Hi Hanna, are you in the Iwama lineage? I agree that rules like this probably weren't said verbatim by O-sensei, but Saito sensei did leave the impression of these rules on my past Iwama-lineage teachers. Saito claimed to not try to put his spin on things.. so that suggests that O-sensei at least did not strongly disagree with this type of level-dependent practice rule.
Not that these rules are the reasons that I personally do things!
No I'm not. And I quite understood that this was Saito sensei's views - which does not automatically mean they were Ueshiba sensei's. So I wanted to know if this specimen of Iwama Ryu lore is based on substantial facts, if osensei ever said this, or not.
Of course, we can claim that since Saito sensei didn't put his own spin to things, everything he ever said is pretty much words from osensei's mouth. Historians won't buy that, of course. And neither will anyone except those (or some of) those in the Iwama lineage.
My opinion is that of of course Saito sensei did put his spin to things! esp. regarding pedagogic stuff, skills in which Osensei was obviously lacking. (Still his students turned out pretty good. Weird, isn't it.)
I also agree that the aikido of today is probably not osensei's aikido. I am among those who believe that the reason for this is that osensei wasn't taught aikido but Daito Ryu, and we can probably not hope to achieve his skills without going to the source. Plenty of people won't agree with me, I guess. And that is fine.