Has anyone wondered why, when Ueshiba was teaching Daito ryu, Shioda, Tomiki, Shirata, Mochizuki, etc were considered the "greats" of aikido. But after WWII, we still consider them the "greats"? Why it's said that Tomiki held out his hand to judoka and they couldn't throw him? Why Shioda is taped doing what he does with power? Etc.
Asked how he got started in aikido, Ueshiba Sensei told Mr. Nonaka that he began training in aikijujutsu after moving to Hokkaido in 1912. His instructor was Sokaku Takeda, who usually didn't trust people, but he liked the young Ueshiba and so let him cook and do other chores for him. In return, Ueshiba learned jujutsu. As he grew older, Ueshiba Sensei began paying more attention to the aiki than the jujutsu, and that was the start of what became aikido.
That's a very interesting paragraph. Ueshiba started concentrating more on aiki in his later years. That certainly could (theory) explain a few things.
1. Why he trimmed the Daito ryu techniques.
2. Why the later students weren't really taught as the pre-war students were. (which brings up another point on just how do you train aiki? But that's another thread.)
3. Why it can be said he knew more than he taught.
4. Why he never cared about teaching sword, yet said things like, this is how you do that with aiki.
5. Why, what he was doing, was ukemi in a pure sense.