...if you consistently see large numbers of students who never captured, equaled or surpassed what the teacher is doing then that is rather telling of a problem or disconnect in the teacher/student model
Dan and I have disagreed about a couple of points in this thread but in a gentle and harmonious little coincidence before he made this perceptive comment I talked about surpassing our teachers in a blog post earlier today.
I deliberately didn't talk about O Sensei and any of his deshi because I was talking in a general sense about teachers and students. But hey, we don't need to be afraid of it. However much of a genius O Sensei was it is not reasonable or desirable that his aikido should be the end of the story. There's an inscription on a British £2 coin: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants. It's a quotation from Isaac Newton: "If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants."