I've just read Terry Dobson's book "It's a lot like dancing..." for the first time. One of the many beautiful things he said seemed relevant here:
What is more important than anything I say is that I touch you. Through me, through my touch, comes the touch of the founder of Aikido. There is no Bible you can buy that says, "This is what Aikido is." It is transferred from person to person. These vibrations pass among us.