Toby has said it better than I ever could. I was fortunate to attend both Aiki Expos where I had a chance to feel and interact with all of the people he mentioned (including Toby himself).
Each of those people achieved skills and abilities from very different learning paradigms. Each of them are remarkably talented in what they do. I do not place time frames upon their learning paradigms, nor do I assume to believe that I understand them. I am lucky enough to train with good people who have different teaching paradigms who honor me by sharing their knowledge with me.
I, like Toby, do not know the answers, but am open to learning. As to making recommendations, I can only share with people my personal experiences and ask them to find their own.
ps.- Rob, Ushiro Sensei is in town in October. He is very gracious and would be more than willing to answer any questions you may have.
Agreed Toby stated my feelings as well...I have been to the expos "Felt" the Systema folks, Ushiro,Toby and others so I at least have a basic understanding.
I am just getting sick and tired of the Ad Authoritum Approach of some of the "experts' here and their circular arguments.
I also think that Sword based Gendai or Koryu Arts naturally teach you how to extend your "Aiki". Kuroda Shihan may not be "Aiki strong like Bull" It's a different Aiki all together just like ours.... but I guarantee you that for 95% of the Martial Planet your "A Game" will never touch his. LOL
I sure hope some get past their "expertise" and learn to share their toys with everyone else in the Aikiweb Sandbox.