily better, but it is distinctly different. Laying hands on Ushiro Kenji feels like grabbing a gorilla. ( Okay you got him, what are you going to do with him?) All the others are great, each in their unique way. My point is that people often become fixated on what "they" consider high level. If you like X-ryu okuden-aiki-myoden-voodoo, good for you, go do it. However, don't dismiss everything else thats different out of hand. Keep an open mind and realize you'll never learn it all. Myopic evaluation of others is intellectual failure and the stuff of defeat.
I just wanted to repeat your quote again. It was cogent, experiential and humble.
From what I've seen of Kuroda, I am quite impressed. My personal belief is that the weapons "intensify, magnify and make deadly".
Kuroda seems to do more weapons than "empty hand". Today, it is the opposite. More people do "empty hand" and virtually no weapons.
Some people on this board have talked about why Ueshiba did not allow his "students" to use the sword and how aikido has lost its "weapons" expertise. This is interesting in light of the fact, that aikido was based on the sword. Was there an obvious secret that he left out? Hmmmm.
Kuroda, has it...because he can extend his ki...through his weapons. As such his "empty hand" learns from his extension...and becomes quite deadly.
Joseph T. Oliva Arriola